Motorcycles

A summary of the key road rules for riding motorcycles.

A rider of a motorcycle must obey the same road rules as other drivers.

There are also some road rules that apply to motorcycle riders. These are explained below.

Penalties

If riders are caught breaking these rules they may be given fines and demerit points.

The rules in detail

For more information about road rules relating to motorcycles refer to the Victorian Rider Handbook.

The key road rules and reference numbers regarding motorcycles are:

  • 146 - Driving within a single marked lane or line of traffic 
  • 151 - Riding a motor bike or bicycle alongside more than 1 other rider
  • 151A and B - Lane filtering
  • 156 - Transit lanes
  • 197 - Stopping on a path, dividing strip or nature strip
  • 270 - Wearing motor bike helmets
  • 271 - Riding on motor bikes and motor cycles

Riders and passengers must wear an approved helmet that meets one of the following standards -
  • AS 1698-1988; or
  • AS/NZS 1698:2006 (or any later version of that standard); or
  • ECE 22.05 (or any later version of that standard). 
If a face shield or visor is fitted to the helmet, it must meet the same requirements specified in the standard for the helmet to which it is attached.

All helmets must be marked to show that they comply with the relevant Australian Standard or ECE 22.05.

The marking requirements vary according to which standard the helmet meets and the date on which it was manufactured (if made in Australia) or the date on which it was imported into Australia (if not made in Australia). For further information on the marking requirements for helmets, see protective clothing for riders. 

In Victoria, you can park your motorcycle on a footpath, unless there is a sign saying you can't. When parking you must not get in the way, or block the path of pedestrians, delivery vehicles, public transport users or parked cars.

On-street motorcycle parking bays are available in Melbourne's Central Business District and other urban areas throughout Victoria. 

The responsibility for the enforcement of footpath parking lies with Councils. To find out more about your local parking laws, visit Local Councils. Penalties will apply if you park in motorcycle excluded areas.

You are allowed to ride your motorcycle in a transit lane.

Unless other rules allow it (e.g when turning at an intersection), you can't ride your motorcycle in:
  • tram lanes 
  • bus lanes
  • bicycle lanes
  • other lanes for special vehicles.

If you are riding with a pillion passenger they must:

  • sit behind you 
  • sit with a leg on each side of the motorcycle
  • face forward
  • keep both feet on the footpegs provided for them.
You must not ride a motorcycle with:
  • more than one pillion passenger 
  • more passengers in a sidecar than it is designed to carry 
  • an animal between you and the handlebars (except for working farmers who can ride with the animal for up to 500 metres)
  • a child under 8 years old unless they are in a sidecar.

When riding with other motorcyclists, you can only ride beside 1 other rider. This is called riding '2 abreast'. If you are riding 2 abreast, you can't ride more than 1.5 metres apart.

Miniature motorcycles cannot be used on public roads, footpaths or nature strips.

This is because they do not meet the standards needed to be registered as a vehicle.

If someone rides a miniature motorcycle without a valid motorcycle licence they are committing 2 offences - driving an unregistered vehicle and driving without a licence.

Motorcycle lane splitting is when motorcycles travel at a high speed between moving traffic. Lane splitting is illegal and the Victorian Government does not support motorcyclists, and drivers, who split lanes.

What is lane filtering?

Lane filtering is when a motorcycle or scooter travels at low speeds through stopped or slow moving traffic. 
It is legal in Victoria and affects all road users. 

Definition of lane filtering

Motorcycle lane filtering is defined as when the rider of a motorcycle rides along a length of road between:
    (a) two adjacent lines of traffic travelling in the same direction as the motorcycle; or 
    (b) two vehicles (regardless of whether the rider remains within a single marked lane) and each vehicle is travelling in
      (i) the same direction as the motorcycle; and 
      (ii) separate, but adjacent, marked lanes; or 
    (c) a vehicle travelling in the same direction as the motorcycle and an adjacent parked vehicle or line of parked vehicles
but does not include overtaking.

A line of traffic is defined as one or more vehicle travelling along a road in a line (whether moving or not) irrespective of lane markings.

Why do we have lane filtering laws?

These laws help clarify what motorcyclists and scooter riders can and cannot do and help road users understand what is and isn’t permitted. 
Victorian Road Rule 151A and B permit lane filtering:
• For motorcycle licence holders (not motorcycle learner permit holders)
• At speeds up to 30 km/h, with a penalty for exceeding 30 km/h while filtering
• If ‘safe to do so’
• Unless otherwise signed

In what situations is lane filtering legal?


Situation Filtering
Between lines of traffic in the same direction? Yes, if safe to do so
Between vehicles travelling in the same direction in adjacent marked lanes? Yes, if safe to do so
Between a vehicle and another vehicle? Yes, if safe to do so
Between parked cars and traffic? Yes, if safe to do so
In all speed zones?  Yes, unless otherwise signed and if safe to do so. 
 On all types of roads? (local, rural, freeways etc.)
Yes, if safe to do so 
In the CBD?  Yes, if safe to do so 
In areas where there are schools or strip shopping? 
Yes, if safe to do so 
On roads with two or more lanes of traffic in the same direction?
 Yes, if safe to do so
 Through an intersection? 
 Yes, if safe to do so
Between traffic and an adjacent kerb? 
No
In bicycle lanes or bicycle boxes?
No. The regulations do not change how motorcyclists interact with bicycle infrastructure
Between lines or lanes of traffic travelling in  opposite directions?
No. 
In special purpose lanes?  These changes do not affect how motorcyclists may currently use special purpose lanes. 

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