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Lane Filtering

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by En, Nov 29, 2005.

  1. gday,
    i am usually a sencible rider. i dont gun it (mainly ccause my bike can't) between cars speed aroud and weave in and out of traffic because i had a spill a little while back at about 40k's an hour and broke my ankle. if you wanna know details just ask. but i know the injuries that can be sustained so i hold back. but occasionally i will zip inbwtween cars and pavement if there is a hold up at traffic lights and thats fine but ;

    does anyone zip down the middle of two lanes of traffic and do all that lane filtering stuff? do you cop much sh!t from the drivers and mainly do you have trouble with cars not letting you back into the flow of traffic? any comments on this subject? and i was reading a mag which said that lane filtering is surposidly illegal under some circumstances and that the government is going to make it illegal at speeds over 15km's/h

  2. that was in the last AMCN - it was in reference to the propsed changes to the Australian road rules to explicitly outlaw lane-splitting and lane-filtering.

    Anyway, much, much, much has been written on the topic in this forum:


    and more - use the search function to find more on the topic.
  3. I regularly Lane Filter throught stationary traffic (as opposed to Lane Spilt past moving cars.) on my Harley. Strangely, quite a few car drivers move left/right to let me get past in heavy "stationary" traffic. I always try to say "thankyou" to them as I go past.

    IMOH one needs to be very cautious when lane filtering. Trying it when cars are going much over 15 - 20 kph is fraught with danger. It isn't something that I would recommend that newbies try until they have been riding for more that 2 years or so.

    But, I am a strong advocate of seeing bikes filter through stationary traffic to place themselves in front of all the cars at the lights. This is where all the cage drivers can see us. It also means that we can accelerate away into a safe space where there are no cars - ie cars that are likely to swerve in front of us etc.

    The only safe place for a bike to be is where there are no cars - this is why Lane Filtering is important......

    If you are going to Lane Filter - you must know how to "read the traffic" and know what the car driver is going to do, before you go past them. You only have split seconds - and must be ready to take evasive action and have an escape route....... That comes with experience (for newbies).
  4. i line split only when there is a red light and all cars are stationary
    i dont like it when they are moving theres too much risk... though i have seen a guy do it in peek hour highway riding.... was dam scary :shock:
    but like 'jdkarmch" said

    """But, I am a strong advocate of seeing bikes filter through stationary traffic to place themselves in front of all the cars at the lights. This is where all the cage drivers can see us. It also means that we can accelerate away into a safe space where there are no cars - ie cars that are likely to swerve in front of us etc.

    The only safe place for a bike to be is where there are no cars - this is why Lane Filtering is important......

    If you are going to Lane Filter - you must know how to "read the traffic" and know what the car driver is going to do, before you go past them. You only have split seconds - and must be ready to take evasive action and have an escape route....... That comes with experience (for newbies).""""

    i totally agree with that
    i like to rev abit as well when line splitting as it give drivers notice that ur coming down the line and most of the time they do move and let u pass
    the word there is MOST
    and if u do get to apoint that u cant get through just wait and look at the driver and most of the time they will wait and let u go in frount of them

    safe riding newbie

  5. I've been filtering since my second day on the road and can't imagine bike riding without it. Though just 30 minutes ago I was filtering through on Cemetary Road (Carlton) at the big roundabout and stopped at the light and something told me not to cut in front of the cdore station wagon at the front so I just pulled up beside... look over and see the distinctive blue uniform we all know and love ;)
    It looked like a private vehicle so I doubt he would have said boo if I did push in front of him, but it's funny how instincts work, every other time I'd have just pulled up in front of him.

  6. The only time i lane split (or filter ) is at red lights . Cars are to unpredictacle to try it when they are moving .
  7. I lane split for the first time on the weekend I was running late and had to get home and traffic was pissing me off so at all the read lights I just rode to the front. I do agree that is alot safer to be at the front of the pack instead of stuck halfway back thinking every car beside you is gonna cut you off in their mad dash home.
  8. I lane split/filter only when lights are red or im riding to work(peak hour traffic Sydney). Weekends i don't see the need for it as you can just swerve through traffic and its not as bad. But never done it while traffic is moving i think that would be very dangerous :cry:

    Cheers :D :D
  9. I have done it a few times and only at some particular intersections that are not only horribly congested but suitable for it. By the letter of the law in NSW it is illegal and I know for a fact that it pisses cagers off - it enrages some. After sitting in traffic caused solely by the cross city fiasco(tunnel) and having to wait through 4 sets of lights at the same intersection because of increased traffic and lane closures, to have a bike pull up in front of you and effectively cut you off can get some people extremely riled. Which is one of the reasons why I only do it sparingly. Personal choice.

    Big picture is that in Sydney no-one gives a stuff about anyone else on the road and the Police don't police minor road offences at all. I even saw a bloke who had been stopped in a no stopping zone, do a U'ey across double solid lines thereby cutting off a cop car and do you reckon he pulled him over - nope, not interested. Lane splitting saves heaps of time and is safer once you get to the front, so why not. Given the blatent stupidity and lack of consideration shown by most road users in Sydney, lane-splitting hardly rates a mention on the scale of illegal road use.
  10. I'm surprised they don't get angry at pedestrians, cyclists or planes flying overhead for "jumping the queue" :LOL:
  11. I'll ride between lanes of stationary or moving traffic if I feel comfortable doing so. But I never try and pass between traffic and the curb especially with side streets, you never know when a car will make an unannounced left turn. Few car drivers in the left (or only) lane will ever check their left mirror, that's why so many cyclists get hit each year.
  12. I lane filter every day. Here in WA it's still legal if you are to the right of the driver, the traffic is stationary, and you don't cross a solid white line. Lane splitting, ie when the traffic is moving, is illegal, but everybody does it over here. Providing the traffic is only moving slowly, the police will turn a blind eye. Under these proposed 'national' rules we will lose the priviledge, so I'm not happy Jan.
  13. I regularly slip between lanes to get to the front at lights, not only better for me but better for the flow of traffic as well. If I stayed in line and took up a space, that means less cars would get through the one set of lights! Car drivers should thank us for getting out of the way!
  14. One of the problems with this issue is that of the general public's perception of riders lane splitting, lane filtering, etc.

    A lot see it as a dangerous practice. The problem is exacerbated by riders who do it at high speed between slow moving traffic. And I'll bet that those who sit on such committees which formulate the rules think likewise.

    Recently, my sister gave me an earful over a rider that flew past her going down Burwood Highway. Traffic was slow. But this fellow, presumably on a sportsbike, was doing probably 100 km/h or more in an 80 km/h zone down the centre of the road on the back wheel at times.

    Then in another trip, I had the missus, daughter and son-in-law heading down the Monash into the city. We were doing probably 50 km/h at the most. Meanwhile, riders were going past us in the service lanes (left and right) or between the lines of traffic. They asked what gave them the right to do that.

    I had problems justifying their actions to the family.

    Well, I put the usual arguments which they dismissed as bullshit. They wanted to know what made us "special" where we could do what cars couldn't. I could only say that it's safe, bikes' small profile allows it, etc. And basically said that they're probably jealous that bikes can do it while car drivers are stuck there. If I have to be stuck in this crap, then so should they, sort of thing.

    That's the mentality that motorcyclists will need to overcome if they want to continue the lane splitting/filtering practice.

    You can bet your balls that if Vicroads changes the rules to specifically outlaw it, then the cops will have a field day with a concerted effort to catch riders, the day after the new rules come into effect.

    If they make it a dangerous riding charge, then that has serious implications, not only for your licence, but for future insurance cover.

    Of course, I could go on about joining the MRA, etc. but that doesn't seem to fly amongst the punters here. So, really, in the end, if we don't do anything about this, as a WHOLE, then we may see this change, and we'll only have ourselves to blame.

    Personally, it won't bother me at all, as I don't ride in city traffic. But, I do care, as it means yet another privilige that will be taken off us, or another imposte upon our way of (travelling) life.
  15. I lane split most days, its one of the many advantages of a bike. Im quite happy to go past cops as well, therre is nothing wrong with it so whats the issue.

    In the past I was lane splitting and went passed a cop on a bike, he duly followed me and when passed all the traffic he flashed the lights and pulled me over. I asked him what the issue was, thinking damn hes going to ping me for the splitting, with a smile on his face said, did you know your number plate is covered up, Shock horror, how did that happen.
    After a chat on how that could have possible happened, the dodging of a 3 pointer I asked him about the splitting and he said, not a problem for them.
    Admittedly he was a pretty good guy.

    Doesnt really matter if they make it illegal, unless they are on a bike how are they going to follow!!!!! :D :D
  16. I don't have a problem with lane filtering (stopped traffic) or even lane splitting during traffic jams.

    But some people abuse the privledge... I've been lane splitting in stop/start crawling traffic at about 20kph only to be blasted past by idiots doing 100 kph plus between 2 lines of cars... and that not only isn't safe it's likely to get the whole process banned for everyone!
  17. This really shits me. Why should we be justifying other peoples actions at all? Want to berate someone over it, chase the guy you have the beef with and have a go at them.

    Do we have a go at family members or friends because some wanker in a Falcadore did something stupid? Do we press them to justify it?
  18. I commute on the Monash, and lanesplit both stationary and moving traffic. I don't do it at high speed, and I don't do it if the traffic's moving at a reasonable pace.

    If you don't do it, you'll be stop-starting amid the cars for 20km. I don't like the thought of being rear-ended because the guy behind me hasn't quite woken up, so prefer to keep moving along.

    I see riders lanesplitting faster than me, I see riders doing it slower. I've not seen anyone doing it stupidly or dangerously (so far).

    I've not had any drivers move across to block me, but quite a few move out of the way when they see the bike in their mirrors.

    The level of risk involved is entirely up to you. If you leave yourself little margin for error (yours and drivers'), if you're indecisive or erratic, you'll probably come to grief one day. Be mindful and keep things smooth and flowing, you're less likely to annoy people or wind up under a semi. IMHO.
  19. There are three questions here - a) can we justify riding in the emergency/service lane, b) can we justify lane-splitting and c) should we have to do either?

    We lane-split for the same reason a dog licks its balls - because we can. Done with care, it is a safe manoevre that doesn't impede traffic flow and can improve our safety. So motorists whining about lane-splitting is like Stan (who would prefer to be called Loretta) in Life of Brian:

    The Lorettadores and would like the right to lane-split the way motorcyclists do, despite the fact that you can't fit a 5ft bonnet up a 3ft gap in traffic. They're pissed off because a) they get a fright because they weren't watching their mirrors and b) we get ahead of them. Too bad, so sad. Get over it.

    Travelling in the emergency lane is a different kettle of fish. Here we're not exploiting the advantage that a bike offers - were just breaking a law that any car driver could equally break. I can fully understand a driver being pissed at the rider who sails past, indifferent to the fact that s/he's using a lane that is reserved for emergency vehicles and stranded motorists. Reserving the emergency lanes for emergencies is part of the social contract - if we're prepared to ride there, we also need to be prepared for the car that mows us down while we're waiting in the emergency lane with a flat tyre.

    I agree that, in the matter of the rider doing 100 in an 80 zone and standing it on the back wheel, there's no obligation to justify it. Because the correct answer is, as Dale said, "ask the guy on the bike".

    However, if I lane-split, and the sight of someone else doing it makes the family question me about it, then I think I do have an obligation to justify it. If I can't satisfy myself that there are good reasons for lane-splitting, then I'm kidding myself if I think lane-splitting is OK. Unfortunately, justifying lane-splitting to an annoyed driver is a matter of trying to defeat emotion with reason, and emotions aren't altered by simple rational argument.

    If we want policy changed to endorse filtering (no, not splitting, filtering) then we're going to need to convince our elected representatives that the change won't provoke an electoral backlash, and that the benefits outweigh the problems. To do that we need to come up with a stronger rationale than "I don't have to justify why it is a good thing - plenty of people do stuff on the road without needing to justify it". And we have to be giving that message to our friends and family - remember, they're voters too.

  20. :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: