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Newb - Advice on Filtering

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by HeezaGeeza, May 2, 2011.

  1. Hi All

    First post as I've just made the switch from Vespa 250 GTS to an '08 CB600F Hornet, therefore I'm now allowed to post in forums such as this.

    I've been riding the Vespa for about 2 years and outgrown it, hence the upgrade. During this time however I've been doing what I consider filtering on a daily basis without issue, but reading many of the threads on the subject here I'm a little confused.

    Firstly, let me state I'm in NSW, so any advice should be based on the current RTA rules.

    The way I understand it, right now there is still some ambiguity on the rr141(c) issue regarding overtaking a stationary vehicle on the left. My take is that the rules say you can do this if the traffic is stationary and you indicate prior and during the maneuver, but people have been booked for doing the same thing.

    I've also read here that filtering in stop start traffic is illegal under the above rule, so it really only applies to traffic stopped at lights.

    While I understand lane splitting is illegal (assume this is riding between two lanes of moving vehicles), I'm still confused on filtering - in particular the following situations:

    1. On a single lane (each way) road, traffic in front stops at a red light. I'm 4 cars back. Do I have to pass on the left of the stationary traffic in order to comply with the regs as there is often little room on this side to pass?

    2. Three lane road each way, I'm in the middle land and traffic stops at lights. Again, 4 cars back - can I indicate into the right hand lane, cross broken white lines and move down the left side of the cars in the right hand lane to the lights or do I have to go to the left of the cars in my middle lane?

    Sorry if this has been posted elsewhere but I couldn't find answers to these specific common cases.
  2. Thats my take too. But it doesn't matter, if a highway cop sees you doing it, they'll book you if they're in the mood - if not under the real reg they'll do it under 'unsafe overtake'

    Anyway, the main things:
    - Keep the speed down - 40 max in most situations; never know when a pedestrian will pop out of nowhere, at 40 you can still stop very quick
    - Head check before starting to split (incase another rider is coming up from behind)
    - Work on your slow speed manovering, be confident before you start to split
    - Be wary of the space between lanes, often it will be the divider of two pieces of tarmac which can often result in a raised surface, bumpy, etc. which can throw your steering into a car. Also in the wet the painted lines can be slippery
    - If you split to the front, after checking that traffic has indeed stopped (no red light runners), take off briskly - taking off slowly is a sure fire way to piss off the person you just cut in front of.
    - Highbeam and use of indicators can help people in front see you, meaning they'll be aware and may move over for you. Just dont forget to turn the highs off after you've finished filtering
    - Cover the brake, be ready to stop in a hurry
    - Learn to use your rear effectively for low speed stability
    - If you split to the front on multi lane road, choose who you sit in front of carefully. If theres a hotted up car with a P plate in one and a standard camry in the other, the choice is obvious

    I know the question was more about the legality but as I said, whilst you can interpret it the way you want a cop will always find a way to book you if they want to. Following the above rules and a little common sense and courtesy means significantly reduces the chance of being booked for it imo.

    I always split if theres an opportunity. Beats getting rear ended.
  3. If you cant ride slow without sawing the bars don't do it. I drag a little rear brake just to stiffen the bike up a bit.
    And make eye contact with the cars at the front. Check them out. Let them know you are there. And don't hang around when the lights go green.
    The law sucks. Were just improving traffic flow FFS.
    Other countries encourage it
  4. All very good points, just to add that as you are approaching the front, pay attention to the cross section lights and if they are amber that means your lights are about to turn green, start looking for a safe spot if you can, because cars are about to take off and they can squeeze you.
  5. I highly recommend only filtering if you have somewhere safe you know you can get to. Its better to wait around a little longer than to end up stuck in a dangerous position.

    A corollary to this is to assess the space before you move out, and make judgements based on what you can actually get past (breaking mirrors doesn't make you any friends, and backing up isn't dignified :p).

    While you should always be aware of the traffic around you, it is particularly important when filtering, especially if you can't see the lights. I've never had anyone open a door on me or try to move over to block me, but stuff like that does happen.

    Should you knock a mirror or accidentally damage something, be nice.
  6. If the lights go green and you are, like, still half way down the queue, now is the time to twist it WFO and emerge from between the first two cars, doing mach 2.
  7. Yep, I get it occasionally but not often.
    Also had a couple try to "share a lane" with me after I've moved back into the flow - scared the crap out of me first time, made me mad the second...
    Point is, be aware of this stuff - I look for cues like front wheels starting to turn, and faces in mirrors watching me approach.

    Sometimes you'll need to switch lines because your gap closes, so you cross in front of a cage to his other side. Make sure the car you're crossing is STOPPED, and check up the new line for other approaching filterers.

    I love to filter: it's a big F*CK YOU to peak hour traffic.
  8. This, by the way, is not advice I would follow. Instead, I choose to take it as a joke.
  9. I wasn't being serious, otherwise I would have reminded him to not hit any mirrors along the way.
  10. Not sure if i'm the only one that does this, but if splitting for a long period of time i sometimes pull in one of my mirrors just so i don't have to worry about it. Just make sure you don't need it back in a hurry.
  11. I did pick up on that :p (hence "..take it as a joke"). Its just that, when newbies are involved, I'm inclined towards making sure jokes are clearly identified. Call it paranoia, if you like 8-[.
  12. Thanks for all the tips.

    Anyone have any specific comments on the scenarios I gave as I'm still unsure as to whether they are right, particularly the second one.
  13. You might find it hard to drag the definitive answer to that one out, because I think the real truth is that nobody here really knows?
    ConspiracyTheorist had it best:
  14. Might be better to ask who has been booked for it. I never have for one. Never been done for J walking either. I guess it's a kind of wrong place wrong time sort of thing.
    Or if you are worried don't do it.
  15. 1. If you want to abide by 141c, then yes.

    2. If you're not overtaking the leftmost lane on their left, then you're still overtaking some cars on the right. (I know you may not be in their lane but ofc every cop is going to be understanding of that).

    Honestly there's no real point beating around the bush, I think asking these questions (while at the very least an indicator you've got your head screwed on the right way) counts for **** all when you're actually doing it. Filtering isn't explicitly legal, and there's enough room for a cop with a bad day to throw a ticket your way. I'm also not a real fan of putting myself between a gutter and possibly a driver's biggest blind spot.

    Just go for it, if you're paying enough attention to the cars in front you should be able to see the cop and pull in before any of this really matters.
  16. Quoted for emphasis! So often I see riders not check...simple quarter of a second action eliminating the risk of 2 riders colliding and both getting damaged.
  17. Fixed that for you. :D :D :D :D :D

    It will decrease the profile of the bike and make it less likely to hit the cars either side. :D :D :D :D :D

    In all seriousness, i've filtered past cops and not been booked (South Australia), however, i've heard about people being booked for the exact same thing. It depends on the cop and their mood.

    Choice is up to you. Filter save 10 - 20 mins (sometimes more) and maybe get booked one day. Or not filter and allow the same amount of time as a cager.

    Whatever you choose, just do it safely and stay upright.
  18. I realise this thread is almost a month old, but thought I'd comment anyway.

    This situation with regards to the legality of lane splitting is ridiculous in the extreme. The RTA or whoever it is decides the Road Rules really needs to have a look at this.

    From a personal point of view, I see absolutely nothing wrong with navigating through traffic which is stopped - either at red lights or other situations. My reason for this is from personl experience (as limited as that may be).

    Whilst driving in the City (Sydney CBD), traffic was stopped continually, and because I was trying to do the right thing I stayed in line like everyone else. The thing was, it was 36 degrees and I had a leather jacket and jeans on - my little 250 was also really feeling the heat and to be honest, I thought I was going to pass out if I didn't get moving. Finally got through and eventually hit the M5 Tunnel - the fun was about to start. Traffic in the tunnel was crawling to the piont it stopped on occasion. In this case, it wasn't just the incerdible heat, but the exhaust fumes. I had to get out of the thing - and I did. I can see no reason for this practice not to be accepted.

    If riders do this kind of thing stupidly without concern for other vehicles, then of course they deserve to get pinched, but when traffic is stopped and a rider slowly navigates through I see no problem.

    That day in the tunnel was pretty bad - I think they need to make the law clearer and more in favour of motorcyclists. Perhaps wording to the effect that if a rider safely navigates with all due care through stopped traffic then it's all legal.

    I am stunned that a law like this can be so ambiguous.


  19. There are a billion threads on the legalities of filtering please look at those as well rather than resurrect yet another thread on it :)

    Also sign the online petition in that petition thread if you feel strongly about it.