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Practical Filtering

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by creampuff, Sep 30, 2013.

  1. Please give me a practical tutorial on filtering. Although I am Australian I have never used a bike anywhere in Oz for more than a couple of days.

    What is the practical situation with filtering, in each Australian state?

    I don't mean an argument of the legality or of filtering, I mean for practical purposes, can you routinely filter without encountering any problems?

    By filtering, I mean filtering either standing or moving traffic.

    And I mean only filtering, not crossing stop lines on red lights to get all the way to the front, not overtaking on double lines, not using bicycle lanes, not crossing solid white lines.
  2. There are a lot of threads on this topic mate. There was an AMCN news article about it too, covering each state.

    But in Victoria there is no statute prohibiting filtering. There is a legal sliver of possibility if filtering stationary traffic on the left hand side within the lane at a safe distance from the vehicle. Road Rule 141C. You can trip up multiple other road rules though.

    I think QLD actually has a rule against filtering which poses an interesting point.

    The NTC have proposed a change in Australian Road Rule philosophy. They currently have model rules that each state must enact. They are now proposing an "applied philosophy" where any law in any state is also a law in all other states. This could get messy. How the hell are drivers, who barely know their own states road rules, meant to know the rest of too?
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  3. #3 CrazyCam, Sep 30, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2013
    Not really sure what you're asking here.

    I can only comment on Sydney traffic based on many years of commuting into the heart of the city.

    Filtering between stopped traffic, or VERY slow moving traffic, generally, is fine if it is done in a reasonable manner and speed.

    I never got a ticket for doing it in lots of years of commuting, even tho I often was seen by cops doing it, and sometimes following a cop on a motorbike doing it. :)

    Generally, the cops will only ticket someone who is doing it stupidly and/or dangerously.

    Occasionally, the cops were sent out on a "blitz" on filtering, but the cop on the bike, that I often followed, used to warn me in advance when a blitz was planned.

    To filter safely and sensibly, IMHO, you do have to know the route you are taking and the traffic patterns of lights and junctions, so I have never even considered filtering in, to me, strange places like Melbourne or Adelaide, where I am flat chat trying to figure out where I am and where I am going.

    Where the cars are moving very slowly, only a few feet at a time, I saw more folk who'd try and make more room for me to get through than folk who'd try to close the gap to stop me.

    Is that any help?
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  4. Guys this is about technique not legality so apart fro Robs post all arguments about legality will be happily removed
  5. Fair call. I couldn't see how "can you routinely filter without encountering any problems?" could be considered without the legalities.

    I guess the main problem is that unlike the UK, filtering is seen as queue jumping and often generates envious and/or negative responses from stressed cagers. Occasionally one will lean towards vigilantism and yell at you or try to block your way.

    Keep your brakes covered, low gear, high revs, lowish relative speed and be on the look out for car body language indicating trouble ahead or gaps in traffic that a frustrated cager might dive into.

    I try and acknowledge drivers that move over to give me space. :)

    Gratuitous flitering pic:

    • Winner Winner x 2
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  6. Qld. Same as others have pointed out ... keep it low key and try not to blast through. You will get some drivers moving to block but not often as most don't care and quite often drivers will move over to let you through. Keep a weather eye out for white pointers as there are blitzs from time to time especially in the western suburbs areas of Brisvegas. The worst that happens is people diving from lane to lane to get in the faster queue ... gotta watch out for them. oh and they don't know what indicators are for.
  7. Good topic Creampuff - there is the law and there is the real world, and nearly every other thread on this topic has bogged down in law.
    For myself in Victoria, the guidelines are:
    I don't bother on freeways. Popo may turn a blind eye elsewhere but never on freeways. I prefer not to use freeways anyway but each to his/her own.
    I don't bother during an official blitz.
    I don't put the popo on the spot by brazenly doing it past a marked car. They might prefer to leave you alone but not if it makes them look bad in front of embittered drivers.
    If I can't get past easily, I wait for a better opportunity.
    I check if another bike is coming up behind (don't block the corridor).
    I try and work out how far to go and rejoin the lane before moving (sometimes you can go further).
    I stay far away from drivers acting erratic or aggressive, even if it means staying behind them for a while.
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  8. Practically you can do it, but don't do it blatantly in front of Police. The vast majority of Australians believe it is illegal and if you do it on front of a cop, he may well feel obliged to do something about it. He will find something to book you with.

    Also be aware that a certain percentage of car drivers feel they are perfectly justified in taking the "law" into their own hands.

    So do it, but do it with discretion.
  9. one approach is to watch what others are doing. that didnt help me much as its not done much where I am.

    I think theres good practical advice in a thread titled "learning to filter" in the new riders and tips forum.
  10. I thought there was confusion before Rob's post, but now I think I'll just stay in bed today!!!
  11. Bloody good call.
  12. Great comments! My rules are similar to most of yours but a couple are different:
    1. I always filter on the freeway, every day, have not had problems.
    2. I totally agree - do not put the police on the spot - HAVE RESPECT for them as they serve an important role.

    3. Checking for other bikes coming up behind you is important, if there is not a bike behind you, then you check 2 minutes later and there is - they are faster than you and you should foot them past. I cannot explain how frustrating it is sitting behind someone who doesn't let you pass or doesn't know you are there.
    4. I keep away from drivers that are erratic, but try to get past them as soon as possible. Id rather be 2 km down the road from them than behind them.
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  13. If I may, I'd like to expand on my comment in the previous post about knowing the traffic flow and traffic light sequence.

    When I do commit to riding down between the stopped cars at traffic light, I really like to know that I have the time, and a clear gap, to get to "pole position" before the lights change.

    I don't like to risk my physical wellbeing if I am trapped in amongst two lines of traffic, and have to rely on someone else's good nature to give me a gap to ride in.

    I also don't like following an unknown motorbike rider into the gap, since I have no way of knowing what they are likely to do.

    Will they stop half way to the lights?

    Will they stop at the lights, but still between the cars, leaving me behind and also between the cars?

    Once I have seen them a few times, like my bikie cop bloke, and I know that they know what they are doing, then it becomes a different matter.

    If you commute at a reasonably regular time, you get to know most of the other bike riders, and even some of the really bad car drivers.
  14. I NEVER filter/lane split on freeways
    becoz in this country its a suicide act.
    Lane discipline in Australia is appalling (unlike the UK)
    and in the past 5 years or so I have seen 2 riders cleaned
    up by other traffic just wanting to be where they were
    ... with slow moving freeway traffic the worst place to be
    for the practice of 'filtering'.

    I do 'filter' on major roads where there is room to move down between
    stopped traffic...but never on the left
  15. Foot on the rear to give you better control.
    If you filter to the front of lights move off hard. Predict the light change and watch for red light runners. Don't give the guy who is first in queue reason to think you are pushing in.
    Other motorcycles are the most dangerous thing to filter past so wait for a safe moment when you come across one.
    If you are doing it on the freeway watch for gaps in traffic. It is far safer to move between 2 cars then one. When you come to this situation move out of the corridor into the lane so you buffer the car.
    If in doubt wait.
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  16. I don't get why you wouldn't filter on a motorway with stationary or near stationary traffic. The only differences I can see are the lanes are wider and the road surface is more consistent.
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  17. I wouldn't worry about not getting to the front. Clearly if the light has been red for a while or just turned green, you might hold back. If traffic is really crap, it may be queued for a long way. Gaps open up, you just need to be watching and judge them. Better to slip into a gap then be rear-ended by someone putting on makeup/on Farcebook/eating breakfast.

    It's like anything with riding though. Start with what you're confident doing and once you've mastered that you'll be happier stepping it up a bit.
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  18. Once when I got to work a fellow rider/workmate asked me if I'd given some chick in a Camry the finger or something. Apparently, as soon as I split past her, she burst into a rage, yelling and flinging her arms around. The workmate said he just looked at her strangely and split past her too...

    In one book about motorcycling technique, the author said that some drivers spit at splitting motorcyclists. His advice was "don't spit back at them, especially if you're wearing a full-faced helmet." :ROFLMAO:
  19. Be very mindful of being courteous. A rider splitting past a car with no negative effects on a car does absolutely sweet fcuk all to change that drivers attitude to filtering. But 1 rider splits to the front and misses the light change by a second and you've now got 2 drivers that hate filtering.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. #20 jmck, Sep 30, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2013
    here in Qld I guess it is simmilar to other places, as long as you don't fly past traffic even on motorway. as others say, keep it low key. I find motorist are not uniform in how they position themselves within the lane, some towards the right some towards the left, watch for the stradllers trying to make a break in to the other lane. to repeat others again, some motorists will activly hate you for it, they may try to block you if they see you coming, yell as you pass to try to make you jump. I would use my headlight modulator if filtering some will activly move over to give you room, it is a mixed bag
    I do not believe there is a specific law but you can be done for passing on the left, not keeping in your lane, I believe if they really don't like you can get something slightly lesser than reckless driving. I have had no issues in the last 4 years but I know people that have. here is an example that was sent to me.

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/JUzZ-Lsw3-Q" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
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