Lane filtering on a motorcycle is when the rider moves slowly between two rows of stationary or slow-moving vehicles going in the same direction. If you ride a motorcycle, you’ve no doubt lane filtered at some time, and if you’re a driver or passenger you have most likely seen motorbikes lane filtering in heavy traffic. While lane filtering is legal, there are rules around it. Lane splitting, however, is definitely illegal and is done by riding a motorcycle between stationary or slow-moving traffic at more than 30km/h or more, which is unsafe.

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The Road Rules on Lane Filtering

For fully licenced motorcyclists in New South Wales, lane filtering is legal but only at low speeds of up to 30 km/h and only when and where it is safe to do so. There are instances where lane filtering is illegal. For example, you cannot lane filer on a motorcycle in the following circumstances:

  • between an adjacent kerb and traffic
  • between parked vehicles and traffic
  • in school zones and bicycle lanes
  • between lanes of traffic that are travelling in the opposite direction

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The History of the Lane Filtering Law

Filtering has been legal for around five years since the motorcycle community succeeded in a bid to have the government legalise it. Their legal argument was that:

  • It was safe
  • It had the potential to help ease traffic congestion
  • This was especially so with the number of motorcyclists on the roads
  • And that this number was increasing every year.

Even though it was still illegal, lane filtering had been a common practice on NSW roads particularly where traffic congestion was a problem. A filtering trial was held in 2013 by Transport for NSW (TfNSW) to identify the potential risks or benefits to road safety and traffic flow.  (TfNSW) then analysed the findings and in close consultation with the NSW Police Force considered appropriate policy responses. Lane filtering is not legal for cyclists.

If lane filtering is practiced in a dangerous or negligent way police can charge motorcycle riders with negligent, furious or reckless driving. If a rider damages another vehicle when lane filtering this could be a breach of other laws including:

  • Failure to stop at the scene after a crash (Rule 287)
  • Failure to have proper control of a vehicle (Rule 297)
  • And if the damage is done recklessly or intentionally then the rider could face property damage offences under the Crimes Act 1900.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident you may be able to claim compensation. At PK Simpson, our team of claim experts can guide you through the process to help you get back on your feet. contact PK Simpson on 1300 757 467 or book an appointment to come and see us to have a chat.



Frequently Asked Questions

A: If you’ve had a motor car accident, stop your vehicle and turn on your hazard lights. Make sure nobody is injured, and if so, call emergency 000 and remain at the scene of the accident. If it’s a minor incident you don’t need to call the police, but move the damaged cars if possible. Never admit responsibility even if you think you were at fault. Collect name, address, registration number and insurance details from the other parties and get witness details if possible.
A: Motor accident compensation claims are normally finalised after you’ve recovered, or your injuries have stabilised. It can take some people longer to recover than others – from days to years – which determines the length of time it can take to finalise a claim. Also, your injuries may not always appear immediately after the accident and can take some time to appear, in some cases, years.

A: In a carpark, anyone driving in the lanes has the right of way, so if you’re the one pulling out of the car space and hit another motor vehicle, you are likely to be the majority at fault in the accident. However, since both cars are moving, both drivers might hold some responsibility. But if you hit a parked car, you are likely at fault.

A: When lodging a claim for compensation after a motor vehicle accident it’s best to do it as soon as possible. However, it isn’t always feasible if you were severely injured and couldn’t file a claim straight away. There are time limits, however, so get someone to call a lawyer at PK Simpson for you to lodge a claim at least within six months of the crash.

A: The length of time you have to make your claim depends on the jurisdiction.

For instance:

  • TPD claims – these may be commenced up to 10 years after you’ve stopped work. TPD claims are very technical and you may have more than one TPD claim.
  • Car accident claims – A personal injury claim form should be filled in and sent to your CTP insurer as early as possible, but must be no later than six months from the date of your accident. HOWEVER, out of time claims may be made. New NSW CTP laws have made it difficult for injured people and many law firms still do not understand how to run new claims under these laws – so call us at PK Simpson Sydney as soon as possible.
  • Workers compensation claims – You should contact a lawyer within six months of the accident. But remember, out of time claims can be handled by PK Simpson Sydney. We can help you get the treatment required to build your claim.
  • Slip ‘n’ fall/occupiers liability claims – Your claim must be lodged usually within three years of the date of your accident.

Medical Negligence – within three years of the date of when the cause of action was discoverable to our client OR 12 years from the time of the act or omission which caused the injury through negligence.

A: At PK Simpson compensation lawyers we operate on a no-win, no-fee basis. However, for detailed information on the legal costs that can be charged for statutory benefits CTP Insurance car accident claims in NSW click on this link.