Drivers shocked to learn annoying motorcycle road habit is legal

Josh Dutton
·News Reporter
·2-min read

A question about a common road rule for motorcyclists on NSW roads has angered motorists.

NSW Road Safety posed a question to people on Facebook about lane filtering.

Lane filtering is when a vehicle, specifically a motorbike, rides alongside vehicles while weaving between lanes.

Road safety posted a photo of heavy traffic on Sydney’s Western Distributor near the Fish Markets exit with a motorbike among the thick of it.

“Is this fully licensed motorcyclist in the picture lane filtering legally?” the department wrote.

A motorbike rider lane filters through traffic on Sydney's Western Distributor.
Is what the motorcyclist doing here illegal? Source: NSW Road Safety

People were given three options for answers: No, yes and yes, “but under certain circumstances”.

Some people answered no with one woman suggesting it’s illegal to lane filter in NSW, which it isn’t – lane filtering is perfectly legal.

Another man added the motorbike rider can’t cross a solid white line, which is also incorrect.

“Wow, so many incorrect answers, did you all buy your driver's licence from The Reject Store?” one woman wrote.

The correct answer is actually yes, but depending on circumstances. In NSW, you can only lane filter on your bike if you’re travelling less than 30km/h when travelling through stationary or slowly moving traffic and when it’s safe to do so and not in a school zone.

While some people got the answer correct – the road rule seemed to stoke a few angry motorists.

“Filtering should never have been introduced,” one man wrote, adding: “It’s plainly not safe.”

However, he cited reasons which didn’t include what’s technically lane filtering – such as motorbike riders travelling at speeds above 30km/h which is illegal when performing the manoeuvre.

A fed-up motorcyclist wrote some people “need to hand their licences back”.

“No wonder we get such grief when filtering, half the people here think it’s illegal,” he wrote.

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