'Really dangerous': Debate over common traffic gripe

Brooke Rolfe
·News Reporter
·2-min read

Fuming drivers have weighed in on a hotly debated traffic gripe involving the habits of motorbike riders.

In a quiz posed to social media users by RACQ, drivers were asked if they thought motorbike riders were allowed to ride between lanes if traffic was congested.

Hundreds of people contributed to the discussion, with some arguing motorbikes shouldn’t be allowed to snake through slow moving traffic while others disagreed, claiming it was fine if done safely.

Graphic showing motorbike between traffic.
Drivers were divided after RACQ shared this graphic asking if motorbike riders were allowed to ride between traffic. Source: Facebook/RACQ

Road users made their stance on the matter clear after RACQ confirmed it was legal for motorbike riders to ride between congested lanes if they had an O class licence and travelled slower than 30km/h.

Those who criticised the rule labelled it “really dangerous”, arguing some riders weaved through traffic at speeds far greater than the 30km/h limit.

“Really dangerous when they race through at 50km/h though. In heavy traffic there is often a vehicle edging across a lane. At speeds over 30km/h there's no way they can stop,” one wrote in a comment.

“I think it's dangerous. Also a bike could scratch someone's car ... I don't think it should be allowed though,” another wrote.

“I get a fright when they rip up between the lanes because I am not expecting it,” a third said.

Others expressed they thought the rule was reasonable if riders complied with the speed limit.

“They can do this when traffic is going at a snail’s pace. I’d rather them ride up the centre of the road than sit somewhere behind,” one person wrote.

Someone else argued it was the “most ridiculous law that has ever been passed” and riders should only be allowed to pass cars down the centre if traffic was at a standstill.

Motorbike travels down the middle of a lane in busy traffic.
Lane filtering is legal across Australia, providing riders travel slower than 30km/h while doing it. Source: NSW Road Safety

“I’ve had experience of riders doing this while traffic was moving on the major motorways – putting themselves and others in danger,” they wrote.

The practice is legal in any speed zone in Queensland, so long as the rider drives no faster than 30km/h.

In Victoria, the same rule applies unless it is otherwise signed.

Lane filtering is legal in all speed zones in NSW and Tasmania, providing the rider travels slower than 30km/h, much like in South Australia and the Northern Territory.

In the ACT, lane filtering is only legal where the speed zone is less than 40km/h.

In all states except Western Australia and the ACT, lane filtering is legal in a CBD area.

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