Motorcycle lane filtering laws 'won't ease congestion'

The new motorcycle lane filtering laws probably won’t have much affect on traffic, according to Trevor Jordan.

In July, the NSW government legalised lane filtering - a practice many motorcyclists had been doing illegally for years.

Essentially, the laws allow motorcyclists to ride between two lanes of traffic, as long as the vehicles are stopped or travelling slower than 30km/h.

Travel at speeds faster than 30km/h - known as lane splitting - is illegal and attracts a fine and loss of demerit points.

Trevor Jordan. Picture: GREG TOTMAN

Trevor Jordan. Picture: GREG TOTMAN

The laws were put in place after a trial in 2012 found while the number of motorcycles is too low to cause traffic congestion, removing them from traffic queues could result in benefits at busy intersections.

A former professional racer and now owner of Trevor Jordan Motorcycles, Mr Jordan admitted he’d been lane filtering before it was made legal in July.

Aside from perhaps allowing a motorcyclist to get to their destination a little bit earlier, he doubted the laws would have much of an effect on reducing traffic congestion.

‘‘We don’t have enough motorcyclists to cause traffic jams,’’ Mr Jordan said.

‘‘If  a motorbike is back in traffic a little bit I don’t think it’s much of a problem.’’

Still, he felt there was no harm in legalising the practice, which he felt was safe as long as motorists didn’t open their door in traffic.

‘‘I suppose there’s nothing really wrong with it,’’ he said.

‘‘I do it all the time myself. At traffic lights when people are stopped, I don’t see any problems with it but doing it at speed is, I think, totally wrong.’’

Legal or not, Mr Jordan admitted motorists might not enjoy seeing a motorcyclists pass them and get to the front of the queue, as it were.

‘‘I think they still get annoyed at it,’’ he laughed. ‘‘Yeah, they don’t like it.’’


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