New Lane Filtering Laws for Western Australia to Come in to Effect 29th March 2021
Lane filtering and lane splitting have always been a bit of a grey area in Western Australian traffic laws. No official regulations explicitly covered either and as long as you didn’t do anything stupid then you mostly got a free pass from the police.
The Motorcycle Riders Association of Western Australia (MRAWA) has been pushing for legal “lane filtering” since 2011.
Unfortunately, we now have official legislation on lane filtering and it is not quite what they were aiming for… Excerpt below:
“We have […] received a letter from the Minister for Police and Road Safety informing us that the legislation has been drafted.
We have carried out research into the wording of the legislation and this is what the legislation states –
- The maximum speed a motorcycle is allowed to travel at when lane filtering is 30 km/hr.
- The penalty for noncompliance is $100.00 fine and the 2 demerit points.
- Learner riders cannot lane filter.
- Only two wheel motorcycle can lane filter not sidecars or trikes (pretty obvious)
- Not allowed at school or pedestrian crossings, or in a school zone.
- Not allowed between a heavy vehicle.
- If it is not safe to do so safely.
The surprise is it is not allowed on our freeways. ( NOTE: THIS HAS NOW BEEN REVERSED)
We have contacted the Road Safety Commission asking to the reasons behind this and have received a reply that it is not seen as safe. We will continue to argue this point and hope that we can get this section altered in the future, I for one don’t want to be forced to sit on a stationary motorbike on the freeway when it is 40 degrees Celsius and I am wearing all my safety gear. I believe this would be far more dangerous than lane filtering at 30km/hr.
These changes have been published in the Government Gazette(regulation 130A and 130B) and will become law on 29th March 2021″
This will be a huge blow for anyone who commutes in a motorcycle via the freeway or any route frequented by heavy vehicles. Under the new laws you are liable to receive a $100 fine and 2 demerit points for lane splitting in such situations.
The new laws come in to effect on the 29th of March 2021
The MRA and Road Safety Commission (RSC) have received a barrage of complaints for perceived interference with trying to make something legal that wasn’t illegal to begin with.
The MRA response can be found here: https://mrawa.org/general-news/update-regarding-lane-filtering/
With the dust still settling from recent election, there will be no alterations any time soon. The MRA have stated they will continue to push for the removal of the freeway exclusion and heavy vehicle stipulation.
Hopefully the traffic police allow some leeway as the communication of the changes out to riders has been lacking as usual and several riders have already reported interactions with police who mistakenly believe the new laws are already in effect.
If you would like to express your thoughts on the new laws, please send emails to the Road Safety Commission and the Minister:
email : firstname.lastname@example.org