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When is it okay for motorcyclists to travel between lanes?

Generally, drivers and riders are required to stick to one marked lane when travelling along a multilane road, unless of course they are entering a road, changing lanes or...

Zoe Whetham

Generally, drivers and riders are required to stick to one marked lane when travelling along a multilane road, unless of course they are entering a road, changing lanes or avoiding an obstruction. Under some conditions, however, motorcyclists are permitted to ‘filter’ between lanes.

What is lane filtering?

Lane filtering is when a motorbike is ridden between two marked lanes, where vehicles in both lanes are travelling in the same direction as the rider. Under Rule 313 of the Road Rules 2014 it is legal to lane filter if:

  • You are on an unrestricted motorcycle licence
  • You are going at less than 30km/hr
  • You are not in a school zone during school zone hours
  • It is safe to do so

If one these circumstances does not apply, lane filtering could lead to a penalty of $2,200 and three demerit points.

What is the difference between lane filtering and lane splitting?

Lane splitting is when the rider is travelling between a moving vehicle, travelling in the same direction and a parked vehicle or the kerb.  Lane splitting also includes situations where the rider is traveling over 30km/hr when lane filtering. This is an offence under the Road Rules and can also lead to a penalty of up to $2,200.

Transport for NSW provides a visual demonstration of these rules in this video.

If you have been charged with lane splitting, contact one of our criminal and traffic law specialists on (02) 9025 9888 for further information.