Smooth transition as new laws introduced

Many motorists are still unaware of new lane filtering rules.

Many motorists are still unaware of new lane filtering rules.

SO FAR it has been a smooth introduction of new legislation that legalises lane filtering for motorbike riders throughout the state.

In July, the state government legalised lane filtering, which allows motorcyclists to legally ride between two lanes, when traffic is stationary or slow moving at a slow speed of 30 kilometres/hour.

The idea behind legalising lane filtering was to reduce traffic congestion and queuing at intersections.

Lake Illawarra LAC Highway Patrol Sergeant Nicholas Park said early indicators showed the new legislation was working, but many motorists were still unaware of the new rules.

"Highway patrol officers observe offences and we also have the option to education drivers about the correct procedures," he said.

"A lot of people are still unaware of legislation and how it works.

"So while a large part of our role is enforcement, education also plays a big role. It is very early days with lane filtering legislation and it basically formalises what a lot of motorbike riders were doing in any case."

There are strict conditions attached to lane filtering which enforce heavy fines and the loss of three demerit point for motorcyclists caught moving between traffic at over 30 kilometres/hour, under a new offence called lane splitting. It is also illegal for motorcyclists to lane filter next to a kerb, next to parked cars or in school zones.

Other road users (motorists, cyclists and pedestrians) are advised by the Roads and Maritime to "check twice" for motorcyclists and follow regular road rules.

For details on lane filtering visit roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au/stayingsafe/motorcyclists/lanefiltering/.

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