New Queensland road rules for motorcycle riders

By | January 25, 2015

As a fellow motorcycle rider, I felt the need to share the information in regards to the new road rules which are commencing on February 1, 2015. Since I haven’t seen or heard of much information besides the article on the TMR site.

Lane filtering has been legal in NSW since July 1, 2014 and it was trialed for 2 months before becoming a law. There were no crashes in the two month trial. However there are a few differences for the laws here in QLD. A lot of people I have seen on Facebook are getting this confused with lane splitting, which is different, and sharing the wrong information.

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers even support the idea of lane filtering, and have pushed to get it legalised in every state in Australia. They even run an online road safety initiative Stop SMIDSY (Sorry Mate, I Didn’t See You). Jaguar/Land Rover  is working on a range of new “Bike Sense” technologies that use unconventional warnings including a “tap” on the shoulder to alert drivers of potential collisions with motorbikes and bicycles.

Lane filtering is when a motorcycle rider passes through either stopped or slow moving traffic (under 30km/h) travelling in the same direction. As with the NSW law, in QLD only Open Licence riders will legally be allowed to filter, not Learner or Provisional licence holders.

So commencing February 1, 2015 the following changes will be introduced in QLD.

  • Motorcycle riders with an Open Licence will be allowed to filter, only under 30km/h
  • Motorcycle riders will be prohibited from lane filtering in school zones during school zone hours
  • Motorcycle riders with an Open Licence will be able to ride past stationary or slow moving traffic (under 30km/h) on the shoulder or emergency stopping lane on any major roads where the speed is 90km/h or more
  • Motorcycle riders will be able to utilise the bicycle lane (the green painted section, usually near traffic lights)
  • Motorcycle riders will be allowed to remove a foot from the footrests to stretch a leg or raise themselves from the seat when riding on uneven road surfaces
  • Pillion passengers will be able to raise themselves from the seat or stretch a leg without breaking the rules
  • In QLD, helmets will now also be allowed to be ECE22.05 standard, along with the current AS1698 or AS/NZS1698

I personally like the option to utilise the green bicycle lane (that way I don’t have to ride between vehicles). It is usually further forward than where the cars stop too. The other bonus is the ECE22.05 standard for helmets, meaning cheaper helmets from overseas. You won’t be able to walk into a brick & mortar shop to buy one though, because helmets sold within Australia have to comply to AS1698 or AS/NZS1698.

Until every state within Australia aligns the laws, if you have a ECE22.05 helmet and ride outside of QLD you could still be fined for not having a helmet that complies with AS1698 or AS/NZS1698.

The penalties for filtering above 30km/h or in a school zone during school hours will be an on-the-spot fine of $341 and 3 demerit points. There will be a maximum penalty of $2277 if the matter goes before a court.