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Legally allowed to lane split

INNER-city traffic congestion would be instantly eased if motorcycle and scooter riders are legally allowed to lane split, a national safety and road use campaign claims.

Also known as "filtering", the practice would allow Australia's 700,000 motorcycle users to go between cars which are stopped or moving slowly.

State government's are being urged to adopt the practice under the campaign entitled "Stop SMIDSY (Sorry-mate-I-didn't-see-you)''.

"Filtering makes sense. Road authorities around the world are at last recognising the positive contribution of motorcycle and scooter use in relieving congestion," said Shaun Lennard, Chairman Australian Motorcycle Council.

"It's time Australia adopted it too.

"I've seen filtering in action across the world - in Europe, Asia and South America. As well as relieving congestion, there are safety benefits for riders too."

Law firm Maurice Blackburn is supporting the online campaign as a safety measure.

There is already strong evidence from Europe that shows that its six times more dangerous for riders stuck behind stationary vehicles than it is for those allowed to filter through queuing traffic," said the firm's John Voyage.

Lane filtering, or lane sharing, is common in Europe and Japan but is restricted to only a few states, such as California, in America.

A trial has already taken place in Sydney earlier this year.

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