Bikers fight lane splitting ban
Bikers have called on the National Transport Commission (NTC) not to implement a proposed ban on lane splitting by motorcyclists, saying it would increase congestion and accidents.
In lane splitting, a motorcycle rider exploits their limited space requirements to manoeuvre their bike through stationary or slow moving traffic.
The NTC had received 59 submissions so far in regard to the proposed changes to the Australian Road Regulations outlawing the practice.
The Motorcycle Riders Association of Australia (MRAA) said no submission to date had been in favour.
The MRAA's John Karmouche said there was no evidence that this practice was unsafe, based on available research and statistics.
"Some of the anti-lane filtering approach by regulators appears to stem from an attitude that motorcyclists should wait their turn and be treated like other traffic," Mr Karmouche said.
"Numerous overseas jurisdictions have either explicitly moved to legalise lane splitting or are in the process of doing so.
"Among the jurisdictions are the UK and the Netherlands which have produced sensible guidelines for the practice.
"California has legalised lane splitting at all legal speeds on freeways and their experience has shown that there are no specific safety issues involved."
Mr Karmouche said The Hurt Report, produced by the University of Southern California Traffic Safety Centre in 1981, found there was an improved margin of safety for motorcyclists when filtering through traffic.
"The Hurt Report found the ability to filter between lines of traffic effectively prevents motorcyclists being rear ended, which was a major cause of accidents in traffic."
He also cited the Oxford Systematics report produced by VicRoads, in Victoria, which found "that no examples have yet been located where such filtering has yet been the cause of an accident."