The Queensland Government has raised some eyebrows in the motorcycling community by announcing lane filtering will become legal from next month.
Starting February 1, riders holding a full licence will be permitted to ride between stationary or slow-moving vehicles at speed of up to 30km/h.
The Sunshine State has copped much flak from riders over its so-called ‘bikie laws’, with some declaring the new lane filtering rules to be a sweetener to the motorcycling community on the eve of a state election.
The move follows virtually identical laws that came into force in New South Wales last year after a trial in Sydney’s CBD, and a new lane filtering trial to commence in the Australian Capital Territory; also beginning February 1.
No such trial in Queensland however, as it appears state regulators are satisfied enough with the success of the new laws from south of the border to introduce them state-wide from next month.
Queensland has also followed NSW by prohibiting lane filtering in school zones, with penalties of $341 and three demerit points for those breaking the law.
Riders are discouraged from filtering around heavy vehicles in Queensland including buses, which is illegal in NSW.
Queensland riders will also go ‘one-up’ on their NSW peers in February, as they are permitted to filter on the hard shoulder - either left or right - and in emergency breakdown lanes while giving way to cyclists on roads with speed limits of 90km/h or higher.
The 30km/h limit still applies to lane filterers on these roads, so riders should think twice before winding the throttle open and using the hard shoulder as an additional overtaking lane.
Other changes for motorcyclists from next month include the scrapping of an outdated law requiring riders to have both feet on the foot-pegs ‘at all times’ and new helmet laws.
Riders can stretch their legs or stand on the foot-pegs from February 1 but must remain facing forward with one leg either side of the vehicle.
Helmets wearing the United Nations’ Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) 22.05 sticker will also be allowed from next month but as these are not permitted be sold in Australia, anyone wanting to wear one will have to purchase it from an overseas supplier.
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