Motor Vehicle

Life in the Fast Lane – Motorcyclists and Lane Filtering in Queensland

Uncertainty regarding lane filtering can cause car accidents which injury both motorcyclists and car operators. According to the Motor Accident Insurance Commission (‘MAIC’), motorcyclists are
involved in approximately 5,000 car accidents per year, making it increasingly important for motorcyclists, as well as other road users, to understand the law surrounding law filtering. 1

What is Lane Filtering in Queensland

‘Lane filtering’ is occurs when a motorcyclists or motorised scooter operator travels through stopped or slowed-down traffic. Lane filtering is legal when a motorcyclist:

  • Is on their open licence;
  • Is travelling at less than 30km/hour; and
  • Is travelling in the same direction as the traffic.

Importantly, lane filtering is only legal in Queensland when it is safe to do so. If traffic is backed up due to a car accident, motorcyclists will need to consider all the circumstances when deciding whether or not it is safe to filter. These considerations include:

  • Is there any debris on the road from a car accident?
  • Are emergency services trying to make their way to the car accident?
  • Has the car accident required police to cordon off lanes or shoulders of the road or highway?
  • Are there any other car accident-related hazards?

When a motorcyclist travels at a speed greater than 30km/hour, it is called Lane splitting. Lane splitting is illegal in all Australian states and territories.

Circumstances where motorcyclists aren’t allowed to lane filter include:

  • When a motorcyclist is on a provisional or learner licence;
  • In bicycle lanes;
  • Between the kerb and other cars;
  • Into oncoming traffic;
  • In school zones during school hours

Lane filtering laws vary from state to state in Australia.

‘Speed Zones’ on Highways, Freeways and Motorways

In Queensland, motorcyclists are allowed to ride on road shoulders and in emergency stopping lanes on highways, freeways and motorways if:

  • The speed limit is 90km/hour or more;
  • The speed of the motorcycle does not exceed 30km/hr;
  • It is safe to lane filter;
  • The motorcyclists givesway to bicycle riders and other motorcycle riders using the shoulder;
  • The motorcyclist does not ride on unsealed parts of the road;
  • There are no roadworks;
  • The motorcyclist is not in a tunnel.

More information on lane filtering can be found on the Queensland Government website –,it’s%20safe%20to%20do%20so.

Personal Injury Claims

At Claimwise our mission is to help you save money on your legal fees. By starting your CTP claim with a traditional ‘No Win, No Fee’ law firm your total legal fees can end up being $10,000 or more higher than by using us.

If you or someone you know have been injured on the road in Queensland and want to keep your legal costs down, feel free to get in touch with us.

Be smart, claim wise.

Published by on