Legislative Council

QUESTION: Lane filtering rules for cyclists

March 29th, 2017

On the 29th of March, Mark asked a supplementary question to the Minister for Road Safety regarding lane filtering regulations relating to cyclists.

The Hon. M.C. PARNELL: My supplementary question is: where you have a situation where there is a dedicated right-hand turn lane, for example, and there are traffic lights and multiple lines of traffic that are stationary, is it permissible for pedal cyclists to lane filter by working their way to the head of the traffic, for example, so they can join the front of the right-hand turn queue? Just to assist the minister further, lane filtering for cyclists is already legal in the left-hand lane. When traffic is stopped at a traffic light, the bike is allowed to go up on the inside. My question is: are there other circumstances? If the minister doesn't know the answer, could he look into whether cyclists are able to lane filter in limited circumstances to help get to the head of traffic?
The Hon. P. MALINAUSKAS  (Minister for Police, Minister for Correctional Services, Minister for Emergency Services, Minister for Road Safety): My understanding is, and I will seek to confirm this for the honourable member's benefit and indeed the community at large, that alterations to the regulations that have been tabled in the parliament speak specifically to motorcyclists and not to cyclists. However, for the sake of clarity and accuracy, I will seek to take on notice the particular parts of the question the honourable member has asked.

An additional answer was provided on 2nd August 2017

Hon Peter Malinauskas MLC: I am advised that:

The changes apply to motor bike riders only. Bicycle riders can already filter, but not within the meaning of the term lane filtering as defined in the regulations.

The Honourable Member envisages cycling on a multi-lane road with one of those lanes being a dedicated right hand turn lane. A number of Australian Road Rules are relevant to this situation:
• The requirement to signal a right change of direction (rule 48).
• The requirement to drive or ride within a single marked lane or line of traffic
(rule 146).
• The prohibition on moving from one marked lane to another marked lane
across a continuous line separating the lanes (rule 147).

Unlike motor bikes, bicycle riders are already allowed to overtake on the left because the prohibition of overtaking on the left does not apply to them. Neither are they required to signal left under rule 46, because bicycles are not fitted with indicator lights, and there is nothing stopping them from sharing a lane with another vehicle. However, rules 48, 146 and 147 still apply. This means that bicycle riders are currently permitted to filter where there is enough space to overtake without leaving a marked lane or crossing a continuous line, and as long as they signal right when necessary.

Bicycle riders making a right turn also have the option of performing a hook turn at any intersection unless it's prohibited. This manoeuvre allows riders to turn right from the left hand side of the intersection, and can be particularly useful in situations where traffic is banked up and there is no room to overtake stationary vehicles to enter the right hand turn lane. Rule 35 outlines a sequence of five steps to execute a hook turn properly. Such turns are generally more appropriate than filter turns for bicycle riders who are typically unable to travel at higher speed as motor bikes if required.

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