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Lane-Splitting in Australia.

Posted on March 10, 2013, in Motorcycling, Law, Road Rules

The subject of lane-splitting on a motorcycle often comes up in discussion. In Australia, the legality of lane-splitting is not absolute. For example, under some circumstances, such as two (or even three) motorcycles sharing a lane, this manouvre may be legal (further specifics apply). Under some other circumstances, lane-splitting is illegal.

Below are verbatim excerpts of Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995; Transport Operations (Road Use Management-Road Rules) Regulation 1999 that are relevant to lane-splitting. The name of this legislation is sometimes abbreviated to TORUM. TORUM applies to the state of Queensland and is derived from the Australian Road Rules (ARR).

Other Australian state and territory road use legislation is also derived from the ARR. Although these sections have been excerpted directly from TORUM, they can also be found in the ARR (under the same sections) and also in the road use legislation for each Australian state/territory.

141 No overtaking etc to the left of a vehicle

  1. A driver (except the rider of a bicycle) must not overtake a vehicle to the left of the vehicle unless–
  2. The rider of a bicycle must not ride past, or overtake, to the left of a vehicle that is turning left and is giving a left change of direction signal.
  3. In this section–

142 No overtaking to the right of a vehicle turning right etc

  1. A driver must not overtake to the right of a vehicle if the vehicle is–
  2. In this section–

146 Driving within a single marked lane or line of traffic

  1. A driver on a multi-lane road must drive so the driver’s vehicle is completely in a marked lane, unless the driver is–
  2. A driver on a road with 2 or more lines of traffic travelling in the same direction as the driver, but without marked lanes, must drive so the driver’s vehicle is completely in a single line of traffic unless–

147 Moving from 1 marked lane to another marked lane across a continuous line separating the lanes

A driver on a multi-lane road must not move from 1 marked lane to another marked lane by crossing a continuous line separating the lanes unless–

150 Driving on or across a continuous white edge line

  1. A driver must not drive on or over a continuous white edge line on a road unless the driver is–
  2. This section does not apply to the rider of a bicycle or animal.

151 Riding a motor bike or bicycle alongside more than 1 other rider

  1. The rider of a motor bike or bicycle must not ride on a road that is not a multi-lane road alongside more than 1 other rider, unless subsection (3) applies to the rider.
  2. The rider of a motor bike or bicycle must not ride in a marked lane alongside more than 1 other rider in the marked lane, unless subsection (3) applies to the rider.
  3. The rider of a motor bike or bicycle may ride alongside more than 1 other rider if the rider is overtaking the other riders.
  4. If the rider of a motor bike or bicycle is riding on a road that is not a multi-lane road alongside another rider, or in a marked lane alongside another rider in the marked lane, the rider must ride not over 1.5 m from the other rider.
  5. In this section–