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Riding by the rules

Knowing the rules and riding by them is important for the safety of every road user, especially motorcyclists.

Rules help keep you safe

Road rules are there for a reason, even if some of them seem not to have been designed with motorcycles in mind. We’re more vulnerable than many other road users, so respecting the rules and encouraging good behaviour is in our best interests.

Courtesy goes a long way too, so if a driver extends a bit of cooperation be sure to thank them with a wave or nod.

Image of motorcyclists on busy roadFiltering and lane-splitting

It’s the rule we get asked about more than any other, mainly ‘Is it legal?’ 

The answer is, it can be. Depending on how you do it. 

Image of motorcyclists on busy roadLet’s start with speed. There’s no speed limit for filtering set in legislation, nor any limit on the differential between your speed and vehicles you might be passing. But weaving through lines of vehicles at a much faster speed is unwise, dangerous and liable to anger other road users. Not only should you expect to be pulled over by police for such behaviour, they could consider prosecuting you for careless, or even reckless or dangerous, driving.

If you’re going to filter or lane split, keep your speed below 15km/h faster than the traffic and take extreme care. 

Remember – If you're filtering keep your speed down to no more than15km/h faster than other traffic.

Other tips to keep you legal and safe 

  • If you’re overtaking on the right on the approach to a junction, don’t cross over any solid white line. Make sure you can get back into your lane without cutting off any other vehicle or impeding oncoming traffic
  • If overtaking between two lanes of traffic travelling in the same direction, make sure drivers have seen your approach. While the road code states drivers should keep as far left in their lane as possible this seldom happens. Make sure you always have space to move into and use it to keep as far away from other vehicles as you can. Again, keep your speed down
  • Flush medians aren’t for overtaking. You may overtake in the lane you are travelling in. Again, drivers should stay left but seldom do
  • Avoid overtaking on the kerbside. Drivers rarely expect it and may move left or turn in without warning.