After a successful two-month trial conducted last year, Australia’s state of New South Wales (NSW) has recently decided to allow filtering on its roads beginning in July.
Regulators cite decreased incidences of rear-end collisions, decreased traffic congestion, and just plain common sense as justifications for the law change, and the new law will establish a 30 km/h threshold for motorists intending to split lanes.
Riding a motorcycle without the option to split lanes is like driving a car that is a 1/6th the size, has no airbags or crash protection, is harder to operate at low speeds, offers no protection from the elements, and is itching to kill you at any moment.
Also known as “filtering” in other parts of the world, this practice makes a two-wheeled vehicle a practical and viable alternative to four-wheeled transportation.
Unfortunately, not every rider in the world enjoys the legal freedom to cut through queued vehicles or crawling traffic (even then, many valiant outlaws will still do it). Basically, their governments have relegated their machine to purely recreational duties or a über – dangerous means of conventional (read: mind-numbing) transport.
So, when ignorant bureaucrats eventually come to their senses about the realities and benefits of filtering, as riders we can congratulate our fellow riders while reluctantly patting the receding hairlines of those enlightened policy-makers.
Riders of New South Wales, congrats on your forthcoming formal freedom to begin the splitting in July. To the New South Wales government: it was about time and we hope you can serve as an example to the rest of the states in your country as well as 49 states in the US.
One critique: the 30 km/h filtering threshold that roads minister Duncan Gay and his administrators have set is woefully low. The California CHP guidelines are far more realistic and accommodative. Thanks for the tip Ian!