Changes to Motorcycle Road Rules for 2015

Changes to Motorcycle Road Rules for 2015

Lane filtering along with freedom to move hands and feet whilst riding and a wider choice of Helmet designs are some of the changes to Queensland’s motorcycle road rules to be introduced in early 2015.   The reform aims to improve transport outcomes for motorcycle riders and other road uses, reducing red tape, while preserving safety outcomes.

Feedback received from a motorcycle discussion paper and online survey released earlier this year are the main cause of the changes.  More than 9000 responses were received over a 6 week period, with majority in favor of the proposed reforms. images1

Motorcycle riders have frequently asked for clarification of the rules for lane filtering and other motorcycle related issues encountered in everyday riding.  The changes to rules for motorcyclists are based on a review of the feedback received via the online survey, community feedback, road safety practices and research in other jurisdictions.

New lane filtering rules for Queensland

Commencing in early 2015, motorcycle riders with an open RE or R motorcycle licence will be allowed to move between lanes of stationary or slow moving vehicles travelling in the same direction as the rider, provided they are not travelling at more than 30km/h and it is safe to do so.

Learner and provisional riders will not be allowed to lane filter because of their relatively limited riding experience.

If done safely, lane filtering may ease traffic congestion for all road users, allowing motorcycle riders to move quickly and safely away from congested traffic.  Motorcycle riders will be prohibited from lane filtering in school zones during school hours.

New rules for controlling a motorcycle

Currently, the rider of a motorcycle that is moving or stationary but not parked must sit astride their seat facing forwards and ride with at least one hand on the handlebars. When the motorcycle is moving they must keep both feet on the footrests. These rules can cause practical difficulties for motorcycle riders.

From early 2015, these strict rules about how a motorcycle rider must sit and where they have their hands and feet will be removed, allowing motorcycle riders to, for example, remove a foot from the footrests to stretch a leg or raise themselves from the seat when riding on uneven road surfaces.

Motorcycle riders will still be required to be astride their seat, meaning that they must have one leg on either side of the seat when riding.

Penalties will continue to apply to ensure that motorcycle riders have proper control of their motorcycle, ride with due care and attention and do not operate their motorcycle dangerously.

New rules for motorcycle helmets

Currently, motorcycle riders on Queensland roads are required to wear a helmet that complies with Australian standard AS1698 or AS/NZS1698. From early 2015, the range of motorcycle helmets approved for use in Queensland will be expanded to include those complying with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) 22.05 standard.

Helmet standards elsewhere in Australia

Currently other Australian states and territories only allow helmets approved under Australian standards, although some jurisdictions are reviewing helmet standards. Motorcycle riders and passengers should be aware that after Queensland has expanded its helmet range in early 2015, it will still be an offence to wear a helmet approved under the ECE 22.05 standard when riding in other Australian states or territories.

Make sure you are aware of all the new rules, and remember these new rules are acceptable in Queensland only, you need to ensure road rules are followed in every state and territory.

 

 

Information taken from QLD Government Department of Transport & Main Roads QLD Road rules http://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/Safety/Queensland-road-rules/Motorcycle-road-rules.aspx Last updated31 October 2014

Read more about the survey and discussion by visiting http://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/Safety/Queensland-road-rules/Motorcycle-road-rules.aspx