I commute on my bike into Sydney CBD and regularly "lane filter" when cars are slow moving or have stopped.  I see other cyclists do this every day.

I am unaware of any law that allows or prohibits this behavior.  However recently, my work colleague informed me that her partner got done by Police for lane filtering - a fine of approx $246.

Would welcome any comments on the topic of lane filtering on a bicycle.

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It is illegal to filter (rule 146, driving in a single lane or line of traffic), motorcycles (only) have an exemption to this under rule 313-2

However, under rule 141, it is legal for a cyclist to overtake a vehicle on the left (and 141-1-c says any vehicle can overtake to the left of a stopped vehicle).

As clear as mud.  I 'filter' all the time through stopped traffic, if I'm pulled up for it, then I was overtaking the vehicle to my right in the same lane, officer.

ut legal to

In a three lane road, how about overtaking to the left of a stopped vehicle in the right most lane?  This would mean getting to the right of the centre lane vehicle...  

I am not sure, and as Duncan said, it seems a bit unclear. Information in the below link simply states that you may overtake on the left of stopped or slowly moving traffic, no mention i can see of which lane:


Oh dear. It seems Mr O' and I have been guilty of this one:

A cyclist must not ride a bicycle on any part of the Sydney Harbour Bridge other than the cycleway.

Anyone else?

Moi! ;)

That RMS rules guideline doesn't seem to be entirely trustworthy on footpath riding either with the last amendment passed - probably need to refer to legislation for better accuracy.

Yes with a few other SydneyCyclists but only with police escort during critical mass now sadly forbidden 

Done it at several long past Critical Masses and twice or so as bike crew for the wheelies during the Marathon

Yeh its fun riding across the harbour bridge with the wheelies

The point is to ensure you're in the right-most lane -- so you are overtaking on the left of that vehicle, not overtaking to the right of the middle-lane vehicle.

The Australian road rules don'y make much sense for cyclists - by which I mean it's evident that the people who write them have no idea about how it actually is to ride a bike on the road. Hence contradictory things like this.

It's legal to pass on the left hand side on a bike. So as Duncan says, provided you are filtering to the right of the traffic lane marking, you could argue you were passing a queue of traffic on the left.

But it's also legal to overtake another vehicle to the right, and share the lane with them. So you could equally argue if you are to the left of the lane markings, you are overtaking to the right, which it also legal.

It's not legal to ride with the bike straddling the two lanes (as per rule 146). However, it is OK to go over the line if you are changing lanes. So provided you are, from time to time, entirely to the right or the left of the line, you could argue the periods when you are over the line is when you are changing lanes, and is therefore also legal.

All of this is, of course, untested. The way to get it tested would be for your friend to take it to court. Most likely he would get a section 10 from he magistrate, as they are generally loath do make a ruling that sets a precedent for an unclear situation.

Maybe the only way to gauge this is look up how many fines were issued for a rule you may infringe when you're filtering -- failing to stay in lane, pass too close, etc.

Raw data here: http://www.revenue.nsw.gov.au/info/statistics  (http://www.revenue.nsw.gov.au/node/697/attachment/latest?filename=d...)

for 2017/18, I can't find any in that list that look like they'd be from a filtering-type offence. There's some 'not keep far left' - but that doesn't apply on multi-lane road.

I would suggest you wouldn't do the following anyway, but I guess don't filter on high-speed roads even if the traffic's stopped.

Drive in right lane on road with speed-limit over 80 km/h - bicycle rider 2
Drive in right lane where speed-limit over 80 km/h-not motor vehicle 8

Thanks Dan, very helpful.  Unfortunately my friend is Italian and has only been in Australia for a few years.  He had no capacity to argue technical details with the Police and decided to pay the fine.

Been commuting on my bike for almost a year from Frenchs Forest to Sydney CBD and no accidents or issues with Police yet (touch wood).  But knowing the rules will help if I ever get stopped by Police.


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