Drivers’ attitudes and knowledge regarding motorcycle lane filtering practices
Keywords: Motorcycles and Scooters
Lane filtering occurs when a motorcyclist moves alongside stationary or slow-moving vehicles, with the motorcyclist sharing the lane or travelling between lanes. The practice is illegal in most Australian jurisdictions, but was legalised in New South Wales in 2014. In February 2015, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) commenced a two-year lane filtering trial. Prior to this, during December 2014 and January 2015, we independently surveyed 249 drivers (132 male, 117 female) aged 16-82 years (M = 41.4, SD = 14.5) regarding their attitudes towards and knowledge of lane filtering. Most drivers (61%) reported witnessing motorcyclists lane filtering at least once per week. Many drivers (28%) mistakenly believed lane filtering was already legal in the ACT, but 70% believed it should be illegal. Drivers were significantly more likely to agree lane filtering should be legal if they believed it was already legal (OR 4.67), rode a PTW themselves (OR 4.87), or were older (OR 1.03). Reasons for endorsing lane filtering varied, but included: easing traffic congestion; improving safety; personal freedom; and difficulty enforcing lane filtering prohibitions. Reasons for opposing lane filtering primarily related to safety concerns and drivers’ difficulties in perceiving motorcycles (e.g., in blind spots). Our results provide a baseline understanding of drivers’ attitudes towards lane filtering, which can be used as a starting point for raising public awareness about lane filtering and motorcycle safety.