Motorcycle Laws (Vic)
A motorcycle rider must obey the road rules that apply to drivers but there are some rules specific to motorcycle riders. This article outlines those specific rules as they apply in Victoria.
Riders and passengers must wear a helmet that meets the standard:
- AS 16-98-1988;
- AS/NZS 1698:2006 (or later version);
- ECE 22.05 (or later version);
Any attached face shield or visor must also meet the standard specified by the helmet standard.
A motorcycle can be parked on a footpath unless there is signage stating otherwise. The motorcycle must not inconvenience, obstruct, hinder or prevent pedestrians, delivery vehicles, public transport or parked cars. It must also not be parked on Telstra pit covers or post boxes. On-street motorcycle bays are available throughout urban areas in the state.
Transit, bus and special purpose lanes
Motorcyclists are permitted to ride in a transit lane but must not ride in a lane for buses, trams, bicycles or other special vehicles, unless there is signage stating otherwise.
Carrying pillion passengers and animals
A motorcycle must not carry more than one pillion passenger, and that passenger must not be a child aged under 8 (unless the child is in a sidecar). A pillion passenger must sit behind the rider, facing forward, have a leg each side of the motorcycle and have both feet on the allocated foot pegs.
An animal must not be carried between the rider and the handlebars. An exception is made for farmers, who can ride with an animal for up to 500 metres.
Riding with others
A motorcyclist can ride beside only one other rider, and the riders must be 1.5 metres apart.
Miniature motorcycle do not meet the required standards for vehicle registration and so cannot be used on public roads or footpaths.
Lane filtering and lane splitting
Lane filtering, when a motorcyclist travels at a low speed through stopped or slow- moving traffic, is legal. The motorcyclist can travel between:
- 2 lanes of traffic travelling in the same direction as the motorcycle;
- 2 vehicles in separate lanes travelling in the same direction as the motorcycle;
- a vehicle travelling in the same direction as the motorcycle and an adjacent parked vehicle or line of parked vehicles.
Road rules state lane filtering is permitted at speeds of up to 30km/h, when it is “safe to do so”, and unless there is signage stating otherwise. Lane filtering is not permitted between a vehicle and a kerb, or in a bicycle lane.
Lane splitting, when a motorcyclist travels at a high speed between moving traffic, is illegal.
A motorcyclists faces a fine and can incur demerit points for committing an offence under the Victorian Road Safety Rules 2017. For example, a $300 fine applies when a motorcyclist fails to wear an approved helmet or fails to ensure a passenger wears an approved helmet.
Vehicle impoundment laws (“hoon laws”) apply to motorcyclists, which means police can impound a motorcycle if a rider is caught committing an offence such as excessive speeding, doing burnouts or riding while disqualified.
For advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.