Filtering may be allowed for bikers

Official report highlights that splitting lanes is not dangerous and eases traffic congestion

11 December 2012

MOTORBIKES filtering through traffic could be set to be legalised in France after a report for Interior Minister Manuel Valls suggested that it be allowed, under certain conditions.

Bikers and scooterists already filter through traffic queues – most notoriously and most dangerously on the Paris Périphérique and on busy motorways – but the report by prefect Régis Guyot has highlighted its usefulness in easing traffic jams and noted that there were few accidents.

Filtering is not expressly banned under any law but riding between lines of vehicles means bikers are committing three offences: Not keeping a proper distance on the road, passing on the right and changing lanes for no reason. The first two are classed as fourth-degree offences and offenders face losing three points from their licence and a €135 fine for each, and changing lanes can mean a €35 fine.

Now the report, which will be put to the Conseil National de la Sécurité Routière in February, has heard that although one in five road deaths involves a motorcyclist just 1% of fatal accidents takes place while filtering.

The motorcycle protest group Fédération Française des Motards en Colère has long campaigned that filtering – or la remontée de files - should be legalised and the government should encourage more people on to two wheels, where they take up less road-room than one person in a car.

If allowed, it will only be under certain conditions and Mr Guyot has said it should be on urban dual-carriageways but not in town. The speed differential between the bike and the other vehicles should not exceed 20kph and bikes can only filter in the left-hand zone. Flashing indicators are allowed, but not hazard lights while in motion.
Photo: S_E - Fotolia.com

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