Carole Nash
Content Writer
Published: 12th July 2019

Filtering on a motorcycle or scooter brings one of the biggest advantages over cars, especially when using two-wheels on a regular basis to get to and from work, as it can save huge amounts of time and work to reduce overall congestion.

There are some riders who aren’t keen to filter (or lane splitting, as our American cousins call it) through stationary traffic and there are lots of car drivers who wrongly think it’s illegal.

The IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standard, Richard Gladman, has issued some advice about how to filter through traffic safely on a motorcycle.

No matter what your level of riding experience, there may well be something you can learn from a quick read. Mr. Gladman’s tips are:

  • Only filter when the surrounding traffic is moving at less than 20mph, and then only exceed that speed yourself by 10 to 15mph maximum (if safe and legal to do so).
  • Scan for side turnings and entrances to both sides of the road and try to keep a car door’s width away from the vehicle you are passing.
  • Obey all ‘keep left’ bollards and also be aware that temporarily stationary vehicles at traffic lights, pedestrian crossings are not classed as parked for the purposes of solid white lines, and therefore you cannot cross a solid white line to filter.
  • Can you see the driver’s face through the window or wing mirrors? Do they look like they’re about to pull out? Always look for evidence the driver has seen you and comprehends that you are passing them.
  • When filtering to the right side, consider using the ‘stepping stone’ method. While you don’t actually have to move into the spaces, consider which one would be suitable.

If you’ve got a filtering tip you’d like to share with other motorcycle and scooter riders then let us know at the Insidebikes Facebook page.