About Lane Filter BC

What are we about?

Lane Filter BC is a group of dedicated volunteers working towards the adoption of lane filtering in British Columbia in order to increase road user safety and road use efficiency while decreasing the cost of living for British Columbians and reducing carbon emissions. 

What is lane filtering?

Lane filtering is a term that refers to allowing motorcycles to use the space between lanes of slow-moving or stopped vehicle traffic. It is common practice across Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and Africa. A similar practice, known as lane splitting (essentially lane filtering, without speed regulation) is practiced in California, while lane filtering laws are currently being considered by Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, and Montana.

How could it possibly be safer?

Lane filtering allows riders to pro-actively avoid the most common accident on our roads today: Getting rear ended in heavy traffic. As distracted driving rates continue to climb in BC, the rate of serious, injury-inducing rear-end collisions is also climbing. According to statistical analysis of three years' worth of accident data in Europe, lane filtering reduces the chance of a rider being involved in an accident by a factor of six, while a study conducted by UC Berkeley also found lane filtering significantly reduced the chances of injury.

Does it only benefit riders?

No. A study conducted in Belgium found that if just 10% of commuters use two-wheeled powered transportation (scooters or motorcycles) the overall travel time for all road users was reduced by 63% while carbon emissions dropped by 6%.

How does it increase affordability?

Transportation is one of the largest expenses many British Columbians must bear. While increased bridge tolls, inflated ICBC rates, taxes on fuel, and vehicle cost can be reduced by using car share programs or public transit, many British Columbians are forced to use personal vehicles as rising home prices push them beyond the reasonable reach of the GVRD's rapid transit system. By incentivizing the transition to a European model of road use that incorporates more two-wheeled powered vehicles, the cost of living can be dramatically reduced, as commuters from suburban areas can still rely on personal transportation in the form of a scooter or motorcycle when required and pair that with a car share membership or public transit during inclement weather or for simple convenience. Motorcycles and scooters are much more fuel efficient, cost less to maintain and insure, and occupy less parking space in dense urban environs. 


  • Latest from the blog

    The Province Reports on Lane Filtering

    LFBC published an op-ed column in The Province newspaper expounding the virtues of lane filtering. The link is available here and the text follows:  Due to the rise in rear-end collisions resulting in injury, B.C. needs to institute the same lane-filtering laws implemented by Australian and European governments, allowing motorcyclists and scooter riders to occupy the space between lanes of slow-moving (25 km/h or less), or stopped traffic, at a speed only marginally faster than traffic is moving.
    read more

    CBC Coverage of LFBC Efforts

    We recently chatted with Jim Brown from the CBC's The 180 show, and discussed both the pros and cons of lane filtering, as well as addressed some of the typical concerns and misconceptions many motorists have about lane filtering in practice. Both the audio and an accompanying article are available on the CBC website here.  We'd like to thank Jim and his team for taking time out of their day to chat with us, and hope you'll all do the same!
    read more
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  • commented 2017-10-19 01:14:34 -0700
    Going over the MAIDS report and finding Tables 4.5 and 4.6 interesting something called Traffic-scan Error. The vast difference of Traffic-scan error between PTW (Powered Two Wheelers) and OV (Other Vehicles) reveals other vehicle drivers lack of traffic scanning was present and contributed to accidents with motorcycles.

    PTW (Powered two wheeler):

    Traffic scan error was present and contributed to accident causation in 27.7% of the cases studied.

    OV (Other vehicles)

    Traffic scan error was present and contributed to accident causation in 62.9% of the cases studied.

    To me this is an extremely damning fact as it appears to show how unsafe it is already for motorcyclists due to the high percentage of traffic scan error by other vehicle drivers and I am not sure why governments have neglected to act on this. However, more than a 1/4 of these accidents are due to traffic scan errors of motorcyclists, not good. We can all do better.

    If folks are so concerned about the safety of lane filtering for motorcyclists perhaps they need to focus their attention on preventing and drastically reducing avoidable accidents causing serious injury and death already occurring on our roads due to sloppy and inattentive driving and riding. The small percentage of lane filtering accidents in the UK pales compared to the percentage of accidents caused by PTW riders and OV driver’s traffic scan errors. We need to get together with motorists, cyclists and pedestrians to make our roads safer for everyone. More awareness and attentiveness as well as an understanding that we all share the road would make it safer for lane filtering, walking across streets and cycling.

    Most of us own “other vehicles” other than our motorcycles, we are motorists and motorcyclists in this province and I think it’s important for us to recognized this when discussing the merits or demerits of lane filtering. No driver wants to hit a motorcyclist or pedestrian or cyclist. We all need to do more and those who are resisting a very conservative approach to lane filtering, tame compared to Europe and the UK, there is a way to make it safer. We all need to pay more attention and wake up. The road has risks for all of us.

    Soapbox done. My apologies.
  • commented 2017-10-18 18:51:08 -0700
    I wish there was more organization behind this, most of us are left in the dark about what’s happening, not really given any direction for how we can help except write our MLA’s but really there needs to more concerted focus effort for the tens of thousands of motorcyclists to be put to good use. Many talents and contacts out there that could put this issue on the front burner of lawmakers so to speak. One suggestion is for those who are organizing this to create an “ACTIONS TO TAKE” link to this website with clear directions and materials to use.

    Looking at the MAIDS study…less than 1/2% of motorcycle accidents in Europe are attributed to lane sharing…to make a comparison it would be good to know what is the percentage of accidents attributed to motorcycle rear end collisions. Anyone know this stat?

    I found another interesting item in the Oregon State review of lane sharing literature/research. Since travel times are reduced when lane sharing is in place it may encourage others to conduct their commute by motorcycle rather than by their car/truck reducing pressure on the roads and reducing the need for more infrastructure. More motorcycles replacing larger 4 wheeled vehicles can also relieve pressure on limited parking in urban centres. I’m sure this would be welcomed news to merchants in these centres where the public is discouraged from entering due to a lack of parking and/or the cost.

    I think it’s also good to note that a vast majority of motorcyclists also drive cars/trucks so we have a unique perspective on both modes of transportation.

    Motorcyclists can also share their ideas on how creatively lane sharing/filtering can be introduced in BC ie education and understanding.

    I like the idea of implementing lane filtering in incremental steps so motorists and motorcyclists can gain experience. Would motorcyclists require additional education about how and when to lane filter and the potential safety issues from lane filtering and have to pass a multiple-choice test at the MV office and gain a Class 6+ on their motorcycle license along with a license plate decal in order to lane filter in order to overcome the entrenched objections by MOT and lawmakers? Phew, that’s a run-on sentence if I ever wrote one!

    For most of us the riding season is coming to an end but if you’re like me my interest doesn’t. It’s probably the best time to get motorcyclists involved.

    Some thoughts…thanks for the opportunity to share.

    (PS – Is there a way for cell phone mfgs and app developers to restrict cell usage when someone is sitting in a drivers seat before the ignition can be engaged? Something like how passenger air bags are automatically disengaged when someone lighter than a certain weight is sitting in it or when someone is required to use a breathalyzer before the car can be started? Just another thought to get cell phones out of the hands of motorists while driving!
  • commented 2017-08-17 11:27:49 -0700
    I’ve ridden since 1976. I’ve also traveled extensively and have seen filtering work in so many countries.

    But there is a cultural component to this as well. Motorcycle and scooter riding in other countries is seen largely as practical transportation.

    In North America, riding has a huge image and ego component. There is a self riotous arrogance that has created an us and them mentality, that is the bikers vs the cagers. It’s a phony bravado that needs to change if filtering is to be successful.

    The weekend 2 wheeled road warrior who steps away from the accounting department and goes looking for side mirrors to smash if they get crowded in traffic needs to change their riding attitude.

    And drivers have to let go that m/cs can’t have an advantage in traffic over cars despite the obvious benefit of smaller size and maneuverability.

    I’ve started filtering in the spring of this year (2017) on Highway 1 east of Vancouver during peak traffic volumes and traffic incidences. The bike is wide so I don’t run between the lanes as I’m sure it might startle unwitting drivers. I roll the left median (at about 15 kms above the 30-40 km traffic speed) where there should be no reason of a car occupying it. I have yet to encounter any resistance from drivers and I do this route once per week.

    Riders simply need to start filtering. But we need to do it in a responsible, adult manner without wearing any self riotous attitude badges pinned to our jackets.

    Just do it. If the space is tight, don’t do it. Thank drivers with a wave or a nod if they provide space.

    The practicality of filtering is perfectly clear. But the rider/driver mentality fuzzifies the issue. Too bad.

    See you in the left median!
  • commented 2017-06-29 21:43:43 -0700
    Keep up the good work!

    I’ve written to my MLA a couple of times on this safety initiative – John Horgan MLA – His office actually came back to me and asked for further information, so I provided them with reference materials by way of the links on this website.

    See Reference Materials at: https://lanefilterbc.nationbuilder.com/reference_materials

    regards
    James
  • commented 2017-06-10 06:34:27 -0700 · Flag
    This is a great solution for traffic jams. Especially when it is hot out. They’ve been doing this procedure in California for years. So what’s the problem ? None !!!
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-06-09 11:46:51 -0700
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