Should motorcyclists be allowed to filter through traffic during congestion, and how dangerous is it?


Since 1991, motorcyclists have been allowed to slowly drive between slow moving/stationary queues of traffic during periods of congestion (more commonly known as filtering). To encourage safe behaviour when this occurs, Motorplatform has drawn up a code of conduct during congestion for motorcyclists and drivers [19]. The code requests motorcyclists to choose an appropriate speed ( not more than 10 km/h faster than other traffic), to be alert to careless behaviour, to consider other motorcyclists, to use hazard lights when approaching or entering a traffic jam, and to use the regular traffic lane once the road is no longer congested. Drivers are also asked to be aware of motorcyclists filtering through traffic, and to take them into account.

In the Netherlands, it is unknown whether motorcyclists filtering through congested traffic leads to more crashes. A 5-year study in France shows that there was a 12% increase in the number of congestion crashes with motorcyclists on pilot routes where filtering through traffic during congestion was allowed, compared to a general decrease of 10% on the remaining road network [20]. In this study, of all the congestion crashes involving motorcycles, 90% were due to sudden lane changes by drivers and only 10% due to unchanged speeds (of the motorcycle).

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Traffic congestion and roadworks

Traffic congestion occurs when traffic demand exceeds road capacity, or when an incident such as a traffic crash, a vehicle breakdown occurs or Meer

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