Motorcycle Lanes

Provision of separate lanes where there are large numbers of motorcycles can reduce the potential for conflicts with larger vehicles. Motorcycle lanes can be ‘inclusive' or ‘exclusive'.

Inclusive motorcycle lanes

Inclusive motorcycle lanes are installed on the existing road and are usually located on the outside of the main carriageway for each direction of traffic flow. Motorcycle lanes may be separated from the rest of the road by painted lines or physical barriers. At intersections inclusive motorcycle lanes rejoin the main carriageway and crashes can occur.

Exclusive motorcycle lanes

Exclusive motorcycle lanes require a carriageway completely separate from that used by other vehicles. Exclusive motorcycle lanes minimise crashes at intersections.

  • Separates motorcyclists from interaction and potential conflict with larger, heavier vehicles.
  • Reduced vehicle to motorcycle crashes.
  • Can improve traffic flow if well designed.
  • Unless they are well designed, motorcycle lanes can increase motorcycle to motorcycle crashes.
  • Motorcycle lanes should be at least 1.8 meters wide (for each direction).
  • Motorcycle lanes should be at least 3.6 meters wide if overtaking is permitted.
  • Horizontal and vertical alignment must be suitable for speeds at which motorcycles will be traveling on the lane.
  • Off-ramps must be designed so that motorcyclists exiting the lane are not at risk of being hit from behind by other motorcyclists.
  • Crash barrier support posts facing the lane are a hazard and must be protected.
  • Centre line marking should be provided in lanes that are wider than 3.5 metres.
  • The surface of motorcycle lanes must be properly maintained. Because motorcycles have only two points of contact with the road, slippery or rough road surfaces are a crash risk.

Benefits

  • Separates motorcyclists from interaction and potential conflict with larger, heavier vehicles.
  • Reduced vehicle to motorcycle crashes.
  • Can improve traffic flow if well designed.

Implementation issues

  • Unless they are well designed, motorcycle lanes can increase motorcycle to motorcycle crashes.
  • Motorcycle lanes should be at least 1.8 meters wide (for each direction).
  • Motorcycle lanes should be at least 3.6 meters wide if overtaking is permitted.
  • Horizontal and vertical alignment must be suitable for speeds at which motorcycles will be traveling on the lane.
  • Off-ramps must be designed so that motorcyclists exiting the lane are not at risk of being hit from behind by other motorcyclists.
  • Crash barrier support posts facing the lane are a hazard and must be protected.
  • Centre line marking should be provided in lanes that are wider than 3.5 metres.
  • The surface of motorcycle lanes must be properly maintained. Because motorcycles have only two points of contact with the road, slippery or rough road surfaces are a crash risk.

Did you know?

In March 2010 the United Nations General Assembly resolution proclaimed a Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020.

Tell me more

Latest Case Studies

See practical examples of how deaths and serious injuries have been prevented.

Read more