Nine out of Ten Motorists are Clueless About Transit Lanes

June 2011

Recent research by Budget Direct shows that on average, more than 87% of motorists don’t know what distance they are legally permitted to drive in a transit lane before making a turn, while a further 27% are confused about who can actually travel in a transit lane.

Low cost insurance provider Budget Direct commissioned the independent online research, surveying more than 1,200 motorists about the use of transit lanes, with 35% of respondents claiming transit lanes are a waste of time and do nothing to ease traffic congestion.

Spokesperson for Budget Direct Richelle Ward said the majority of motorists also claim to never travel illegally in a transit lane, a claim Budget Direct questions due to respondent’s poor understanding of the rules.

“Budget Direct is dedicated to motorists’ safety and are concerned their lack of knowledge surrounding transit lanes could result in unnecessary fines and an increase of road incidents.

“We are calling for further public education on transit lane use to help eliminate the confusion surrounding transit lanes,” Ms Ward said.

On 24 March 2011, the Queensland Government extended a transit lane trial until 31 March 2012. The trial which was originally introduced in May 2010, gives traffic inspectors the power to issue $100 infringement notices for the incorrect use of transit lanes.

While in Sydney, the RTA’s 2010 annual report does allocate some funding to transit lanes under the Bus Priority Infrastructure program, but the report shows an actual reduction in the length of transit lanes due to lane conversion and upgrades.

In Melbourne, even though criticism still surrounds the use of transit lanes, 44% of motorists believe they do work and there should be more of them.

“Whether motorists are frustrated due to lack of enforcement or the irritation surrounding those blatantly using transit lanes illegally, motorists need to be aware of the rules or risk heavy fines,” Ms Ward said.

The research also shows it’s not just Brisbane motorists who are clueless about transit lanes. When questioned about the legal distance they can drive in a transit lane before making a turn 93% of Melbourne drivers answered incorrectly, 88% of Brisbane didn’t know the correct response, while Sydney motorists claimed to have the best understanding of the rules, with 16% answering correctly.

Know the rules when using transit lanes:

  • Motorists can travel in a transit lane for up to 100 meters to enter or exit a roadway, make a turn, or avoid an obstruction

  • It is an offence for a car to drive in a transit lane without the specified minimum number of people in the vehicle

  • Incorrect use of Transit lanes will incur a penalty of between $100 and $200

  • Who can legally use a transit lane?

  • T2 lanes - motorbikes, bicycles, public transport and vehicles with two or more people

  • T3 lanes - motorbikes, bicycles, public transport and vehicles with three or more people

About Budget Direct

A&G’s signature brand Budget Direct is fast approaching 10 years in operation as one of Australia’s leading insurance providers.

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For further information or interviews please contact Jonathan Kerr, Director, Marketing & Digital, Budget Direct (Auto & General) at 07 3377 8801 or

Budget Direct was established as an insurance provider in Australia in 2000.  It is part of the international BHL Group of companies headquartered in the British Isles. The group provides more than 6.8 million policies to insurance customers and administers $2 billion in premiums annually. Budget Direct offers Motor, Home & Contents, Health, Life and Travel Insurance as well as Roadside Assistance.