‘Lane-splitting’ blamed for crash disaster
A MALE motorcyclist has lost his life in a nasty crash with a B-double, shutting down all city-bound lanes of the Monash Freeway during this morning's peak.
The death is the fourth on Victorian roads in less than 24 hours.
Emergency services rushed to the scene near the Blackburn Rd exit, Mt Waverley, at 8am and the freeway was soon closed.
Assistant Commissioner Stephen Leane said while the cause of the crash was being investigated, he understood the motorcyclist had been 'lane splitting'.
"Sadly we've had a motorcycle who was running in-between the lanes, lane splitting. Now, we're not sure about whether speed was an issue but obviously it's a high-speed road ... Sadly (he's) collected one car on one side and then ended up underneath a B-Double truck and has now lost his life," he told 3AW.
"The advice from my people on the scene is... he's tracking in-between the lanes. We're still doing some reconstruction work to try to understand it ... But either way he's taken a dangerous manoeuvre in high traffic, run the risk and he's lost his life today."
Assistant Commissioner Leane said while lane filtering was a high-risk manoeuvre on the road, it was legal.
"I've had deputations from motorcycle riders who say that if you do it carefully and cautiously and in the right place, it's quite reasonable and it moves the traffic through," he said.
"And I think in the CBD or, you know the CBD of Melbourne or the business centre around regional Victoria, it makes a lot of sense. Whether the Monash is the right place or not, let's think that through after today."
Inbound delays are pushing back to Eastlink.
The Monash Fwy is expected to be closed until lunchtime.
So far this year 32 people have died on the roads - 10 more than the same time last year.
Police are yet to formally identify the rider.
Chris Miller of VicRoads says there are reports of drivers using emergency lanes and not obeying overhead signs as they try to make their way into the city.
"We just ask people to respect what's going on," Mr Miller told the Neil Mitchell program.
Mr Miller said drivers heading outbound were witnessing distressing scenes as they passed the accident site.
Local highway patrol officers, paramedics, firefighters and VicRoads are at the scene.
VicRoads said delays were building very quickly, and drivers were told to take their nearest exit and use the Princes Highway to get into the city.
Drivers should obey all overhead signs.
Any witnesses or anyone with dashcam footage is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report online at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au