Motorcycle Lane Splitting


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Lane splitting, or filtering, can be a controversial and confusing topic from state to state. This page is designed to dispel some of the myths, present where you can do it, and how to do it safely.

What is Lane Splitting?

Lane splitting describes when motorcycles move between other traffic or in the same lane as other traffic when traffic is stopped or slowed considerably.

Since motorcycles are small and maneuverable, there is often plenty of space for them to move between cars when traffic is stopped.

Numerous studies and research since the permission of lane splitting in California have actually shown that it creates a safer environment for motorcyclists when done responsibly.

Lane splitting can:

  • Reduce traffic congestion.
  • Provide motorcyclists with more “escape routes.”

Filtering and lane splitting is common practice pretty much everywhere motorcycles and scooters are popular aside from the United States.

Tips for Lane Splitting Safely

In places where lane splitting is allowed, it is important to do it safely and responsibly. Some tips for lane splitting safely include:

  • Only doing it when you have enough room.
  • Avoid lane splitting at high speeds.
  • Avoid riding excessively faster than stopped or slowed traffic when lane splitting.
  • Splitting between the far left lanes.
  • Not splitting next to large vehicles like trucks, buses, or RVs.
  • Keeping yourself visible.

Is Lane Splitting Legal?

In the U.S. the legality of lane splitty varies from state to state.


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Some have laws that specifically allow it, others have pending legislation, some have no laws, and others make it illegal.

Lane Splitting Legal States

Lane splitting is officially permitted in:

  • California.
  • Utah.

In Utah, the lane filtering law states that it can be done:

  • Only on roads with speeds limits of 45 mph or less.
  • Only when the road has 2 or more lanes.
  • Only when other traffic is stopped.
  • At no more than 15 mph.
  • Only when it can be done safely.

Hawaii allows for motorcycles to use the shoulder when traffic is stopped.

States with Pending Legislation on Lane Splitting

There is pending legislation for lane splitting in the following states:

  • Connecticut.
  • Maryland.
  • Oregon.
  • Washington.

States with No Laws on Lane Splitting

State where lane splitting is not mentioned in law include:

  • Arkansas.
  • Delaware.
  • Kentucky.
  • Mississippi.
  • Missouri.
  • Montana.
  • New Mexico.
  • North Carolina.
  • Oklahoma.
  • Ohio.
  • Texas.
  • West Virginia.

States where Lane Splitting is Illegal

Lane splitting is currently illegal in:

  • Alaska.
  • Alabama.
  • Arizona.
  • Colorado.
  • Florida.
  • Georgia.
  • Idaho.
  • Illinois.
  • Indiana.
  • Iowa.
  • Kansas.
  • Louisiana.
  • Maine.
  • Massachusetts.
  • Michigan.
  • Nebraska.
  • Nevada.
  • New Hampshire.
  • New Jersey.
  • New York.
  • North Dakota.
  • Pennsylvania.
  • Rhode Island.
  • South Carolina.
  • South Dakota.
  • Tennessee.
  • Vermont.
  • Wisconsin.
  • Wyoming.



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