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Montana Legalizes Lane-Splitting

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Straight Down The Middle: Montana Edition

Lane splitting? Lane filtering? Where ever you are in the world, lane filtering can speed up your commute by a hefty sum. Although it can be dangerous when lane splitting when its not legal (drivers haven’t become normalized to it and aren’t expecting it), it can make a huge difference when it’s written directly into the laws of the roadways. Although I wouldn’t say Montana is an urban playground, they still have taken a look into the benefits of lane filtering, and as of March third, have become the third state in the entirety of the USA to legalize lane filtering for motorcycles.

The bill was initially introduced back in December of last year, and since then have been co-sponsored by senator Russ Tempel and state representative Barry Usher, taking us up to today where Montana SB9 – An act providing for motorcycle lane filtering – has been officially written into law.

Obviously, a law of this nature requires some conditions, so here they are (taken directly from the bill):

“An operator of a two-wheeled motorcycle may engage in lane filtering when:

A) the operator of a two-wheeled motorcycle is on a road with lanes wide enough to pass safely;

B) the overtaking motorcycle is not operated at a speed in excess of 20 miles an hour when overtaking the stopped or slow-moving vehicle; and

C) conditions permit continued reasonable and prudent operation of the motorcycle while lane filtering.”

Although the law was formalized yesterday, it won’t go into effect until October 1st 2021.