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Utah Legalizes Lane Filtering

Utah lane filtering

Another State Does the Right Thing

California is still the only state that allows all-out lane splitting, and many people oppose that, but the movement to add lane filtering to more states is growing. In Utah, a recent bill passed that allows lane filtering. This is different than lane splitting but works under some of the same principles.

When the speed limit on a road is 45 mph or less and car traffic is stopped—like at an intersection— then you can filter through traffic. This will move motorcyclists more easily through congested urban areas. It’s a win for motorcyclists and something that more states should consider.

With all that said, there are some rules riders need to abide by to properly lane filter. First off, you must be on a motorcycle (no trikes or reverse trikes). Second, there must be two lanes of traffic at least. Third, as I mentioned above, the speed limit must be 45 mph or less. Fourth, you can’t ride faster than 15 mph while lane filtering. Fifth, you can’t filter lanes if the cars are not stopped.

The Utah law, HB0149, will expire in 2022 if the legislation doesn’t take further steps. Also, the law leaves a gray area. It says you must filter lanes in a safe manner. What people consider safe varies, so that may be a point of contention between motorcyclists and law enforcement.

As Common Tread pointed out, other states such as Connecticut, Maryland, and Oregon have similar laws in the works. It will be interesting to see if they shake out in the same manner that Utah’s did. I certainly hope so. While I can understand people’s concerns with lane splitting, lane filtering just makes sense. Also, it’s not like you have to do it. If you’re not comfortable with it, just wait with the cars. No harm there.

  1. Does anyone know how I get this started in my own state (Arizona)? I can’t tell you how annoyed I get sometimes when sitting behind over 100 yards of cars at a red light knowing if I lived in CA I could just filter up. But no, let’s just sit here all day and hope I don’t get rear-ended.

  2. My major concern is if a motorcycle filters forward where do they stop at the light? Will they be pulling into the crosswalks? This would make it unsafe for pedestrians and perhaps cyclists who are crossing the road. Or will motorcyclists be required to stop behind the limit line, as they should, and be between 2 cars trying to be first to the other side of the road when the light turns green?

  3. Well, that’s how we do it in the UK.
    You pull up between the queue of cars, trundle to the frontr line and as a motorcycle does 0-60 in about a quarter of a typical family carrier you are gone before they have even moved.

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