Motorcycle Lane Splitting: State-by-state Laws in 2023

March 7, 2023
By Michael Padway

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lane splitting laws for motorcycle by state

Motorcycle lane splitting is the practice of riding a motorbike between two lanes of traffic traveling in the same direction. While this practice is controversial, it has become popular among motorcyclists in recent years as a strategy to minimize traffic congestion and enhance overall traffic flow. Nonetheless, lane splitting may be dangerous, especially if motorcycle riders are not cautious or other cars must be aware of their presence. In this post, we will look at the rules and regulations governing lane splitting into several states and the advantages, hazards, and best practices involved with this activity. In addition, we will address the future of lane splitting and the possibility of other states legalizing the practice. Whether you are a seasoned biker or simply curious about the practice of lane splitting, this article will give you vital facts and insights into this contentious issue.


Lane splitting is a riding technique where a motorcyclist rides between rows of stopped or moving vehicles in the same lane. This technique is officially recognized as legal only in the state of California. According to California’s AB-51, lane splitting is defined as “a motorcycle ridden between rows of stopped or moving vehicles in the same lane including on both divided and undivided streets, roads, or highways.” 


motorcycle lane splitting terminology (gif)
Motorcycle Lane-Splitting Terminology

It’s important to note that this definition only applies to California, and the term “lane splitting” has different definitions in other states.

The term “lane filtering” is used to refer to a motorcycle picking its way through slow-moving or stationary traffic, such as at a stoplight. Lane sharing covers two riders in the same lane, either side by side or in a staggered formation.

Lane splitting, also known as “white lining,” refers to a motorcyclist weaving between moving traffic at a higher speed, usually staying predominantly on the lane dividing line. However, it’s worth noting that this type of riding is considered bad practice and is not endorsed by responsible motorcyclists.

As a general rule of thumb, safe and responsible riding practices are essential when it comes to lane splitting, filtering, and sharing. It’s important to follow the laws and regulations in your state, wear appropriate safety gear, and maintain a safe speed and distance from other vehicles. More importantly, if you don’t feel confident enough to lane split, then you don’t have to. Always prioritize your safety and the safety of others on the road.


Motorcyclists and cyclists are becoming increasingly prevalent on American highways. Nonetheless, they might frequently feel like the “small black of rice” among the thousands of automobiles that move on the highways regularly. As a result, many motorists regard them as a nuisance, if not an adversary, especially when they violate traffic laws. Lane splitting, or riding a motorbike between two lanes of traffic, is a particularly contentious problem.

One state in the United States has expressly permitted lane splitting in California. Yet, there are numerous states where the legality of lane splitting has yet to be officially defined. Therefore, we combed through the legislation for each state and created the table below to assist you in determining the legality of lane splitting in your state.

It’s worth emphasizing that even in places where lane splitting isn’t technically prohibited, it’s up to the Highway Patrol to judge if your behavior is dangerous. This implies you might still obtain a lane-splitting ticket even though your state has no statute against it.

Regarding lane splitting, motorcycle riders must know their state’s rules and regulations. Furthermore, when lane splitting, adopting safe and responsible practices such as wearing adequate safety gear, keeping a safe speed and distance from other cars, and being aware of any dangers on the highway is critical.

Benefits and Risks of Motorcycle Lane-Splitting

While some say that lane-splitting may be a safe and effective approach to decrease traffic congestion and enhance traffic flow, others see it as a risky and irresponsible activity that endangers motorcyclists and other vehicles.

On the one hand, lane-splitting supporters say it is a safer alternative for motorcyclists than sitting in slow-moving or halted traffic because motorcyclists can travel between lanes and are less likely to be rear-ended by other cars, which is a major cause of motorcycle accidents. Moreover, when done correctly and responsibly, lane splitting may assist in alleviating traffic congestion and improve overall traffic flow, benefiting all cars on the road.

On the other hand, opponents of lane splitting believe that it is a risky activity that endangers both motorcyclists and other drivers. This is because lane splitting necessitates a high level of skill and concentration from the motorcycle rider, who must navigate between lanes of traffic while keeping an eye out for other drivers who may be unaware of their presence. Also, other drivers may feel upset or furious with lane-splitting motorcyclists, perhaps leading to road rage incidents or other risky actions.

Generally, the issue of whether lane splitting is safe or harmful is hotly debated. While some studies imply that it is a safe and successful approach to alleviating traffic congestion and enhancing traffic flow, others claim it is a harmful and dangerous practice. 

Ultimately, whether or not to lane split is a decision that each biker should take depending on their skill level and comfort level with the practice. If you choose to lane split, it’s critical to use safe and responsible methods, such as wearing adequate safety equipment, keeping a safe speed and distance from other cars, and being aware of any hazards on the road.

State-by-state Regulations on Motorcycle Lane-Splitting

How many states allow lane splitting? We have done some research to find out the legal aspects of motorcycle lane splitting in each state.


California legalized and regulated lane splitting in 2016, defining it as the practice of a motorcycle “riding between rows of stopped or moving vehicles in the same lane.” The state’s guidelines recommend that lane splitting should be done at no more than ten mph above the speed of surrounding traffic and only when it is safe.


Utah legalized a regulated form of lane filtering in 2019. Lane filtering allows motorcycles to move between stopped or slow-moving traffic lanes at no more than 15 mph.


Nevada passed Assembly Bill 236 in 2019, allowing the Nevada Department of Transportation to create regulations for motorcycle lane filtering. However, the department has yet to implement any regulations.


Oregon is currently considering House Bill 2314, which would legalize a regulated form of lane splitting. If approved, the bill would allow motorcycles to travel between cars on roadways where the speed limit is 50 mph or greater and traffic is moving at ten mph or slower.


Texas is considering House Bill 879, which would legalize and regulate lane splitting. If passed, it would permit motorcycles to move between lanes of stopped or slow-moving traffic at no more than 25 mph.


Hawaii does not currently allow for any form of lane splitting or filtering. However, the state adopted a regulation in 2018 that permits motorcycle riders to utilize the road shoulders in certain spots to pass stopped vehicles, known as “shoulder surfing.”


Washington has Senate Bill 5254 live, legalizing a regulated form of lane splitting. However, the bill has had little to no movement to date.


Maryland has House Bill 917 on deck, legalizing a regulated form of lane splitting. However, there has yet to be any recent movement in the direction of legalization.


Connecticut has Senate Bill 629 on deck, legalizing a regulated form of lane splitting. However, there has yet to be any recent movement in the direction of legalization.


Montana allows for a regulated form of lane filtering, which allows motorcycles to pass stopped or slow-moving traffic at no more than ten mph in the same direction. Additionally, Montana adopted a regulation in 2021 that permits lane splitting under certain conditions, which include ensuring that the road and traffic circumstances are safe, the motorcycle is not moving faster than 20 mph, and the lanes are wide enough.


Arizona Governor Doug Ducey proposed Senate Bill 1273 on March 24, 2022. The measure was signed into law on September 24, 2022. The law allows two-wheeled motorbike riders to pass other cars in the same lane and direction of travel if they are going at 15 miles per hour or less. They are on the road with a speed limit of 45 miles per hour or less and believe the move is safe. This legislation only applies to two-wheel bikes and does not apply to motorcycles with sidecars.


Colorado does not allow for any form of lane splitting or filtering. In addition, the state’s laws explicitly prohibit motorcycles from driving between traffic lanes or adjacent rows of vehicles.


Georgia does not allow for any form of lane splitting or filtering. The state’s laws explicitly prohibit motorcycles from passing between lanes of traffic and require that motorcycles be operated in a permanent and regular seat attached to the motorcycle.

New York:

New York does not allow for any form of lane splitting or filtering. The state’s laws explicitly prohibit motorcycles from overtaking and passing in the same lane occupied by the vehicle being overtaken.


Pennsylvania does not allow for any form of lane splitting or filtering. In addition, the state’s laws explicitly prohibit motorcycles from passing between traffic lanes or adjacent rows of vehicles.


Virginia does not allow for any form of lane splitting or filtering. The state’s laws explicitly prohibit motorcycles from overtaking and passing in the same lane occupied by the vehicle being overtaken.

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Guidelines from the CHP’s Motorcycle Safety Program

suggest that a motorcycle should travel no more than 10mph faster than the traffic it is passing. It is also not advisable to do this when traffic starts moving at 30mph or over. The faster you pass, the less time you have to react to an adverse situation. “Lane splitting keeps riders safer by eliminating their exposure to rear-end collisions, and it helps ease congestion by effectively removing motorcycles from the traffic lanes.” The lanes that are safest to split are between lanes one and two, which are the furthest left. The lanes furthest to the right see the most movement regarding traffic adjusting for on-ramps and exits, making it a lot more dangerous to lane split.

By using the far left lanes, you will be clear of trailers and semis, meaning that you will be able to see over the top of most vehicles, giving you a heads-up of traffic flow ahead. If you see a rider splitting a lane to your right, ease back. Don’t attempt to stay parallel as you could be pushing traffic into each other’s path, as drivers move over to avoid you. Much like motorcycling in general, lane splitting can be a daunting prospect for the uninitiated. If it doesn’t look like you’ll fit through the gap, don’t attempt to do so. Similarly, if you find two long vehicles running parallel to each other, wait for them to re-position. If they close the gap when you are halfway through, you’re out of options.


On the subject of tight spaces, take a look at your bike from the front. Do you have wide bars, fairing, panniers, forwards, or engine bars? The object of this exercise is to give you a better appreciation of physical size. Now add two feet on either side. That’s the minimum that you will need if you take into account vehicle wing mirrors and the lateral movement of your bike from potential buffeting or raised line markings.


Whenever the subject of lane splitting is up for discussion, the four R’s will come into play. These refer to the following: Be Reasonable, Be Responsible, Be Respectful, and Beware Roadways. Be Reasonable with your speed, as going too fast turns you into a liability to yourself and others. Be Responsible. You are solely responsible for your safety, so make sure your decisions and actions convey this, as it also affects the people that surround you. Be Respectful to other road users. Safely acknowledge someone who gives you extra room prior to lane splitting. Remember, although you may be legally allowed to split, other road users aren’t legally obliged to make space for you. Beware of Roadways, for when it is combined with traffic, it can equate to potential danger. You need to be super aware of poor and uneven surfaces, wide vehicles, inattentive drivers, and poor weather while riding in heavy traffic. It, therefore, stands to reason, that it’s important to stay focused at all times in order to respond to any potential dangers. Remember to stay alert, be sensible, and if it feels wrong, ease back.


We’d like to preface this section with the notion that we encourage you to always abide by the laws of the road in your respective State.

  • DON’T make drivers over-react. If you ride too fast, all they’re going to see is something flash-by in their peripheral vision.
  • DO stay in a gear that keeps the revs low. Both of these actions may cause a distracted driver to swerve.
  • DON’T be physically prepared without being mentally prepared for riding between traffic. Yes, your survival instinct needs to be on full alert, but do ride with a positive, mental attitude.
  • DO be aware of splitting in wet conditions. Riding on painted lines reduces grip when it rains.
  • DON’T think that the law protects you from riding badly. Bill AB-51/21658.1 makes the physical act of lane splitting legal under set circumstances and CVC 22400 makes it illegal for drivers to block or impede a motorcyclist. These facts, however, don’t preclude anyone from extending common courtesy to other road users when executing the maneuver, so do be courteous!
  • DO watch out for lumps, bumps, and uneven surfaces as they can upset the handling of your bike.
  • DON’T lane share at night or in the dark. Lane sharing in the dark could confuse divers into making them think you are a four-wheeled vehicle rather than a two-wheeled vehicle.

From a motorcyclist’s point of view, lane splitting saves time, eases congestion, and keeps them out of harm’s way. According to Rob Dingman, President, and CEO of the American Motorcyclist Association, “Lane splitting keeps riders safer by eliminating their exposure to rear-end collisions, and it helps ease congestion by effectively removing motorcycles from the traffic lanes.”

In conclusion, motorcycle lane splitting has become a hot topic among riders and policymakers, with many states considering or already implementing guidelines and regulations for this practice. While lane splitting can provide benefits such as reducing traffic congestion and increasing rider safety, it also poses risks if done improperly.

The guidelines outlined by the Motorcycle Legal Foundation aim to provide riders with clear and concise recommendations for safely lane splitting, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a safe speed, being aware of surroundings, and utilizing proper protective gear. By following these guidelines and advocating for responsible and safe riding practices, motorcyclists can help promote the adoption of lane splitting legislation across the country. As always, it is essential to prioritize safety and awareness on the road, regardless of whether or not lane splitting is legal in a particular state.

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  1. Dustin

    It’s ironic that only in California (arguably one of the most over-regulated states) lane splitting and lane filtering is completely legal. This is an activity that is extremely dangerous and should not be allowed – period. Motorcyclist’s free reign to dart in and out of traffic at high speeds adds just another level of risk and danger to driving. There have been countless times over the years when I’ve been in near-miss accidents with motorcycles that come out of nowhere or those who’ve ripped my rear view mirror off (twice) when trying to lane split in the 3′ wide space between traffic, etc. then flip me the bird when I try to get them to stop. And in California if they cause an accident, responsibility is usually put on the car’s driver rather than the free-wheeling motorcycle. It’s legally protected hooliganism.

    • Bob

      “This is an activity that is extremely dangerous and should not be allowed – period. Motorcyclist’s free reign to dart in and out of traffic at high speeds adds just another level of risk and danger to driving.”

      – Did you even read anything other than the headline? There are very reasonable guidelines for splitting and it’s been proven numerous times to be safer for *everyone* and help to eliminate congestion when those guidelines are followed.

      “There have been countless times over the years when I’ve been in near-miss accidents with motorcycles that come out of nowhere or those who’ve ripped my rear view mirror off (twice) when trying to lane split in the 3′ wide space between traffic, etc. then flip me the bird when I try to get them to stop…. It’s legally protected hooliganism”

      – Now I get it. You’re just butthurt that some riders have had the gall to retaliate when you nearly kill them either from your inattentiveness or trying to play highway police with your personal vehicle.

      • Ron

        He is just a cage driver butt hurt that someone might get “ahead” of him.

    • David

      Wow – that is so wrong in so many ways:
      a) it is not “an activity that is extremely dangerous and should not be allowed” In fact, it is actually safer (if done correctly) The single most common type of collision, at about 40%, is a rear-ender. Lane splitting eliminates this type of collision.
      b) “dart in and out of traffic at high speeds” See above where I said “if done correctly”? A high speed differential is an incorrect method, but studies have shown that when the speed differential between the traffic flow, whether stopped or merely slowed, when the bike is travelling only slightly faster, then because of the removal of rear-end collisions, it actually becomes safer for the bike.
      c) “motorcycles that come out of nowhere” They don’t just appear, they come from somewhere. If you didn’t see them coming, then there can only be two explanations – they either were travelling too fast for conditions (see previous comment about speed differentials), or you weren’t paying attention. Recommendations are that you should be scanning your mirrors every 5 seconds or so. If the bike is travelling at a safe speed and if you are checking your mirrors at the recommended intervals, then you should be able to see them coming.
      d) I am not a lawyer, but I’ve had a cop tell me, in response to my question, that the vehicle code requires you to “drive safely” and in the case of an accident involving lane-splitting, the assumption was that the bike failed to drive safely. I’ve known many cops, including many motor officers (motorcycle cops) and that has always seemed to be the universal attitude – never ran into anyone that thought otherwise.

      • Ronald Johnson

        Every video ive watched of lane splitting incidents the rider was not only exceeding the speed of relative vehicles but exceeding the speed limit as well. Often excessively. Yes the GoPro of your ego trip also catches your speedometer. You know the cops can’t catch you. You guys and guys like you are far outside acceptable behavior and ‘having the gall’ to retaliate (two very poor choices of words) doesn’t authorize your assault, harassment, and property damage. Props to the bikers who use splitting considerately.

        • Junaid

          I agree there are those jerks who bring bad name to the bikers, I ride everyday to work around 50 miles on free-way, I see most of the car/drivers are on the phone, texting/fb their concentration is not on the road but in their hand-held, if only they could be considerate and think of motorist, accidents would be avoided. As a motorist, We are scared and want to just get away from guy in the box/car, who might not see us.

    • Badger

      It wouldn’t surprise me if Dustin is one of those drivers who texts while driving, and is thus surprised when something comes near his car because he wasn’t actually paying attention. There are other drivers who actively try to keep riders from passing by squeezing them between their car and the car beside them. That’s been my experience on how mirrors get broken.

    • E-nonymouse

      Actually the intent of it in states that are considering it at least is to prohibit high speed maneuvering; IE: you cannot filter/split at speeds above 25-30mph. In some areas it may be expressly forbidden for safety reasons even if the state permits it.
      An entire community of riders can’t and shouldn’t be held hostage by the irresponsible actions of the few.

    • Nick

      It’s not an “activity that is extremely dangerous,” any more than any other activity. When done correctly and under appropriate circumstances, it’s as safe as anything else on a motorcycle.

      What’s a “..near miss accident(s)…?” And how did a motorcyclist manage to get inside of your vehicle to remove the rear-view mirror?

      There are enforceable rules to lane splitting; just because you don’t like it, doesn’t make it a bad idea. I hear these types of arguments frequently from drivers, who generally are aggravated that they are stuck in traffic, and someone is passing them.

      And to your last point, any person that CAUSES an accident is the at-fault driver/operator. If the “car’s driver” purposely impedes the motorcycle operator, then they are at fault.

      From the CHP…

      “Motorcyclists who lane split are not relieved of the responsibility to obey all existing traffic laws. With respect to possible law enforcement action, keep in mind that it will be up to the discretion of the Law Enforcement Officer to determine if riding behavior while lane splitting is or was safe and prudent. “

      • Shawna

        Omg…lol..”how did a motorcyclist manage to get inside your car and rip off your rear view mirror”…must be a magician….

    • Charles Arthur

      What utter nonsense. Watch the video.

    • Rich

      Your obviously an ignorant fool. Accidents happen with or without motorcycle on
      the road. In particular accidents that are rear ended type of accident are extremely deadly for a motorcyclist compared to a vehicle to vehicle rear end accident. One of many reasons why motorcyclist can lane split it’s for there safety from idiots like your dumb ass that think they know better

  2. lauren

    California is not the only state in which there is no traffic law that explicitly prohibits lane splitting, but officials rely on other laws to regularly interpret lane splitting as unlawful. … Lane splitting was legally defined for the first time in California by a bill signed into law in August, 2016.

  3. Brett

    Any changes to this map since August 2017?

  4. John Storer

    Lane splitting is an insane idea. Just asking to get hit. Can’t believe anyone with a brain would support it. Like motorcycle riding isn’t dangerous enough already.

    • Kreg

      Of all the comments against lane splitting, do any of the authors actually ride a motorcycle? If done correctly, it protects the rider from distracted drivers and the motorcycle from overheating (most people do not know the majority of motorcycles are “air cooled”). I have been rear ended once and almost killed when another driver nearly rear ended me but missed me by inches. If I had been between the front row of cars sharing their lane, I would have been protected. Car drivers should be thanking us for taking an additional car of the road and reducing the traffic they have to endure. As for the idiots who white line irresponsibly, we have a name for them: donorcycles.

  5. Paul

    Lane splitting aka white lining refers to a motorcylist weaving between moving traffic at a higher speed, usually staying predominantly on the lane dividing line. (This type of riding is considered bad practice and one that lane splitters would normally condone.)

    The above statement is confusing at best. It should state a negative, like so: Lane splitting aka white lining refers to a motorcyclist weaving between moving traffic at a higher speed, usually staying predominantly on the lane dividing line. (This type of riding is considered bad practice and one that lane splitters would NOT normally condone.)

    An on this topic, there is little else to do when “splitting” lanes other than to ride on the line. Some weaving is to be expected but unless there is a wide gap between lanes the motorcycle will be on the line. Done correctly (not too fast, and when traffic is below 30MPH) this is not unsafe.

  6. david

    I wonder how many cyclists who engage in lane splitting or filtering use their turn signals when moving from one lane to another? Anyway, you say that this activity makes the roads safer by allowing the motorcycles to travel 10-15 MPH faster than the other traffic, thus getting out of the way faster. In most of the occasions where I see this, the motorcycles are travelling 20-30 MPH faster. When a cyclist decides to do this “responsibly” it’s because the other traffic is going too slow. Slow moving traffic is one reason that it’s more likely that the cars will switch lanes. When this happens it’s the 25 MPH faster motorcyclist that has far less time to react and more likely to have a collision. If you’re in slow moving or stopped traffic you should be riding on the edge of the lane to lessen the likelihood of being rear ended. In the end, the only reason this is done is because of the entitled macho attitude of the rider. It’s, “I can, so I will” instead of, “There’s no reason to, so I won’t.”

  7. ADAM

    First off there is a ton of data on lane-splitting and the safety buffers to motorcyclist by using this technique if used with caution. If you need the studies done about the lower injury rates, the reductions in head trauma, or damage to persons organs its readily available.
    Here is my current irritation with the lack of specificity and oversight with AB-51, and VC 21650(a) ect.
    Is if lane-splitting, or filtering, whatever your preferred term is — is the unrealistic standard on crossing of “double yellows” or splitting on top, or in between Parallel “double/white lines”. For instance, a lot of highways have extremely narrow lanes, such as, in my area of california near pasadena to covina. You simply cannot drive in the carpool lane split traffic (safely) without driving directly on top of the double yellows. Unless you wish to hit a car, or slap your handbars and mirrors on cars. How a CHP motorcycle cop can ticket you is beyond realistic. These two laws cannot coexist with to opposite agendas. And I wish someone would contact Quirk and lackery about amending this law by making an exception for motorcyclist to drive on top, or in between duel Parallel lines.
    as you can tell i am frustrated as i was recently ticketed for this offense, dispite the CHP motorcycle cop was, and has to do the same thing to travel from point A to point B while lane splitting.

  8. Breonna

    This law is crap. Motorcyclists in California have major road rage and act as though they own the road and I don’t feel like it’s fair for them to breeze through traffic while commercial drivers have to sit through it. I have almost gotten into a couple wrecks, due to cyclists lane splitting and speeding up when I’m trying to change lanes. I’ve had cyclists flip me off and scare my kid because the road rage that comes from these fools. Please make lane splitting illegal. Save the children.

    • Mawri

      Don’t be anti-science because you have a visceral reaction to seeing motorcyclists lane-split. There was a study that most accidents occur in heavy traffic by motorists rear-ending motorcyclists. Another study showed that the occurrences of these accidents lessen once lane-splitting is implemented. (The KEY being when lane-splitting is done responsibly!!!)
      You anti-lanesplitters are equivocating the behavior of a minority of motorcyclists with all motorcyclists. Imagine if I judged the behavior of all motorists by those few that weave between traffic at high speeds without signaling and cutting off most drivers? “Make car driving illegal. Save the children.”

    • Timetolanesplit

      You are the stupidest person in this commentary. For the safety of others, stay of the road and use Uber or Lyft next time.

  9. Kevin Pusey

    If it’s so safe more than 1 of 50 states would condone it. In states where it is not legal, and still performed properly, it is an unexpected move that drivers do not expect to happen at all. I’m in Virginia, where it is illegal, and came across this website since I was caught off guard by a guy on a sport bike gong about 40 through bumper to bumper traffic on a main state thoroughfare (route 7 near Tyson’s Corner in Northern VA). Contrary to all the riders defending this activity, I was not on my phone, I was paying attention to legal road users, was just going home, and witnessed someone breaking the law and putting himself at risk to save a few minutes on his commute. I call BS to those that defend it as somehow safer than being fully visible in front of someone in a lane. If you want to put your life in danger by sneaking up in someone’s blind spot, own it for what it is – risky. Then blame the person who is driving legally, in their lane, and rage out on them when you clip a mirror or have a close call. It’s a shame to see what I hope are responsible riders for the most part attacking drivers that have seen the irresponsible and dangerous side of this activity without any ability to admit that a lot of people that do this, especially outside of California, do not do it safely or with consideration for those they share the road with. Just like drivers, riders are not always right and do not always ride responsibly.

    • cvc22400

      “I was caught off guard by a guy on a sport bike gong about 40 through bumper to bumper traffic”, im caught off guard every time I see a car driver going 60 mph in a 25 zone but that never made it change any laws. Since you don’t know anything about lane splitting or motorcycling, ill tell you that there are guidelines to it. generally, whether filtering or splitting you do it under 30 mph. There are many aspects of training that involve more tricks to be safe. But car drivers are a worrying bunch, no matter what they’ll worry about the safety of themselves.

  10. Bronson

    This information needs to go viral, there are far too many people that don’t understand lane splitting. As already mentioned, when done responsibly, it is safer than not splitting. We live in a technology world where everyone has their face buried in everything other than the road. It’s bad enough to the point that car manufactures have started putting in “safety nets” which only makes the problem worse because then people get reliant that the technology will save them. I like to think that I fall into the responsible rider category. I refuse to split between cars that are moving faster than 35mph but I will filter if traffic permits. I can’t even count how many people have intentionally tried to pinch me in, swerve into me, stick arms out the window, or even open doors. Anyone that reads this that doesn’t agree with lane splitting should know that these actions can bring on some SERIOUS legal charges up to and including assault and attempted murder depending on the severity of the injuries. Even if it wasn’t legal, you are a citizen and NOT AN OFFICER OF THE LAW.

    That being said, I feel that some changes are needed. The origin was basically saying that more than one vehicle is allowed to occupy the lane if done so safely so that motorcycles could ride side by side. Since specific terminology was not used, it was not illegal for motorcycles to occupy the same lane as a car. However since the “legalization” of lane splitting, this original concept has been lost and you can very easily get cited for doing such on a single lane road where there is ample room for a car and a motorcycle to be within the boundaries of the lane such as a freeway interchange or on/off-ramp. The same reasons still apply; motorcycle keeps moving to keep airflow over the engine (yes, even some modern bikes with radiators will overheat if sitting or moving slowly for too long), reduces traffic, and increases rider safety. On these single lanes sections is actually one of the safest places for bikes to do so because there is no risk of cars swerving or changing lanes into/in front of them. Rather than carry the concepts to all aspects of the roads, they have turned the freeways into the wild west and govern everywhere else as a totalitarian regime.

  11. Wingnut

    This is very funny. People against “lane splitting” do not want to hear the facts!!!!
    Fact: When done correctly, it is SAFE!!!
    Fact: In countries where it’s been legal for 40 years, everybody does it. The motorists expect it. The bikers know how to do it properly. It is the norm. And it works.
    Fact: California is the nanny-state and they made it legal. It is because people in charge of the laws in other states react like the other people above and ignoring the facts that the other states will not allow it.
    Fact: There will always be people in cars or on bikes that push the limit and not do the right thing.
    Fact: Distracted driving in cars causes WAY more problems than lane splitting ever will.
    Fact: I grew up lane splitting and has been doing it for more than 30 years with anything from a Vespa 200cc schooter (LOL) to a Dual-sport to a ZX1100 sportbike. Not a single accident related to lane splitting!!!!
    Fact: My son was pushed off the road by a car driver changing lanes while on his phone 3 months ago. My son was on his bike behind me. The person did not even stop after seeing my son crashing in the middle of the highway. Luckily my son only broke his arm because he was wearing “All The Gear, All The Time”. So, I say because of this one car driver, all car drivers should now stay off the road because they are all idiots? That is the argument that people use against lane splitting.
    Fact: nobody has ever opened their car door in front of me in traffic.
    Fun Fun Fun.
    Ride SAFE!!!

    • Michael

      Great post! Ignorance is not bliss for those who want to always focus on the few negative things about something. As you said right off the bat, when done correctly, it’s safe. There is risk with everything but with knowledge, preparation, and skills, a lot of risk can be mitigated.

      Ride safe!

    • Krush the EMT in AZ

      Fact: I’m an EMT and I see bikers that have to be scraped off the road all the time, regardless of lane splitting legality.
      Fact: An appeal to the majority is not a logical or valid argument.
      Fact: Lane splitting is a risk where “all the gear” cannot ever mitigate head injuries in wrecks.
      Fact: Physics says you’ll never win an impact argument with another moving body at a similar speed that has four times your mass.
      Fact: Your personal experience does not make a statistically significant sample for drawing conclusions.
      Fact: Your opinions are not facts (that’s why they’re called opinions)

    • Jonathin

      Because the old generation need to go and it will be legal almost every state

    • AlexL

      Lane-splitting is a risky and a dangerous move in traffic and on the roads in the US. Most nations around the world (especially in Europe and Asia) have much more and frequent motorcyclists on their roads where their automobile drivers are accustom to such riders with their maneuvers; but not at all for drivers in the US. How many times did we got surprised by all of sudden a motorcycle wheezed by our sides before we realized and responded?

      Pro lane-splitting people keep arguing when done right, it’s safe. That can be said about the same to everything else. When eat right and in moderation with exercise, fast food such as McDonald, Pizza Hut, KFC… are safe. When taking steroid to enhance your athletic ability (think of Lance Armstrong), if done right, it’s safe. When flying your helicopter under advised condition and with capable knowledge of such certified condition, it’s safe to not fly into a side of a mountain (think of the recent Kobe Bryant accident)… But, the real truth is… not all people are responsible food consumers, athletes, pilots, etc. And that is no exception with motorcyclists. They are a nuisance and a distraction for automobile drivers. They are an add on accidental prone and risk factor onto the roads with no added benefits to others (except themselves). A majority, if not all, motorcyclists are young, carefree spirits with lawbreaking prone to speed and traffic laws. There are countless videos on social media to prove this point.

      To sum it up, with all the excuses and the studies (or science, as they tried to legitimize this controversial topic), and whether it’s legal or not, a plain fact still is: If lane-splitting is part of your motorcycle maneuver repertoire, then don’t be crying wolf when you fall flat on your face in a traffic accident… no matter it’s a legal or illegal move. You take a risk then don’t surprise with the outcome. Just like that “Flat Earther” amateur daredevil nut who crashed his rocket in the California dessert. A deserve outcome for a risk taker. Making it legal will not be the answer to a common sense avoidable death risk. However, making it illegal can save some lives.

  12. Chris

    If it’s so “safe” when done “properly”, then why is it only legal in 1 state?

    • Ron

      Its actually legal now in Utah and they also allow “shoulder-surfing” in Hawaii. The real reason its not more prevalent is inertia, ignorance on the part of old-school riders (who should be advocates), and jealousy on the part of motorists who don’t like the idea of anyone getting ahead of them.

    • Phil

      Laws don’t determine the safety of an act.

  13. Machinegunslim

    Wow, lane splitting is legal in every other country.
    There is nothing like sitting in traffic because some guy in a car wrecked another guy in a car. Some bikes are air cooled so sitting in the traffic jam will over heat your nutz and your bike. This is including the liquid cooled bikes too. If you cant see a motorcycle there are a thousand of other things that are smaller and make less noise to be aware of on the road. Like the pedestrian that just ran across the street. The ladder that fell off of the truck in front of you. Lane splitting can be done safe if it is not abused. Yeah there 140 mph lane splitters but the law doesn’t stop them anyway.

  14. mark

    I’ve been riding for more than 40 years and I don’t ‘lane split’ because it is a stupid practice that is illegal in every state except California (there’s a surprise) and here in Pa. you’d surely get some kind of payback from the aggressive four-wheelers. Who needs the aggravation? Riding is stressful enough, bad roads, people who run lights and stop signs, come out of parking lots without stopping (or even looking!). I personally do not trust that drivers in stop and go traffic are paying attention to the spaces between lanes much less a vehicle that weighs 5-600 lbs while the one they sit in is 4-5 times that, has a blaring radio, and probably driven by a cell phone wielding dimwit.

  15. James

    I am a retired CHP motor rider and I safely lane spit for many years. It is true that some motorcyclists split traffic at unsafe speeds just as some motorists exhibit unsafe driving practices. It has been my observation that most motorcyclists of average skill and judgement are much better riders/drivers than most car drivers. They are more aware of the traffic conditions as a matter of necessity. When lane splitting at a reasonable speed the biggest danger is being intentionally cut off by some jerk in a car and I’ve had that happen to me on a CHP m/c while working my way through traffic responding to a traffic collision. Get over yourselves people and drive/ride safely.

    • Motorcycle Legal Foundation

      Hi James,

      Thank you for your contribution to law enforcement and we appreciate your input always.

  16. Shawn

    Patrick I’d like to see you try it, bitch ASS. Easy to talk sitting behind a keyboard.

  17. dave

    I’ve been splitting lanes in CA for over 25 years, every single day, doing over 50 miles each way to and from work, without a single close call or accident, and that’s splitting the entire way at speed. Motorists typically give a huge berth, pull left (I split between the car pool lane and the #1 lane as advised by CHP), and give plenty of room. If not, who cares? I’m past you in .0233 seconds anyhow. The only people who shun it or are scared of it or hate it are the ones who have never lived with it, day in and day out. It’s simple, safe, and expected on roads in CA now. With a 12 month riding season and lane splitting, being a motorcyclist in CA is like having the roads to yourself.

  18. David B. Karpf, MD

    Patrick, don’t be such a jerk.

    Everyone else, this story neglects to mention WHY the California legislature finally passed a bill to make lane splitting explicitly legal. It was because of a humongous study conducted by researchers?at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, in which they asked a ton of motorcyclists a simple question: “Do you EVER lanesplit?” or “Do you NEVER lane split?”. Stating “Never lane split” was asdociated with a substantial and highly significant INCREASED risk of head injury, back injury, paralysis and death. For the simple reason that if you are riding between traffic in stop & go traffic, your risk of being rear-ended by a distracted driver falls to approximately zero.

    I am a physician who has been riding for 49 years. I ride to my office and to Stanford Hospital The reason I have avoided injury over these 49 years, in addition to the fact that I’m a safe and attentive ride, is that I routinely lane split in heavy/stop-and-go traffic on the highway, and filter at red lights. The latter is helpful in two ways – not only is there no chance of being rear-ended by a driver on their phone who doesn’t “see you” stopped in the long line of stopped cars, but it allows you to take off ahead of the cars, so you are not riding with a bunch of cars. It is faster, but the most compelling rewaspn is that it is far safer. That’s why California finally made it legal, based on compelling scientific data.

  19. bappy biswas

    California is not the only state in which there is no traffic law that explicitly prohibits lane splitting, but officials rely on other laws to regularly interpret lane splitting as unlawful .

  20. jake leone

    I would suggest that the CHP do a test. When a lane splitting motorcyclist approaches and is about 1/4 mile away. Signal your intent to change lanes. What I suspect, and my personal test this morning bears this out, is that not one motorcyclist will even slow down (most travel about 25-30 mph faster than traffic). And that simple act, of changing lanes, by a car driver, and for what-ever reason, not seeing the motorcyclist (or more likely, the motorcyclist traveling too fast and not caring, even for their own life, to make the situation safe, ignoring the signal).

    Is a big cause of vehicle-motorcycle accidents.

    Splitting lanes is unsafe, because it is impossible to tell someone (who already doesn’t care about safety) to do lane splitting safely. Young humans are not ready for the responsiblity and maturity that is needed to do lane splitting without daily motorcyclist deaths on our roads, because we idiotically gave them the ability to legally do it in Californa (the power of the lobby, overrides even common testing and evaluation).

    We just are not ready. Again, just do the test CHP that I just out lined, you will be shocked.

    And do it, if you are honorable at all, because your embarrassment isn’t worth anything.

    • Motorcycle Legal Foundation

      Hi Jake,

      Thanks for your dialogue with this controversial topic. I understand your sentiment and rationalizations; do you have any data to contribute to what you’re claiming? If you do, we would certainly love to take a look at it. Meanwhile, we have quite a bit of data that supports what we’re saying.

      Lane splitting is a legal and popular practice in many other countries such as Europe and Asia. In fact, out of the European Union, Germany is the only country that restricts lane splitting to stand-still traffic. Every other country allows lane splitting in addition to the more lenient speed laws that Europe has. And the European Union also seems to be having a good outcome from their implementation of lane splitting. In 2009, the “Motorcycle Accident In-Depth Study” (MAIDS) concluded that only 0.4% of motorcycle accidents involved lane splitting. For a practice that’s been largely considered as too dangerous to implement in the US, the conclusion of the MAIDS study seems a little underwhelming in supporting that sentiment.

      Now let’s say, for argument’s sake, that European road-infrastructure and “cultural adherence” are different than in the United States, and for that reason, the above data is largely irrelevant. Another piece of literature that has had a particularly compelling outcome was published in 2010 by Motorcycle Safety Consultant Steve Guderian. In Guderian’s report, titled “LANE SHARING: A GLOBAL SOLUTION FOR MOTORCYCLE SAFETY”, he compares the rear-end collision fatality rate for motorcyclists per 100,000 registered motorcycles in California against those of Florida, Texas, and Arizona – as well as with the United States national average. Keep in mind that these four states all have very similar riding demographics and riding conditions throughout the year.

      I can also refer you to multiple studies that support what we’re saying in case you’d like to take a look at the hard data.

  21. ASH Green

    Awesome! No words. You always go one step beyond.

    There is so much great, useful information here. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  22. doesn't matter

    This is why I love California. SUCK ITTT xD

  23. White Ninja

    I ride a motorcycle to and from work daily. I’ve had several car drivers look me in the eyes and then proceed to purposely try to hit me or run me off the road. All of these vile excuses for human beings should be in prison for attempted Murder! And a Get Back Whip should be mandatory for all motorcyclists. ” Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child!”

    • Aurealeus

      I’ve experienced the same exact look straight in the eyes then swerve to try and hit or run me off the road. Other times, while stuck in traffic, car drivers will move up closer to the next vehicle when they see a bike approaching while filtering through the lanes, to prevent the biker from getting through. It’s the “me first” attitude. They get jealous if they think somebody is going to get ahead of them in any way. I’ve even had drivers open their car doors to intimidate me from passing. The cyclists aren’t the problem, the drivers behind the wheel are.

  24. Ray

    Your map says it’s not mentioned in Oklahoma, but it is specifically forbidden by Oklahoma Statute §47-11-1103

    • Michael Padway

      Ray, I appreciate you for noticing this and bringing it to our attention. Contact me at – I’d like to give you a free MLF t-shirt/hat for your contribution

  25. John J. Denton

    Has there been a study comparing the number of accidents of motorcyclists sitting in traffic in stopped traffic to the number of motorcycle accidents of cyclists splitting lanes?

  26. Patrick

    Fuck em all. That’s when opening a door at the right time comes in handy…🤣🤣

  27. Rich

    Your obviously an ignorant fool. Accidents happen with or without motorcycle on
    the road. In particular accidents that are rear ended type of accident are extremely deadly for a motorcyclist compared to a vehicle to vehicle rear end accident. One of many reasons why motorcyclist can lane split it’s for there safety from idiots like your dumb ass that think they know better

  28. Eli

    Patrick –
    That’s highly illegal. Attempted murder comes to mind. Impeding a rider is specifically prohibited in the vehicle code, regardless of whether or not you make contact. Once the rider sustains injury, now you are criminally liable. Have fun in jail, dipshit.


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