When it comes to motorcycles, Utah riders often seek clarity on the legality of lane splitting and filtering. These terms refer to the practice of riding a motorcycle between lanes or stopped or slow-moving traffic. While some states have strict regulations or outright bans, Utah’s stance on lane splitting and filtering is very nuanced. In this article, we will explore the legal landscape surrounding these practices in the state of Utah, providing valuable insights for motorcycle enthusiasts and motorists alike.
Lane Splitting Vs. Filtering: Definitions and Distinctions
Lane splitting involves riding a motorcycle between lanes of either moving or stopped traffic on a highway, often during slow or stopped traffic. Filtering, on the other hand, refers to a motorcycle moving between lanes of stationary or slow-moving vehicles to reach the front of the traffic queue at a traffic signal.
Utah’s Lane Splitting and Filtering Laws
In the state of Utah lane filtering is legal, however there are a few caveats to this law. As of May 2019 Utah state legislature passed a bill allowing lane filtering by motorcycles. this means that as a motorcyclist you are allowed to drive in between lanes up to a traffic signal, or while traffic is stopped. Lane filtering in Utah is only allowed on stretches of road where the posted speed limit is 45 miles per hour or less, meaning that it is illegal to lane split or filter on any Utah highway where the speed limit is higher than 45. Lane filtering is also only allowed on roads with two or more lanes of traffic moving in the same direction, lane splitting is also only legal if your motorcycle is traveling at speeds 15 miles per hour and under.
Practicing Safe Lane Splitting and Filtering
While Utah does allow lane filtering, we strongly advise that riders exercise extreme caution and adhere to responsible practices:
Lane splitting and filtering should be done in a controlled and cautious manner. Riders should avoid excessive speeds and maintain safe distances from other vehicles.
These practices are best suited for slow-moving or stopped traffic situations. Motorcyclists should avoid attempting lane splitting or filtering during high speed traffic.
Visibility and Communication
Utilize your motorcycle’s headlights, turn signals, and hand signals to communicate your intentions to other motorists. Maintain a heightened level of awareness and assume that other drivers might not anticipate your movements.
Always wear appropriate safety gear, including a DOT-approved helmet, gloves, protective clothing, and footwear. A helmet is require by law for any motorcyclist in Utah.
Stay informed about any changes to Utah’s traffic laws, as well as local ordinances that may impact lane splitting and filtering practices.
Benefits of Lane Splitting and Filtering
Lane splitting and filtering may seem like an unnecessarily dangerous process, so why would Utah’s legislature pass a law legalizing this process. When executed safely, lane splitting and filtering can actually offer several benefits for all those on the road.
- Reduced Congestion:
- Motorcycles can help alleviate traffic congestion by efficiently navigating between lanes, allowing for more space for cars.
- Improved Safety:
- Lane filtering also helps eliminate crashes from other motorists hitting a motorcycle while stopped at a red light, leading a safer road for motorcyclists and motorists alike.
- Fuel Efficiency
- Filtering to the front of a traffic queue can help improve fuel efficiency as well as it minimizes and reduces time spent idling.
While Utah does allow for lane splitting and filtering, it is crucial that riders prioritize safety and exercise responsible riding practices. If you or a loved one has been unfortunately injured in a motorcycle accident, it is crucial that you reach out to a motorcycle accident lawyer. At LifeLaw Personal Injury we have a team of expert motorcycle accident lawyers who will fight for your right to a fair settlement, as well as communicating with you every step of the process. We are your Utah injury law firm and are to help you through every step of this complex legal process. Call us today for a free consultation, and to discuss your options further.