Categories: Features

Where Is It Legal To Lane Split?

Lane Splitting. That’s what motorcyclists and law enforcement call it when you’re riding between two lanes of slow-moving or stopped traffic. But can you do it without risking a ticket or worse?

The answer, of course, depends on where you are riding. In many countries around the world, the practice isn’t just tolerated (and legal), it’s a deeply ingrained part of the culture. It would probably also be impossible to enforce anti-lane splitting laws in places like China, Vietnam or India, where the majority of vehicles are often scooters and small motorcycles!

In European countries, the practice is both legal and tolerated, with a few exceptions. In Germany, for example, lane splitting moving traffic is prohibited, but slowly moving between lanes of stopped vehicles (“filtering”) is tolerated, though not expressly allowed. In France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and most other countries, the practice is not just lawful, it’s expected.

In North America, it’s not as accepted. In Mexico, it’s legal and tolerated (be polite and friendly though!), but los gringos in the USA and Canada aren’t as accepting. Of the 50 states, only California has legalized lane splitting, and though there have been attempts to legalize it in Nevada, Texas, Washington and Oregon, it’s still a dream outside the Golden State.

Scooters in Thailand. Can you imagine trying to ban lane splitting where most vehicles only have two wheels?

Canadians are similarly disappointed when they try to save some time by sneaking in between lanes of cars. Traffic laws vary from province to province in Canada, and though it isn’t expressly prohibited everywhere, it’s still not tolerated under the Maple Leaf flag. In fact, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation calls it “extremely dangerous,” and authorities will cite you for something like reckless driving if they catch you.

So where is it legal to lane split? You can do it in most places with roads, but not everywhere. Carefully check with local riders and police to see if it’s legal, acceptable and safe to do – or suffer the consequences of your bad decisions! Ride safe!

Motorcycle.com Staff

Share
Published by
Motorcycle.com Staff
Tags: lane sharinglane splitLane Splittingwhite lining

Recent Posts

Church of MO: 2008 Big Dog Choppers

Ya got yer Coyote, your Mastiff, your Pitbull...

1 day ago

Spy Shots: 2019 Ducati Panigale V4 R!

Spy photographers have provided us with the first glimpse of the new 2019 Ducati Panigale V4 R, a 1000cc version…

3 days ago

Mellow Motorcycles’ Triumph Phantom Blaze

Your basic 142-hp supercharged Thruxton

3 days ago

2019 Ducati Multistrada 1260 Enduro First Look

Now we know why Ducati wouldn't let us borrow a Multistrada 1200 Enduro for our Adventure-Touring Shootout, as this new…

3 days ago

Overland Expo 2018 EAST: The World’s Premier Overlanding Event

Overland Expo is the premier overlanding event in the world – no other event offers the scope of classes taught…

3 days ago

Suzuki GSX-R150 First Look at AIMExpo

Suzuki showed off a GSX-R150 model at AIMExpo to gauge consumer interest in the small-displacement sportbike. The bike is already…

3 days ago