Lane-Splitting or Filtering, as the practice of riding a motorcycle between lanes of slow or stopped traffic is called, has received lots of national attention. There is still quite a bit of misinformation out there, so here are some facts that may clear up this controversial issue.

  1. Lane-Splitting is Outlawed in 49 States (and District of Columbia)

There is one state – California – where motorcyclists may legally ride between lanes of stopped or slow traffic. In every other state, it’s either explicitly (as in very specifically mentioned in the law) against the law or outlawed in practice, usually as reckless driving or some other statute. Several states, including Texas, Nevada, Washington and Oregon have pending bills in their legislatures to legalize this practice in some form, but as of this writing it’s still not okay. So don’t do it outside of California unless you want to risk a ticket!

  1. Lane-Splitting May be Safer Than Riding in the Lane

According to a 2013 study at U.C. Berkeley’s Safe Transportation Research and Education Center (SafeTREC), lane-splitting California riders were 1.8% less likely to suffer a fatal injury and 2% less likely to be struck from behind. Earlier studies from Europe and Australia have made similar conclusions.

Legal lane-splitting, as practiced in California, can be a safe way to get to work on time. Photo: Bob Stokstad.

  1. Lane-Splitting is Practiced by 36% of California Motorcyclists

In a survey of California motorcyclists from 2013, 36.4% of daily riders reported splitting lanes. Legalizing lane-splitting doesn’t turn the roads into maelstroms of weaving, unpredictable motorcyclists!

  1. Lane-Splitting Must be Done Safely

So you think you can have your lane-splitting cake and eat it, too? Well, you can… if you’re smart. The SafeTREC study showed that accident and fatality rates were fewer only if the rider was traveling at less than 50 mph and the speed differential was 15 mph or less. Otherwise, it’s riskier than riding in your own lane.

  1. Lane-Splitting can Save you 20 Hours a Year

How much is your time worth? According to a 2015 Texas Traffic Institute article, the average urban commuter spends 42 hours a year stuck in traffic. In my experience, lane-splitting typically cuts your commute time in half if most of it is through a badly congested area. That’s 21 hours – half a workweek – of your life that you can gain back. Multiply 21 by your take-home pay and that’s probably enough to cover a few bike payments!

  • Sayyed Bashir

    I lane split every weekday during my 70 mile round trip commute on the freeway in NorCal. Saves me 1 to 1.5 hours a day, which equates to 260 hours or 11 days a year. Have lane shared almost 190,000 miles in 10 years.

    • Born to Ride

      50k miles in 3 years for school. My daily savings were in the neighborhood of 2-2.5 hours. I also had to contend with horrendous parking in the car. Motorcycle parking 100 feet from the engineering building door.

      • Frank Feng

        Pretty much the same for me, isn’t it convenient how motorcycle parking is always near the engineering buildings for campuses?

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    • MyName

      And, harder to quantify, but you are saving other drivers time by not being in a car that is taking up space on the freeway?

      • Sayyed Bashir

        They probably don’t see it that way. They are miserable being stuck in traffic and want everyone else to be miserable along with them.

        • SerSamsquamsh

          I’ve tried lane splitting a few times when traffic is at a dead stand still not when it’s moving and people stuck in their SUVs get extremely hostile. there seems a significant risk of them try running me over. I must be doing it wrong.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            You probably don’t live in California. There are laws against that kind of behaviour here. This is from the CHP Guidelines for Lane Splitting:

            Messages for Other Vehicle Drivers:
            1) Lane splitting by motorcycles is not illegal in California when done in a safe and prudent manner.
            2) Motorists should not take it upon themselves to discourage motorcyclists from lane splitting.
            3) Intentionally blocking or impeding a motorcyclist in a way that could cause harm to the rider is illegal (CVC 22400).
            4) Opening a vehicle door to impede a motorcycle is illegal (CVC 22517).
            5) Never drive while distracted.
            6) You can help keep motorcyclists and all road users safe by:
            – Checking mirrors and blind spots, especially before changing lanes or turning
            – Signaling your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic
            – Allowing more following distance, three or four seconds, when behind a motorcycle so the motorcyclist has enough time to maneuver or stop in an emergency

          • SerSamsquamsh

            It’s not specifically *illegal* where I live. There are laws against people trying to commit vehicular manslaughter though. Rage factor and distracted drivers is seriously curtailing my enjoyment of riding to the point I’m considering packing it in after 25 years.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            You should take up adventure riding. No distracted drivers and ragers in the boonies and dirt (unless you run into a marijuana or moonshine operation).

          • SerSamsquamsh

            That’s just about the best reason to get and ADV I heard until now.

  • Conclusion: Lane is splitting is the reason many riders….ride.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      No, most riders ride for the fun of it. Lane sharing is one of the many side benefits.

    • SerSamsquamsh

      Saving time. Bikes are quick and easy to park.

  • Douglas

    The big danger in other states is cagers’ resentment of the cyclist “gettin’ ahead a me! He (or she) oughta git back in line!. That ain’t fair!”. There are stunts some of the more base individuals in cars can pull to throw the biker into panic stops or swerves, and they’ll try to say “Oh, sorry, I didden see ya.” In some areas, that behavior will take quite some time to alleviate, methinks.

    • HazardtoMyself

      Best part though is when you see them fuming in their mirror as they try to block you, just to get even more pissed when you still go right around them with ease.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      The attitude will change once lane sharing becomes legal. In California, it is illegal to intentionally block a motorcyclist. Also many cars and SUVs don’t want their mirrors broken off so they get out of the way.

    • Brent S

      If they want to be consistent, they should scream at the people that are in the 12 items or less checkout line at the grocery store.

      • MyName

        I also use the grocery store analogy when countering the “cutting in line” argument. IT’S A DIFFERENT LINE! It’s like complaining about people with two items using the express checkout when you have a full cartload in the normal line. Keeping motorcycles in the lane hurts both motorcyclists AND cars… Allowing lane splitting helps both!!!

      • Shaw1960

        They do. And they call the police when they see a person talking on the phone while driving. They correct other peoples’ children for being too loud in a restaurant. They ask their neighbors to stay within one car length of their own driveway when parking so as to share the street properly. They put a sign on their lawn saying Don’t Let Your Dog Shit on My Lawn. They are general little police-helpers, volunteer rule-enforcers, until one or two people kick the shit out of them for being prying busy-bodies who do not understand how to mind their own business.

    • Hockey Coach

      lol. the more general is: watch the guy in the bmw or mercedes, he always drives like a jerk.

    • Shaw1960

      I can’t see any up-side, having both ridden and driven in these situations. What if a guy is mad and changes lanes without signalling when he sees a bike coming? Best case scenario to the road rage, he kills the guy? That will not improve his life by any sense of the word, unless he is charlie manson or something and gets another notch on his belt. (Think you were late, BEFORE, because of traffic? How long will it take to clear a vehicular manslaughter? Two or three hours on scene, then how ever many years you plea bargain down to, probably “One year in state prison for being a general asshole” followed by parole and Anger Management before you get your driver’s license back. So that job you had is long gone; you’re a convicted felon, so you never again have a 2nd Amendment Right or can serve on a jury (because the only people who know what prison is really like will never be allowed to help decide who goes there, as an explicitly stated part of American Law). You won’t even be allowed to live in an apartment, if it is run by a management company, because you answer Yes to the “have you been convicted of a felony?” ubiquitous question, and that’s an automatic No on your application. Better stop there, you get the picture.

      • Douglas

        Again, half as long this time…..

      • pwlg

        When traffic is stopped and cars in all lanes are full it is much safer to lane filter, less chance of cars changing lanes. However, anyone changing lanes or turning left or right is required by law to give other drivers/riders adequate notice. Where I live it seems drivers have not found the location of their turn signals but it wouldn’t matter since one or both turn signal lights aren’t working. Every time i go riding I check my brake and turn signals. In a 2 ton vehicle why worry, you have the latest safety equipment, some with side airbags even, to keep you safe, so shouldn’t motorists take the time and care to ensure the safety of others on the road? The problem is motorists have been led to believe they own the road and everyone else is a tresspasser. Cyclists pedestrians and motorcyclists have been the victims of motorist carnage.

  • michael32853hutson@yahoo.com

    all that would have to happen is for someone to open their door…yes i have split lanes before but never thought it was a great idea and only under certain circumstances- if you do it all the time something is going to happen despite what the stats say

    • I’ve been doing it 30 years and only one door prize. Easily avoided.

      • michael32853hutson@yahoo.com

        that’s pretty good! it doesn’t bother me if someone wants to do it when i’m driving but i don’t feel comfortable doing it myself,chalk it up to an overactive imagination-ususally when i did do it i was pretty close to the front of the line anyway

        • Being paranoid while riding is never a bad idea!

          • michael32853hutson@yahoo.com

            just call me Argus! i should paint 100 eyes on my helmet,LOL!

    • Josh Heinz

      While it’s cold consolation to a rider laying in a hospital, opening a door to stop a lane splitter is felony assault. Same penalty as if they swung a bat out the window.
      That said, keeping the speed differential down to about 10 MPH gives a good window to avoid sociopaths who feel the call of the Traffic Warden.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      Why would someone open their door while going 30 mph on the freeway?

      • michael32853hutson@yahoo.com

        no- when traffic is stopped- but i’ve opened my door while moving, if my seat belt was caught in the door; besides you’re supposed to go no slower than 45 on the freeway-of course during rush hour traffic can slow to a crawl

    • TJDVeteran

      I’ve been riding and lane splitting since 1985 and knock on wood, I’ve never been down. Had a few close calls but I always lane split very carefully. It’s the douche nozzles that are doing 60 when traffic is bumper to bumper that piss me off.

      • michael32853hutson@yahoo.com

        here’s hoping you continue to have good luck like that!

  • Jon Jones

    Seems that mirrors on pickup trucks are getting wider and wider. And every jackass has to have a dualie in my neck of the woods.

    • HazardtoMyself

      Yep, and they seem to have the need to keep them out at trailer width, even when not towing anything.

      At least we can usually fit under them in stopped traffic.

      • Jon Jones

        I’ve noticed that also. This is another reason I quit road cycling. How many times will these idiots pass you with inches to spare before your head gets cleaned off?

  • Vrooom

    Riding in California recently I was surprised how accommodating cars were in getting out of the way or moving over.

    • Bmwclay

      Agree

    • Born to Ride

      Generally if someone tries to kill you it was due to negligence instead of road rage. They teach you in driving school(or at least mine did) that when you’re stuck in traffic in the left lane you drive to the outside line to give bikes space. Every bike that goes by is one less car that your stuck behind.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      I see it everyday. People move over either to give you more space, to save their mirrors, or they see a fast moving black clad motorcyclist in their mirrors and don’t know if it is a cop. Some people move clear over into the shoulder. I always thank everyone who makes the slightest effort to accommodate me. Another recommendation from CHP is to use high beam headlights during the day to make yourself more visible.

      • Kamohelo Mohudi

        I would advise against riding with high beams on, when i’m driving it is very difficult to tell how far behind a bike is and sometimes the headlights are so bright that while riding some drivers will be looking so much into their mirrors that they will starting inching into your lane without even realising

        • Sayyed Bashir

          I said “use high beam headlights during the day”. They are not so bright in the sunshine. Here is the excerpt from the CHP guidelines:

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a14953da43556334bf18a2da6c838d2b649de9bdfe901d5e5907c9559f03c382.jpg

          • Kamohelo Mohudi

            sometmes bikers don’t ever drive so perception of one good thing is one sided, i drive and ride through the same traffic daily and i can assure you the day you drive in traffic and a bike with its high beams creeps up behind take a second and experience what i am explaining to you, some bikes high beam eg. honda cbr will high beam by lighting both sides and low beam is one side that is alright but cruiser style lights and bikes likes gsxrs that is a mission to see, you will definitely see them but you will never know where exactly inbetween traffic they are as in 4 or 10 cars behind, all you see is one bright light up until it goes past

    • Hockey Coach

      Very true & it’s pretty awesome.

    • Shaw1960

      I really think they are used to it, if they live in California. When traffic is stopped on the 405 and 110 (during some hours of each day of the year) you must expect it unless it’s your first day there.

  • allworld

    For those states that are reluctant to allow lane splitting, the should create motorcycle only lanes on all interstates and major highways, similar to bicycle only lanes on surface roads. If they can or won’t provide such lanes they should forfeit a percentage of federal funding.
    If safety it the goal, then make it safe.

    • kawatwo

      That would be the dream 🙂 We only need half a lane!

    • Sayyed Bashir

      I think all states don’t have the traffic congestion problems California has, so the need for lane splitting is less. In California, CHP used Harleys for a long time and the air cooled engines used to get hot sitting in traffic so they were in favor of lane splitting. Also many major biker clubs that are based in CA and ride Harleys had influence in the legislature. So even though it seems that many sport riders hate Harleys, they should be thankful to Harleys at least for being able to lane split in CA.

    • Shaw1960

      Bikes are also allowed to use the HOV lanes in California, even with only one person on board! Lots of perks in the paradise state. Sunny and 75 360 days a year, blooming flowers every day, swimming on July 4th, and on Christmas the Pacific is still cold on both days. But don’t go there. For one thing if you don’t already own a home there, you will never be able to afford it (okay–the one hundred movie stars can afford it). But your 3 bed 2 bath home costs 600,000 dollars there, unless it is in a desirable area, then it’s a million. Lots of people live in Walmart parking lot in 30 year old RVs though, and under tarps next to freeways.

  • Prakasit

    What are the other 63% of riders waiting for? Unless you ride outside of the cities or ride bike that is too wide, lane splitting is a no brainer.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      Of course touring bikes and baggers can’t safely lane split. I see them laying in the middle of the road many times. Also most people don’t use motorcycles for commuting. You don’t have to lane split as much during weekend riding.

      • Hockey Coach

        I safely lane split with my touring bike, a Harley-Davidson Road King.

        • Sayyed Bashir

          It can be done but not as easily. I don’t have saddlebags or large windshields on any of my bikes for this reason. The more miles you lane split (190,000), the higher the probability of something bad happening.

  • Rich Miles

    Lane splitting is INSANE. California never should have allowed it in ANY form because nobody follows the rules. It was supposed to allow for SLOW movement through stopped traffic, but instead, they’ll weave in and out of moving traffic at dangerously high speeds. It’s one thing to have a death wish, quite another to do damage to someone else or their car.

    • David Cox

      I’ve been lane splitting since 1982, so I’ve got a little experience with it. I split on a GoldWing. It’d be a lot easier on a smaller bike. As far as following the rules go – until recently, there weren’t any! Because it was a grey area in the law, nobody ever taught how to do it safely. Riders had to figure it out on their own, or spend some time hunting down the correct methods. I see plenty of riders that I think are just accidents waiting to happen – usually just too fast! If your relative speed is kept down to close to the speed of traffic (faster of course, because if not, what’s the point?), then you have time to see hazards and react, and almost as important, cagers have a better chance of seeing you. In my experience, since drivers here know and expect white-liners, they generally act positively, or at least neutrally. I’ve seen very few hostile drivers, and they are easy to avoid. In the all too frequent traffic jams found in southern California, I actually feel much safer between lanes. If it isn’t for you, that’s fine – don’t do it, but I’m not insane and I don’t have a death wish. I’m just someone who has a lot of experience doing this safely and sanely.

      • Sayyed Bashir

        Yes, I have also seen some squids weaving in and out of lanes at a blistering speed. They give us daily commuters a bad name.

    • Born to Ride

      Do you live in California? It is so few and far between that I see squids with a “death wish”. As someone who splits lanes well above the recommended speed ( up to around 60 mph) provided the speed differential is low, I can say that there is nothing dangerous about it provided everyone stays within the lines. You should come visit and see the reality of the practice rather than watching YouTube.

      • SBennett

        Well, the key variable is “provided everyone stays in their lane.” You have no control over that and eventually someone will violate your trust. It’s not a question of “if” but of “when.” Perhaps the good news is that at speeds in excess of 60 miles an hour, it’s likely you won’t have to worry about answering for negligence.

        • Born to Ride

          Since when does “up to” mean “in excess”? And you realize people can violate your right of way at any time right? Not just when lane splitting, so why ride at all? It’s too dangerous right?

          • Jeff S. Wiebe

            “you realize people can violate your right of way at any time right?”
            Simple but profound. It seems to me that it is less likely for a vehicle to move laterally into your intended path when there is another vehicle right beside them than it is for them to move laterally into your intended path when there is open lane there, which you are about to move forward into.

          • SBennett

            Yes. That’s the proper way to lane-split.

          • SBennett

            You said “…around 60 mph.” I’m not splitting hairs over 59 or 61 mph. Yes, of course, riding is inherently dangerous and, yes, people can (and do) violate your right-of-way. That’s the point. Managing risk is key to arriving safely at a destination, each and every time. As you note, uncontrolled variables invariably ensue. What happens after that is largely a consequence of physics and the laws of motion, not the vehicle code.

            Speaking of which, my apologies. I didn’t mean to imply you were a negligent rider, but in the event of an accident at that speed, you’d be 50% over the max speed permitted by law for lane-splitting If that were the case you’d have a boat load of “contributory negligence” to defend against.

            Regardless, if in your assessment lane splitting at 60 mph amounts to adequate risk management, then by all means ride-on! However, based on my own witness as a sheriff’s deputy with 300K miles in the saddle, I would be remiss to not urge caution. Good luck!

          • Born to Ride

            A fair and level headed assessment, but a couple of points of inaccuracy. First there is no speed limit law in the books regarding lane splitting. On the California freeway I’d be within my rights to split lanes all the way up to the posted speed limit(70mph in my area) with no vehicle code violation. And secondly, lane splitting is an indispensable tool in the arsenal of risk management. I have personally avoided being rear ended by entering a gap between lanes at relatively high speed and watched the car that was in front of me get smashed in my rear view. Additionally, as someone stated previously you are less likely to get cut off or pushed off the road when you are traveling between cars. The big danger is when cars are staggered with gaps in slow moving traffic due to erratic lane changes, and you can bet your ass I’m moving way slower in that scenario. As long as you’re cognizant of the primary threats at any given moment, I don’t think speed escalates risk of collision appreciably.

          • SBennett

            Yes, biggest threat is staggered traffic and erratic lane changing. Yes, passing between two adjacent vehicles is the safest position in which to lane-split. AB 51 did not set absolutely speed limits for lane splitting but left it to the CHP to develop guidelines. It did, however, make it official — it is illegal for motorists to impede a motorcycle to try and prevent it from lane-splitting – yeah! The current stated CHP speed guidelines are 30/10 mph. You may may observe riders in excess of that but in the event of an accident that will be no defense. For the record, without question speed escalates the degree of risk, damage and injury. In the parlance of traffic safety, “Speed Kills” so be careful.

        • MyName

          We don’t have lane splitting in Oregon, so I don’t do it, but people STILL push me out of my lane sometimes…. We don’t have control over cars with or without lane splitting…

          • jbk212010

            I live in Portland and lane split almost daily on my sv650. I84 and I5 are a mess during rush hour and I go slowly

      • Rich Miles

        I lived in Palmdale for a while in the late1990’s so was able to experience Los Angeles lane splitting first hand. The Harley guys wanted to do it because their air-cooled bikes would over heat sitting in traffic. Most of them went pretty slow and would usually only do it in STOPPED traffic. That worked well for most. The real problem was the rocket riders. Many would split at speeds FAR in excess of what was recommended – sometimes even in groups and even in moving traffic. They were merely “accidents” looking for a place to happen, and they often found it. A buddy of mine was killed doing just that. It made us ALL look bad. I left California shortly thereafter.

  • symun buuntw

    N.also watch out at round about..this pighead driver gonna run into yor part n scew up yor riding day…

    • Sayyed Bashir

      Roundabouts were invented by the British. Worst thing ever. Take up too much room. Confusing to drivers. Accidents waiting to happen. A small single lane roundabout would be OK, but huge two lane roundabouts with five or more roads coming in are a traffic nightmare.

      • Hockey Coach

        Alberta had 2-lane roundabouts when I lived there. Keeps traffic moving. More efficient than traffic lights at some intersections. There’s really only one rule: if you’re in the outside lane, you have take the next exit on the right. Not that confusing.

        • Sayyed Bashir

          a) How do you get in the inside lane when there is traffic in both lanes?
          b) Why would you want to get in the inside lane when you need to exit soon thereafter?
          c) How do you exit from the inside lane when there is traffic in both lanes?
          d) How do you remember which road you were supposed to exit on after going around in a circle?

          • Hockey Coach

            a) um, you wait, of course.
            b) the car on the outside lane has to take the next exit, so you just move over into the EMPTY outside lane when you need to
            c) you don’t (see above)
            d) first exit = right turn, second exit = straight, third exit = left turn.

            it’s really not complicated.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            So if you are in the left lane when you come up to a roundabout, you have to wait for a gap in the traffic in the outside lane so you can get in the outside lane, then wait for a gap in the inside lane so you can move there because the cars in your lane have to take the next exit, while you are also trying to remember the number of exits you have passed so far (in a five or more roads roundabout) and then wait for a gap in the outside lane again and move there before you get to the exit you need to take, and then take the correct exit, otherwise you have to go around again. If there are cars in the right lane when you come to the roundabout, they will also be trying to do the same things you are doing. If this is in a heavy traffic area, it sounds like a nightmare, with cars changing lanes and entering and exiting the roundabout (more like a mixing bowl). This is not counting motorcycles, scooters, rickshaws and big trucks which may also be in the mix. We have a couple of them up in Truckee and I almost got hit by a Jeep. I have seen big roundabouts in other countries which are nothing but pandemonium.

  • Fernando Scarlata

    Lane Splitting in Argentina is legal, and in the crowded city of Buenos Aires is the only way to save 2 hours a day and much more safe than stay behind a car or a truck. I agree with the slower speed to do it and stay hyper alert because cars drivers don’t even think the posibility a motorcycle could come.

  • wolzybk

    Lanesplitting is a beautiful thing. I did it for 25 years in CA, over 40K miles of split lanes, and loved that it was possible. As a consultant with often multiple clients in a day, my motorcycle (a ’93 Ducati Monster) paid for itself several times over in time I was able to spend getting paid at a client’s instead of spending stuck in traffic.

    I moved to NH six years ago, and truthfully, the only two things I really miss about SoCal are lanesplitting, and Mexican food.

    • TJDVeteran

      I’ve lived all over the U.S. but always come home to SoCal. Not being able to lane split is a deal breaker for me now. Unless someone is paying me an absolute fortune to live somewhere else I ain’t moving. And I don’t want to picture life without three things. The coast, riding and Mexican food. Take one of those away from me now and I’ll be dead within a week, lol.

      • wolzybk

        I tried, man. I lived in SoCal for over 40 years. But they finally drove me out — taxes, lousy business climate, ever more progressive stupidity. With heated gloves, I can ride 8 or 9 months a year in NH. I don’t really miss lanesplitting a lot in NH; there’s not much traffic here. (But I sure as heck miss it whenever I have to go to MA.) We do have lovely coasts up here. But you’re right about the food. We need a lot more Mexicans.

  • SBennett

    Lane splitting is also popular all over Europe. But the big problem with lane splitting is how many riders abuse the privilege by passing between cars when traffic is not slowed and at excessive speeds when it is. That, more than prudent or polite lane splitting, is what causes resentment on the part of cage riders.

  • Tanner

    lane splitting and filtering are technically not the same thing.

    • MyName

      Filtering is clearly a no-brainer… the only reason to not allow filtering is spite.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      You are right. Lane splitting is riding between two lanes of cars, usually on a highway. Filtering is riding between and across lanes of stopped or very slow traffic in a city.

  • TriumphRider87

    While I would love to see lane-splitting over here on the East Coast, I think one thing that’s left out of the discussion above & in general is the width of the lanes. I have a suspicion that lanes in California are at least generally, if not uniformly, full-width. Not always true in NJ and PA, where I live, work, & ride. New Jersey in particular likes to squeeze an extra lane in wherever possible. Add in the kinks, bends, off-camber turns, lanes that suddenly narrow in order to fit under an old bridge, and other charming aspects of highway travel in the Garden State, and it seems like a recipe for problems when it comes to lane splitting.
    That, and NJ drivers are a little aggressive. PA drivers, too.

    Anyone know the official lane widths and the as-found-in-reality ones?

    • AnoNYC

      I live in NYC and lane split every time I ride. I also ride a smaller bike. Lane splitting here is slower and takes more skill.

      And sometimes it just isn’t possible for certain stretches.

      • Hockey Coach

        Do the police in NYC care? (Have you been pulled over for it?)

        • AnoNYC

          I’ve only been pulled over once by a highway specific unit. I was let off with a warning and the only reason he even attempted was because he had the advantage of being two cars ahead of me and literally forced the drivers to cut me off against the barrier (no shoulder). Most cops don’t care and so long as you are traveling at a reasonable speed and if the traffic is bad it’s impossible for them to catch you so they won’t bother. I should add I ride multiple times a week year round.

          There are a lot of unlicensed riders in NYC, and a lot of outlaw types that ride dirtbikes and ATVs without license/insurance/registration/plates. The NYPD is most interested in going after the latter because they ride the most recklessly but they are also extremely difficult to catch. There are often MASSIVE rideouts with like hundreds of outlaw riders. It’s a city of 8.6-7 million and 21 million in the metro area, tons of traffic and only so many cops. And the cops like everyone else get stuck in traffic.

        • AnoNYC
        • AnoNYC
  • JKO

    Lane splitting is the norm everywhere but the US (except California). Hopefully the rest of the world will catch up (or at least a few more states).

    I split everyday and I’d probably switch to a bicycle if I couldn’t

    And we all know bicycles lead to communism 🙂

  • AnoNYC

    Only 36% of Cali riders lane split?

    I find that hard to believe. That stat seems too low. Here in NYC, I would say that almost all riders lane split unless they are riding something huge or just can’t fit.

    • Hockey Coach

      I don’t believe it’s only 36% either.

  • alpinecoach

    lets continue to be good moto riding citizens so that lane splitting is further embraced by the public at large~

  • Mark@OZ

    I am an Aussie. I must filter past 2000 cars every day on my 50km round trip. The safest part of the road is between the cars as they have a tendency not to bang doors and there is no chance of a rear end (except by a squid).

    I am typing this with one hand as my left collarbone and little finger are broken after being taken out by a car that cut across the road while i was travelling at 30kph in my own lane in peak traffic! If I’d been filtering at the same speed my SV650 and I would still be rolling along today.

  • pcontiman

    Lane splitting is the bomb! When I go home to CO I definitely feel disgruntled while sitting 20 cars back at the red light or creeping down the highway behind an F250 diesel….Still, a little dangerous as I’ve clipped a couple of mirrors and a bumper here and there but when I leave my Evil Kneivel personality at home it’s relatively safe…..so far. Should be legal in all 50, no reason for it not to be. The one thing about CA is that they seem to have slightly wider lanes on the freeway, not sure if that’s true but that lane between cars looks wider here than in CO….stay safe my friends.

  • scout

    All good in CA. Cagers are used to us splitting. President Trump must consider an exec. order to allow splitting in all states or the States get zero highway funds! That’ll work.

  • James McLauchlan

    The article is flawed. It suggests Lane splitting and Filtering are the same manoeuvre, which is incorrect. I really wish these people at Motorcycle.com would read up on stuff before they write an article in which the author appears to know what they are on about. The readers that don’t the know the difference are sucked in and start to believe that what is written is correct! They are also saying ‘lane splitting’ when quoting data from ‘filtering’ statistics.

    Quote: ‘Lane-Splitting or Filtering, as the practice of riding a motorcycle between lanes of slow or stopped traffic is called….’

    NO IT’S NOT!

    Filtering: Is moving up through slow moving or stopped traffic.
    In the UK and Europe filtering is generally defined as under a 20/20 guideline:
    Do not filter at more than 20mph (30kph) and do not filter when traffic is flowing at more than 20mph (30kph).

    Lane Splitting: is switching lanes and riding up through faster traffic that’s moving faster than (say) 30kph. When lane splitting, traffic is never stopped. If it is stopped it will be called ‘Filtering’.

    Lane splitting is not legal in the UK and Europe simply because it is illegal to split lane and undertake in fast moving traffic, i.e. traffic moving faster than 30kph for example. Filtering is legal in the UK and most of Europe. In some countries the law defines filtering as legal. In some countries the law does not prohibit filtering and thus it happens.

    Here in Canada, the drive in BC is to have ‘FILTERING’ introduced.
    There is not current drive that I am ware of to introduce lane splitting.

    The logic behind FILTERING drive is as follows:

    1) Save riders lives and reduce serious injuries by removing stationary bikes from the firing line of distracted drivers.

    2) Help reduce traffic congestion – If just 10% of commuters switched to 2 wheeled motorised transport traffic congestion would be reduce by up to 40%

    3) Help reduce the environmental impact of stop start/stationary vehicles through the introduction of filtering

    Trying to introduce lane splitting at the same time as filtering and I think there will be huge resistance from lawmakers and motorists.
    Once filtering is legal and accepted by the motoring public and riders are also used to the concept then maybe look at splitting.

    Lets take it one step at a time eh?