PICKERINGTON, Ohio — Utah became the second U.S. state to formally recognize a type of lane splitting, with the governor's signature on a bill legalizing the filtering of motorcycles between lanes of stopped traffic.
This motorcyclist used lane filtering to move to the front of stopped traffic. Photo by Kevin Wing
"This is a major victory for motorcyclists in Utah and across the country," said Mike Sayre, on-highway government relations manager for the American Motorcyclist Association. "As more states acknowledge the benefits of lane splitting, motorcyclists can become safer on the roads, and motorists can find some relief from traffic congestion."
H.B. 149 allows motorcyclists traveling no faster than 15 mph to filter between lanes of stopped traffic traveling in the same direction on roads where the speed limit is 45 mph or less.
The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Walt Brooks (R-St. George) and state Sen. David P. Hinkins (R-Orangeville), was signed by Gov. Gary Herbert on March 21. The bill takes effect May 14.
There are provisions in the bill automatically repealing the law on July 1, 2022, if the legislature takes no action to extend it.
The AMA endorses lane splitting, given the long-term success in California and the University of California study by Berkeley researchers showing that it enhances motorcycle safety. And the AMA will assist groups and individuals working to bring legal lane splitting and/or filtering to their state.
The full AMA position statement on lane splitting can be found at www.americanmotorcyclist.com/About-The-AMA/lane-splitting-1.