“Lane filtering” may soon become common in the Grand Canyon State. This is due to a new regulation that will soon be in effect in Arizona, allowing motorcyclists to weave in and out of traffic lanes to reach the head of the queue at stoplights. While lane filtering is getting its due recognition, “lane splitting” remains illegal in Arizona.
“Lane filtering” refers to the legal right of motorcyclists to weave in and out of traffic between parked automobiles. That rule only happens during red lights and when all vehicles have stopped. If you wish to know more about lane filtering and split concerning your case, contact our Arizona personal injury lawyers.
What Is Lane Splitting?
When two automobiles travel in the same direction, a motorcyclist may “split lanes” by riding between them. To ride on the white dashed line that separates lanes, often known as “white-lining,” is legal.
Lane splitting is exclusively sanctioned by law in California. For instance, it is perfectly legal to bike between lanes of traffic in Los Angeles, even if the traffic is going slowly on one of the city’s numerous roads.
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Benefits of Lane Splitting
Using lane splitting has three positive effects:
- There is little risk involved. It has been shown that lane-splitting motorcyclists suffer much fewer injuries and are rear-ended far less often than other riders.
- There will be less congestion. Without lane splitting, motorcyclists take up as much room on the road as a vehicle. Motorcyclists can reduce congestion by splitting lanes.
- It helps keep motorcycles cooler. A motorcycle with an air-cooled engine should not be idled in traffic to prevent the engine from overheating.
If you sustained injuries in a rear-end collision in Arizona, contact our motorcycle accident lawyer in Arizona for legal representation. With our no-cost consultation, you can connect with our attorneys and discuss your case in-depth with no time constraints.
Other than lane splitting, another term that comes to light is lane filtering. Both lane filtering and splitting might seem similar, but they are different.
Lane Splitting Isn’t The Same as Lane Filtering
The American Motorcyclist Association defines lane filtering. Lane filtering “refers to riding a motorcycle between stopped motor vehicles to the front of the pack, typically at a signalized intersection.”
By contrast, lane filtering involves a motorcycle riding between two stationary or slowly moving vehicles rather than between two lanes of moving traffic going in the same direction. In the United States, lane splitting and filtering aren’t legal in all states but a select few.
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Lane Filtering Is Legal in Four States in the US
Arizona, Hawaii, Montana, and Utah are the four states that enable lane filtering. Before visiting these states, you must familiarize yourself with the local regulations.
Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, and Washington are among the states proposing lane splitting and lane filtering legislation.
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Where Is Lane Splitting Legal in the US?
Lane splitting is exclusively sanctioned by law in California. The law allows a motorcycle to safely and legally go at fast or moderate speeds between lanes of vehicles traveling in the same direction. In California, the DMV only gives three rules for motorcyclists to follow while lane splitting.
The rules are:
- Maintain a speed not more than 10 mph faster than the surrounding traffic.
- If the traffic speed around you is 30 miles per hour or higher, you shouldn’t get a lane split.
- Stay in your lane near the exit and entrance ramps to the motorway.
Any motorist who attempts to prevent a rider from splitting by physically intervening in the lane with their car or door is also against the law. It’s a breath of fresh air to lane split in California. Similar to California’s lane-splitting law, Arizona’s lane-filtering law also has some specifics to understand the law better.
Arizona’s New ‘Lane Filtering’ Law
Recently, Arizona passed legislation that outlaws “lane filtering” strategies. As of September 24, motorcycle riders in Arizona are allowed to weave in and out of traffic up to a junction on congested roadways. This new rule makes lane filtering acceptable on two-way highways with a 45 mph speed limit.
Motorbikes making the bend have a 15 mph speed restriction. Lane filtering or lane splitting proponents claim it is beneficial because it allows motorcycle riders to save time and fuel.
Truck drivers, however, have expressed concern that bicyclists would attempt to maneuver past their vehicles.
The new law allows lane filtering in Arizona under the following conditions:
- When the maximum speed restriction in effect is less than 45 mph
- When filtering, the motorbike must go at a speed of at least 15 miles per hour.
- When the traffic comes to a complete halt
- At least a double lane separates both directions of traffic on the roadway.
Keep in mind that this regulation applies only to bikes with two wheels. A strict no-trike, no-sidecar policy is in effect, so no one is allowed stunt riding in Arizona. It’s an obvious concern given that three-wheeled bikes are often broader than two-wheeled ones.
Recovering Damages in a Lane Splitting Accident
Since lane splitting is prohibited by law in Arizona, anybody involved in an accident while doing so will be automatically considered negligent. However, even if you are at fault for the accident because you were lane splitting, that fact alone will not preclude you from being awarded damages.
Since Arizona follows the pure comparative blame concept, victims may seek compensation even if their carelessness also had a role in causing their injuries. Any damages will be reduced by the amount of guilt each party shares.
Contact Our Experienced Arizona Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Legal action against the responsible party for damages might be available under Arizona law if you were injured in a motorcycle accident, regardless of whether or not you were lane-splitting. However, when questions remain about whether or not the wounded biker was partially at fault for the crash, pursuing legal action might be difficult.
Our lawyers at Zanes Law have the experience to defend clients in motorcycle and other vehicle accident claims. Do you want a consultation with our motorcycle accident lawyers? Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.