Lanesplitting: It’s a touchy subject, right up there with “darksiding” (running car tires on a motorcycle). The idea of sharing a lane with a car, or splitting between moving cars, gives some riders the heebie-jeebies. For other riders, there’s no other way to travel. And, both camps make the same argument: It’s all about safety.
Statistics have often shown that lanesplitting can be done safely, and indeed may be a “best practice,” particularly in urban traffic. It’s an accepted riding tactic almost everywhere in the civilized world, but not in Canada or most of the US, where transportation authorities continually resist legalization of the practice.
In recent years, we’ve seen that change.
For decades, California was the only jurisdiction in the US that didn’t ticket lanesplitters, and in the Golden State, riders will pass between cars at anything from inner city stop-and-go traffic to fast-flowing freeways. But, in recent years, several other states have seen pushes to legalize the practice.
Utah legalized “filtering” in 2019, which allows motorcyclists to move between stopped cars on roads with a speed limit of 45 mph or less, and two lanes going in each direction. Montana passed similar rules earlier this year. In Oregon, lawmakers also passed a similar bill, but Governor Kate Brown shot it down.
Attempts to legalize the various forms of lane sharing will undoubtedly continue through 2022, while riders in Utah and Montana continue to take advantage of their newfound freedoms.
So how should you lanesplit? Well-known moto instructor Bret Tkacs shares some tips in his YouTube video above. Pay attention, if you live in a state that’s just recently legalized this practice; this advice could save your life.
What do you think? Are lanesplitting and other forms of lane sharing, such as filtering, safe, or lethal practices sure to end in death, or worse?