Do you know the law regarding motorcycle lane-filtering? Arizona is well-known as a motorcycle-friendly state, with hundreds of thousands of registered motorcycles belonging to residents across the state. A recent change in state law gives motorcycle riders some additional room to maneuver when traveling on Arizona roadways. Lane filtering allows motorcycle riders to move through lanes to pass between two vehicles traveling in the same direction, but only under specific circumstances. Although it is a controversial practice that some believe leads to an increased risk of motorcycle accidents, motorcyclists need to understand the concept of lane splitting and when it is permissible under Arizona law.

If you suffer injuries in a motorcycle accident, you need an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer who can advocate for your rights and seek damages for your injuries. Call our offices at 623-887-5689 or reach out to us online to schedule your free consultation today.

Arizona’s New Motorcycle Lane-Filtering Law

As of September 24, 2022, Ariz. Rev. Stat. §28-903 provides the following:

“The operator of a two-wheeled motorcycle may overtake and pass another vehicle that is stopped in the same direction of travel and in the same lane as the operator and may operate the motorcycle between lanes of traffic if the movement may be made safely and if the operator does both of the following:

  1. Operates the motorcycle on a street that both:

(a) Is divided into at least two adjacent traffic lanes in the same direction of travel.

(b) Has a speed limit that does not exceed forty-five miles per hour.

  1. Travels at a speed that does not exceed fifteen miles per hour.”

The new law applies only to two-wheeled motorcycles without sidecars. Therefore, it does not allow riders of trikes, Spyders, Slingshots, or Ural sidecars to engage in this practice.

Likewise, motorcyclists should understand that motorcycle lane-filtering is permissible only on streets – not freeways – with a maximum speed limit of 45 mph or less with two or more lanes traveling in the same direction. Movement under the new law may only occur when traffic is at a standstill and while traveling at a maximum speed of 15 mph.

Most importantly, motorcyclists should only engage in this maneuver when safe and without undue risk to themselves or other motorists. Motorcyclists should ensure they have plenty of room to navigate their bikes between lanes. They also should remember that they don’t have to travel the entire stretch of road before an intersection. Motorcyclists can always pull into a lane when it is safe and reassess their position.

Differences Between Lane Filtering and Lane Splitting

True lane splitting is legal only in the state of California. Lane splitting may occur when motorcyclists are traveling in heavy traffic. Motorcyclists may ride around or between vehicles in clearly marked lanes to avoid traffic congestion and reach their destinations more quickly.

Motorcycle lane-filtering also helps motorcyclists avoid the safety risks inherent in constantly and inconsistently braking and accelerating through heavy traffic. All too often, motorcyclists are at an increased risk of collision in stop-and-go traffic, as other drivers may be less likely to notice their proximity to the much smaller motorcycles. In warm climates, lane filtering also allows motorcyclists, who often wear heavy protective gear, to avoid sitting for long periods in uncomfortably hot temperatures and continue moving. Lane filtering also can help motorcyclists prevent the risk of their bikes overheating.

Contrary to some media reports, the new Arizona lane filtering law differs from the California lane splitting law. Arizona’s law focuses on lane filtering in specific instances, like the few other states that have legalized this practice. In motorcycle lane-filtering, a motorcyclist who is stopped at the rear of two lanes full of vehicles may move between the lanes of vehicles to reach the front of the line. Typically, this practice occurs at intersections where motorcyclists can easily accelerate back into their preferred lanes.

Contact Garrison Law Firm Today

You can rely on a motorcycle accident attorney at Garrison Law Firm to provide the legal advice and representation you need if you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident or another type of motor vehicle accident. We are here to represent your interests and handle your legal issues so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries. Call our offices at 623-887-5689 or contact us online to speak with a top-rated motorcycle accident lawyer in Peoria and learn more about how we can assist you.