More confusion over lane splitting and filtering

Lane filtering lane splitting America danger bosch filter work

If you think Australian road rules and lane filtering rules vary substantially between states, how about the USA where the only two states with lane splitting have completely different rules!

California has now been joined by Utah which has recently legalised lane splitting, while several more states are considering lane-splitting rules.

Lane splitting

It’s called lane splitting in the USA and lane filtering in Australia.

While lane filtering is slow movement between lanes of traffic, lane splitting is usually performed at higher speeds as in California.

However, the new Utah rules are actually lane filtering as it is only permitted in stationary traffic on a road posted at no higher than 45mph (72km/h) and at a maximum speed of 15mph (24km/h).

That’s even more restrictive than Australia where traffic does not have to be stopped and the maximum speed is 30km/h.

However, each Australian state has variances in the rules such as whether you can filtering through school zones, on the road edge or next to trucks and buses.

Rules Lane filter splitting filtering
Rules vary across Aussie states

The most liberal rules are in California where it is allowed when traffic is travelling under 30mph (48km/h) and riders must travel no faster than 10mph (16km/h) more than surrounding traffic. 

America divided

Several other American states are also considering lane filtering/splitting bills with varied rules.

Some are considering allowing riders to use the road shoulder only and not between lanes of traffic, while others have varied maximum speeds for riders and surrounding traffic.

In Texas, where you can ride without a helmet under certain conditions, they are considering making it mandatory when splitting lanes.Lane filtering lane splitting

Is it any wonder riders become confused and inadvertently break some of these arcane rules when travelling from state to state?

So if someone tells you it is legal to lane filter or lane split in their state or country, find out the rules first or you could run foul of the law.

2 Comments

  1. Ha ha. Do you REALLY think bikers will lane split only on roads in Utah where the speed limits are 40 mph or less and traffic is doing less than 15 mph? What are the lawmakers smoking? I see bikers lane splitting st 60 mph on all roads. They should call in “head splitting” instead of “lane splitting”.

  2. Put your helmet on before you lane split! Haha!

    I heard a radio advertisement letting drivers know about the new lane splitting rules down here in Tasmania the other day, good to know there’s some public education going on. Probably the state that needs it the least (with the least amount of peak traffic) but welcome all the same! I find most drivers are courteous.

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