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Protecting Utah

Motorcycle Lane Filtering in Utah

Friday April 30, 2021

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As warmer weather arrives in Utah, drivers can expect to see more motorcycles on our roads.

And that means they’ll see more motorcycles lane filtering – moving between two lanes to the front of traffic stopped at an intersection.

Motorcycle lane filtering has been legal under certain circumstances in Utah since May of 2019.

The lane filtering law was designed to prevent or reduce rear end collisions between approaching vehicles and motorcycles stopped in traffic. Unlike lane “splitting,” lane “filtering” is intended to provide a “safety pocket” for motorcycles when encountering stopped traffic.

Since motorcycle riding is seasonal in Utah, some drivers may be surprised when they see motorcyclists engaging in lane filtering.

The Department of Public Safety wanted to remind drivers they can expect to see motorcycles lane filtering and remind motorcyclists of the conditions under which lane filtering is legal.

Lane filtering between stopped vehicles on roadways with at least 2 lanes in the same direction and speeds of 45 mph and lower is legal in Utah.

Having a motorcycle pass closely to your stopped vehicle can be startling, but if you’re aware that lane filtering is legal, know to expect it now that more motorcyclists are out on our roads and maintain an awareness of your surroundings, the element of surprise can be reduced.

Motorcycles can lane filter in Utah when the following conditions are met:

  • the individual is on a roadway divided into two or more adjacent traffic lanes in the same direction of travel;
  • the individual is on a roadway with a speed limit of 45 miles per hour or less;
  • the vehicle being overtaken in the same lane is stopped;
  • the motorcycle is traveling at a speed of 15 miles per hour or less;
  • and the movement may be made safely.

What Is Lane Filtering?

Definition: “Lane filtering” means, when operating a motorcycle other than an autocycle, the act of overtaking and passing another vehicle that is stopped in the same direction of travel in the same lane.

A motorcyclist waits for a light to turn green after filtering between lanes of stopped vehicles.

In short: lane filtering refers to the process of a motorcyclist moving between two lanes to the front of traffic stopped at an intersection.

Motorcycle lane filtering between two lanes of stopped traffic.

Drivers and riders will need to be aware of this behavior and the specific circumstances under which it is permitted.

Lane filtering was made legal in Utah following the Utah legislature’s passage of HB 149 during the 2019 legislative session.

What Drivers Need to Know

Drivers should expect to see motorcycles lane filtering between stopped vehicles starting May 14th.
  • Lane filtering between stopped vehicles on roadways with at least 2 lanes in the same direction and speeds of 45 mph and lower is legal in Utah.
  • Drivers can expect to see motorcyclists engaging in this driving behavior.
4 photos show what lane filtering will look like for drivers.
Several views of what lane filtering will look like for drivers.

For more lane filtering information, including videos, visit ridetolive.utah.gov/lane-filtering


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MEDIA CONTACT

Nick Street
DPS Public Affairs Director
Department of Public Safety
NSTREET@UTAH.GOV

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