Lane splitting, also known as lane filtering or lane sharing, is the practice of a motorcyclist riding between lanes of slow-moving or stopped vehicles on a road or highway. It typically occurs in traffic congestion when motorcycles maneuver between lanes to move forward more quickly.
The legality and regulations regarding lane splitting vary by jurisdiction. In some places, such as California in the United States, lane splitting is permitted under certain conditions, while in other areas it is explicitly prohibited. Some jurisdictions have ambiguous or no specific laws addressing lane splitting, leaving it up to interpretation or discretion.
Proponents of lane splitting argue that it can help reduce traffic congestion, improve motorcycle safety by reducing the risk of rear-end collisions, and provide motorcyclists with a means to move through traffic more efficiently. They believe it can also help reduce the risk of motorcyclists being struck from behind by cars.
Opponents of lane splitting raise concerns about the safety risks associated with motorcycles maneuvering between lanes of traffic, particularly at higher speeds. They argue that it can create an unpredictable and dangerous situation for both motorcyclists and other motorists.
It’s important to note that wherever lane splitting is legal, there are often specific guidelines and safety recommendations that should be followed. These can include factors such as recommended speeds, conditions under which it is safe to lane split, and considerations for the width of lanes and the size of vehicles involved.
If you are a motorcyclist or driver, it is important to familiarize yourself with the laws and regulations specific to your jurisdiction and exercise caution and awareness on the road to promote safety for all road users.