JayMac: Will lane filtering save motorcyclists’ lives?

May 14, 2019, 5:02 PM | Updated: 6:11 pm

motorcycle deaths motorcyclists...

Michael Zimmer, of Roy, arrives for a meeting about motorcycle safety hosted by The Riderz Association at Caesars Motorcycle Empire in Midvale on Wednesday, July 18, 2018. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

(Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

DISCLAIMER: the following is an opinion piece and does not necessarily reflect the views of KSL Newsradio or its ownership.

It’s now legal for motorcyclists to filter between stopped cars and trucks. But there are rules: the speed limit on the road must not exceed 45 mph and filtering is not allowed on freeways. The road has to have at least two lanes in the same direction. A motorcyclist cannot travel faster than 15 mph when passing stopped vehicles.

You might be thinking why would lawmakers pass such a law? Why do motorcyclists get to cut in line? Why the special privileges? Sounds kinda dangerous, right?

But this isn’t an issue of providing convenience for riders. It’s really a matter of safety. Apparently, drivers of cars and trucks have a difficult time seeing motorcyclists in a phenomenon called “inattentive blindness.” So even when a motorcyclist is right in front of them, the driver doesn’t see the rider.

In Utah in 2018, there were 47 motorcyclist fatalities, an increase of 24% from 2017. This year is on par to match the record number of fatalities.

The most common type of accident is a rear-end crash, which accounts for 40% of accidents in the U.S., according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Safety first

This new law allows the rider to get up to the front of the line. The motorcyclist will be ahead of traffic, not stuck behind it, getting them out of the way of drivers who can’t see them.

Motorcyclists aren’t jumping ahead in line. Yes, there are those drivers that think they have somehow lost the Battle of the Day if they let someone ahead of them in line. Their day is now ruined. But the rider is actually getting out of line and opening up a space for a vehicle to move forward. Riders only hold up traffic when they’re stuck in line with the other cars and trucks.

Also, Utah’s helmet law only applies to riders and passengers who are younger than 18. So anything that improves the safety of any motorcyclist — by lowering the chance of a rear-end collision — is a good thing, right?

The next time you see a motorcyclist move ahead of you while you’re in your car stopped for a traffic light, think of that move as an improvement in safety: a rear-end crash that never had a chance to occur.

But there are still law-breakers no matter how many safety improvements are made. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve witnessed motorcyclists flying through traffic while weaving between moving vehicles. All it takes is one car to swerve, unexpectedly change lanes or brake suddenly. And, just like that, you’re dead. Your life is over. But no enforcement, no regulation is ever going to stop the reckless motorist.
Jay Mcfarland hosts the JayMac News Show, weekdays from 12:30 to 3 p.m. on KSL Newsradio, as well as the fictional podcast, Hosts of Eden. KSL Newsradio is part of Bonneville Media and based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Don’t forget to review and subscribe to the JayMac News Show podcast on Apple Podcasts. Or follow Jay on Twitter and Instagram or on Facebook.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.


"Scrambled" is a good movie you'll want to see just for Leah McKendrick....

Steve Salles

KSL Movie Show Review: ‘Scrambled’ actress Leah McKendrick was a joy to watch

Actress Leah McKendrick leaves you wanting more of her after watching "Scrambled". It's a good story about "writing what you know."

24 days ago

"The Promised Land" movie is packed with good storytelling and a fun main character....

Steve Salles

KSL Movie Show Review: ‘The Promised Land’ is good storytelling with a side of Mads Mikkelsen

Good storytelling and Mads Mikkelsen make for "Promised Land" being a movie you'll want to see as soon as you can.

25 days ago

holiday shoppers get ready to start spending at city creek mall...

Amanda Dickson

Dickson: All I want for Christmas is to control my holiday spending!

Amanda Dickson wants to start doing a better job of controlling her holiday spending -- putting the emphasis on people rather than stuff.

3 months ago

KSL Movie Show co-host Steve Salles says "Maestro" is a fine picture you won't want to miss....

Steve Salles

KSL Movie Show review: ‘Maestro’ shows a renown composer, flaws and all, exquisitely

Don't miss this movie review of Bradley Cooper's portrayal of Leonard Bernstein. "Maestro" is and exquisite and real must-see picture.

3 months ago

Image of Utah's Morning News host Amanda Dickson and colleague Kate Davis, who says she is grateful...

Amanda Dickson

Dickson: Social media and the importance of the radio community

Unlike social media, radio is one of the few experiences that offers everybody listening the same information at the same time.

3 months ago

Deedee Corradini, the former Salt Lake City mayor, was instrumental in getting the Olympics to Utah...

Amanda Dickson

Dickson: Remembering Deedee Corradini after the Olympics news today

Former Salt Lake City Mayor Deedee Corradini was instrumental in getting the Olympics. She would be ecstatic to see them again.

3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

JayMac: Will lane filtering save motorcyclists’ lives?