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Utah officials remind drivers of motorcycle lane filtering

May 12, 2022, 5:45 PM | Updated: May 13, 2022, 1:25 pm

As more motorcyclists take to the road, the Utah DPS reminds drivers to be cautious of motorcycle l...

As more motorcyclists take to the road, the Utah DPS reminds drivers to be cautious of motorcycle lane filtering. Photo courtesy of the Utah Department of Public Safety

SALT LAKE CITY — As summer approaches, the Utah Department of Public Safety wants to remind drivers to share the road with motorcyclists who may be motorcycle lane filtering.

What is motorcycle lane filtering?

Many of us have seen this activity. The Utah DPS defines this as “the act of [a motorcyclist] overtaking and passing another vehicle that is stopped in the same direction of travel in the same lane.” In other words, lane filtering is when a motorcyclist moves between lanes at a red light or in stopped traffic.

It has been legal in Utah under certain circumstances since 2019. The purpose of the law is to help prevent rear-end collisions between cars and motorcycles stopped in traffic. 

When is motorcycle lane filtering permitted?

The Utah DPS said lane filtering is legal under these conditions:

  • When a motorcyclist is on a road divided into two-plus adjacent traffic lanes in the same direction of travel.
  • If a motorcyclist is on a road with a speed limit of 45 miles per hour or less.
  • When the vehicle being overtaken in the same lane is stopped.
  • The motorcyclist is traveling at a speed of 15 miles per hour or less.
  • It may be done safely.

As summer begins and more motorcyclists are on the road, the Utah DPS said it is a good time to remind drivers of the potential for motorcycle lane filtering. Officials want to help assure that drivers won’t be startled by motorcyclists moving between lanes.

“… 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,” the Utah DPS said in a news release.

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Utah officials remind drivers of motorcycle lane filtering