Lane filtering in Arizona has been talked about for decades and it has finally been passed! Gov. Doug Ducey signed SB1273 into law in March, but it was not slated to go into effect until 90 days after the legislative session ended in June 25. This makes the law’s effective date September 25th.
The new law allows for 2-wheeled motorcycles (not trikes) in Arizona to lane filter. Make note that Arizona lane filtering is not the same as California’s lane splitting law. Advocates for the new law have claimed that it results in safer roads for motorcyclists, who no longer have to wait in a potentially dangerous situation between cars at stoplights. Here’s what you should know about the law, and its effect on motorcycle riders in the state of Arizona:
It Only Applies When a Vehicle is Stopped
The new law only applies when a vehicle is stopped. You may not pass a vehicle that is in motion. In essence, it allows them to filter up to the front of the line so that they can be the first to get going again once the light turns green. Lane splitting, where drivers ride between lanes while traffic is moving, will remain illegal under the law.
This is very handy if you are sitting in traffic on a hot day of over 100 degrees. However, be careful as drivers in vehicles will not be looking for motorcycles next to them. Be sure to tell all your friends of this new law so that they know what to expect to ensure safety on the road.
Motorcycle Riders are Only Allowed to Lane Filter at Slow Speeds
Lane filtering will remain illegal on high-speed roads. If the speed limit of a particular road is above 45 miles per hour, lane filtering will not be permitted by motorcycle riders. Additionally, the maximum speed for lane filtering is 15 MPH.
It Only Applies to Specific Streets
Motorcyclists are only allowed to lane split on streets that have two or more lanes going in the same direction. Lane filtering will also remain illegal on freeways.
It’s Safer for Riders and Motorists
Advocates for the law claim that it is safer for riders and motorists alike to allow for lane splitting. In most cases at red lights, drivers may not be paying complete attention and may not have the same patience for a rider that they would for another car. Lane splitting allows for a rider to get ahead of traffic and move before any other cars. This prevents a situation where a motorist ahead may still be at a complete stop, but an impatient car behind elects to move anyways – potentially rear ending and injuring the driver. If the driver is simply allowed to go first, this situation is avoided.
AMSAF has information that you can download for future reference.
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