SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – As the weather across Utah starts to warm up, motorcycles are hitting the roads. The Utah Department of Public Safety (DPS) is reminding drivers to be aware of their surroundings and that lane filtering is legal in the Beehive State.
Lane filtering isn’t anything new to Utah. It’s been legal under certain circumstances since May 2019. However, since motorcycles are seasonal in Utah, it can still come as a surprise to many drivers when a motorcycle drives past while stopped at an intersection.
Lane filtering is different from lane splitting – which still remains illegal in Utah. According to the American Motorcyclist Association, lane splitting is when a motorcycle passes between clearly marked lanes for traffic traveling in the same direction. Filtering refers to when a motorcycle travels to the front of stopped traffic, usually at an intersection.
DPS said the lane filtering law was designed to prevent or reduce rear-end collisions between approaching cars and motorcycles stopped in traffic.
It’s only legal between stopped vehicles with at least two lanes in the same direction and speed limits are 45 mph or lower. While filtering through lanes, the motorcyclist can only drive at a speed of 15 mph or less and if it can be safely done.
There has been confusion about Utah’s lane filtering law in the past, especially in the summer months after it was implemented. As more motorcycles hit the road, DPS said drivers can expect to see more motorcyclists lane-filtering at traffic stops.