Lane Splitting Legal States 2024

Many residents of the United States enjoy riding motorcycles as a means of cost-effective transportation and for plain old fun, but the general road safety of these vehicles is part of a longstanding debate—especially regarding lane splitting.


Lane splitting or white lining is where a rider is weaving between moving traffic at a higher speed. Each state has vastly varying legalizations of this.

Lane filtering is the act of weaving between slower-moving traffic or traffic that is at a standstill. This is a common practice seen in Asia and different parts of Europe.

Lane sharing is another act that has varying legalization, but, in general, most Americans will have seen this done. It’s where two or more motorcyclists will share a lane in standing or moving traffic. The pattern can either be staggered, or they can ride side-by-side.

States Where Lane Splitting is Legal

As of 2022, Californiais the first and only state to make lane splitting explicitly legal, and before that, it was a respected practice.

Lane filtering is allowed in Arizona, but only in certain conditions. The motorcyclist must be:

  • On a road with a speed limit of 45 mph or less,
  • Not going faster than 15 mph,
  • On the street with two or more lanes headed in the same direction,
  • Passing cars stopped in the same lane,
  • Passing in between lanes of traffic, not on the shoulder or median.

Utahallows lane filtering in extremely similar conditions, with the only exception being traffic must be stopped, and they may not do so on the shoulder or bike lanes.

Similarly, in Montana, lane filtering is also legal, but the conditions only differ in that the motorcyclist cannot be traveling more than 20 mph, the road condition must be safe with wide enough lanes, and they stay “within 10mph of ambient traffic speed while splitting lanes”.

Virginia is considering legislation for lane filtering.

The state of Hawaii allows a practice called “shoulder surfing” as an alternative to lane filtering. It allows motorcyclists to pass traffic that is stopped.

States Without Relevant Legislation

Several states lack legislation that even mentions either lane splitting or lane filtering, which means it's legal by omission, but you may still receive a citation for that kind of movement through traffic.

These states with de facto legality include:

Safety Considerations of Lane Splitting

A study by Berkeley made a case for lane splitting. Between June 2012 and August 2013, they reviewed roughly 6,000 collisions in which motorcycles were involved. These included 997 that involved motorcyclists lane splitting at the time of the impact. They found it's safe when done in traffic moving at speeds less than 50 mph and when the riders don't exceed the speed of vehicles they are passing by 15 mph.

The Motorcycle Legal Foundation refers to the four Rs for those who wish to lane split:

  • Be Reasonable: Be reasonable with your speed, as going fast can be dangerous. Don’t be a liability to yourself and others.
  • Be Responsible: You are responsible for your safety, so make sure that your actions reflect this. Your actions are also responsible for the safety of others around you.
  • Be Respectful: Everyone on the road shares the road. Safely and politely acknowledge a motorist if they give you room to lane split. A motorist giving you space is a courtesy and not an obligation. And don’t be a jerk.
  • Beware of Roadways: You should always be aware of potential hazards whenever you’re driving, including uneven surfaces, potholes, inattentive drivers, and poor weather conditions. Riding on painted lines can reduce your grip on the road when it rains. You should be on extra high alert for these hazards when splitting lanes. Stay focused so that you’re able to respond to dangers if they arise.

Lane splitting is controversial and often alarming for drivers. If you ride too fast, you can startle drivers or distract them from focusing on the road in front of them. Additionally, while most rear-end incidents in traffic are minor fender-benders, bikers are at a higher risk of being injured or seriously injured in rear-end incidents. Because motorcyclists have lower visibility on the roadway than other cars, it is also recommended that they wear bright colors.

Some also believe that lane splitting can be beneficial, despite the motorists that get frustrated about bikers not “waiting in line” in traffic. If a biker leaves their spot in traffic to lane split, it allows each vehicle to be one spot closer to their destination, allowing both the biker and the other motorists to travel quicker. A 2012 Belgian study found out that if 10% of drivers switched to motorcycles, travel times would decrease by eight minutes per journey.

Lane Splitting Legal States 2024

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Lane Splitting Legality
Lane Splitting Rules
ConnecticutUnder consideration
  • As of 2023, Connecticut was considering Senate Bill 629, which legalized a regulated form of lane splitting.
MarylandUnder consideration
  • As of 2023, Maryland was considering House Bill 917, which legalized a regulated form of lane splitting.
OregonUnder consideration
  • As of 2023, Oregon was considering House Bill 2314, which would allow motorcycles to travel between cars on roadways where the speed limit is 50 mph or greater and traffic was moving at ten mph or slower.
TexasUnder consideration
  • As of 2023, Texas was considering House Bill 879, which would permit motorcycles to move between lanes of stopped or slow-moving traffic at no more than 25 mph.
WashingtonUnder consideration
  • As of 2023, Washington was considering Senate Bill 5254, which would legalize a regulated form of lane splitting.
  • Two-wheeled motorbike riders to pass other cars in the same lane and direction of travel if:
  • They are going at 15 miles per hour or less.
  • They are on the road with a speed limit of 45 miles per hour or less.
  • They believe the move is safe.
  • This legislation only applies to two-wheel bikes and does not apply to motorcycles with sidecars.
  • Lane splitting should be done at no more than ten mph above the speed of surrounding traffic and only when it is safe.
  • Motorcycles can pass stopped or slow-moving traffic at no more than ten mph in the same direction. Additionally, Montana adopted a regulation in 2021 that permits lane splitting under certain conditions, which include ensuring that the road and traffic circumstances are safe, the motorcycle is not moving faster than 20 mph, and the lanes are wide enough.
  • Lane filtering allows motorcycles to move between stopped or slow-moving traffic lanes at no more than 15 mph.
NevadaIn Process
  • Nevada passed Assembly Bill 236 in 2019, allowing the Nevada Department of Transportation to create regulations for motorcycle lane filtering. However, as of 2023, the department had yet to implement any regulations.
  • No law.
  • No law.
  • The state adopted a regulation in 2018 that permits motorcycle riders to utilize the road shoulders in certain spots to pass stopped vehicles, known as “shoulder surfing.”
  • No law.
  • No law.
New HampshireIllegal
New JerseyIllegal
  • No law.
New MexicoIllegal
New YorkIllegal
North CarolinaIllegal
North DakotaIllegal
Rhode IslandIllegal
South CarolinaIllegal
South DakotaIllegal
West VirginiaIllegal
  • No law.
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Lane Splitting Legal States 2024