Lane Filtering OKed For Utah - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 44 Old 03-27-2019, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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Lane Filtering OKed For Utah

Lane filtering (not lane splitting, as in California-style) legalized for this May in Utah. Could your state be next?

https://kutv.com/news/local/new-utah...or-motorcycles

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post #2 of 44 Old 03-31-2019, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Damocles View Post
Lane filtering (not lane splitting, as in California-style) legalized for this May in Utah. Could your state be next?

https://kutv.com/news/local/new-utah...or-motorcycles

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That article did not seem all that clear as to what is actually allowed. Does this mean that you can simply ride to the front at stop lights somewhat like the scooters do in Taiwan? Or since the stated goal is to reduce rear-end collisions, does it mean you can just move up between the cars immediately in front of you to get out of the lane and thus minimize the rear-end risk? Then you have to merge back into the lane when the light changes which could be a challenge. Doesn’t sound like a very well thought out law to me.
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post #3 of 44 Old 03-31-2019, 08:49 AM
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That article did not seem all that clear as to what is actually allowed. Does this mean that you can simply ride to the front at stop lights somewhat like the scooters do in Taiwan? Or since the stated goal is to reduce rear-end collisions, does it mean you can just move up between the cars immediately in front of you to get out of the lane and thus minimize the rear-end risk? Then you have to merge back into the lane when the light changes which could be a challenge. Doesn’t sound like a very well thought out law to me.
I take it that you can get up between cars at a light, but can't just split lanes and proceed past/through them when everybody's moving. Or, maybe you can. As noted, the article didn't clear it up much for me.

I dunno. Never been in that situation. Seems like the process of extricating yourself from between the lanes and safely getting back into one with cars all around you is damned near as dangerous as trying to avoid being rear-ended at a stop in the first place. Lane changes in traffic are my least-favorite motorcycle maneuver, requiring one's attention to be ahead of you, beside you and behind you all at the same time. I did invest in some mirror extenders that greatly improved my rearward view. My mirrors are no longer half-obscured by my torso, especially when wearing a jacket.

It's always been my habit to remain in 1st gear at stops with adequate space between me and the vehicle in front of me, constantly watching my mirrors for any vehicle that seems to be approaching me too quickly from behind.

But, I would assume "studies were done" so perhaps the Gestafety folks know what they're doing with this change.
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post #4 of 44 Old 03-31-2019, 08:50 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
That article did not seem all that clear as to what is actually allowed. Does this mean that you can simply ride to the front at stop lights somewhat like the scooters do in Taiwan? Or since the stated goal is to reduce rear-end collisions, does it mean you can just move up between the cars immediately in front of you to get out of the lane and thus minimize the rear-end risk? Then you have to merge back into the lane when the light changes which could be a challenge. Doesn’t sound like a very well thought out law to me.
My interpretation: Allows motorcyclists to filter between stopped lanes of traffic at a speed not greater than 15 mph. Useful for stop lights, I'd imagine; also, "PARKING LOTS" on streets and highways, where traffic is stopped for a crowded exit or turn, etc.

Hardly the California example in practice, but . . . a step in a positive direction for motorcyclists, IMHO.

My postulation: Motorcyclists opposed to, "lane splitting," have never experienced an environment where the practice is common, understood, and accommodated by the motoring public (as in California).
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post #5 of 44 Old 04-04-2019, 06:53 AM
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We don’t lane split in California, we lane share. This new Utah law simply allows bikes to share lanes at traffic lights while moving forward towards the front for safety. There are many studies proving this to be highly effective for Motorcycle safety.
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post #6 of 44 Old 04-04-2019, 07:52 AM Thread Starter
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We don’t lane split in California, we lane share. This new Utah law simply allows bikes to share lanes at traffic lights while moving forward towards the front for safety. There are many studies proving this to be highly effective for Motorcycle safety.
No lawyer, I, but . . . I think the Utah law allows lane filtering through ANY stopped traffic at 15 mph or less, on roadway with a 45 mph or lower speed limit. Not JUST for traffic lights.

"Lane sharing" may be a more accurate nomenclature of the successful and effective California practice than, "lane splitting." However, the word-on-the-street was, California's practice BEGAN by allowing police motorcycles to filter to the front of a stopped line of traffic at a signal; those air-cooled motorcycles of the day didn't like idling in the back of the line. (Perhaps only legend and rumor; I repeat only what I've been told.)

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post #7 of 44 Old 04-04-2019, 10:02 AM
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Lane sharing is OK in California because, like growing petunias, it is not prohibited. Simply said, there is nothing in the vehicle code that prohibits lane sharing. Two cars (Lotus Super 7s, perhaps) could legally drive side-by-side on a California road. There is nothing in the CVC that addresses lane sharing by motorcycles or any other vehicle. There are no stipulations on how, when, and where lane splitting may be done; all of that is covered by more general CVC sections such as those dealing with safe driving practices.

I have not looked at the Utah proposal but it sounds like they are adding sections to the vehicle code to describe the practice and how, when, and where it may be done.

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post #8 of 44 Old 04-04-2019, 10:27 AM
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We don’t lane split in California, we lane share. This new Utah law simply allows bikes to share lanes at traffic lights while moving forward towards the front for safety. There are many studies proving this to be highly effective for Motorcycle safety.
Please provide a reference to one or more of these studies. I have not seen one that really addresses this.
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post #9 of 44 Old 04-04-2019, 01:05 PM
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There really hasn't been a lot of study on this topic, at least in the formal sense, here in the US. There was a recent study by UC Berkely but I can't find the study itself; it seems to have disappeared. This is not surprising given the abnormal proclivities of the folks up at Berserkely.

There are studies in the EU where lane sharing is already common practice but one wonders how transferrable those studies are to the US environment. In Europe lane sharing is part of the culture. A couple of the most wondrous sights I have seen were watching a large traffic circle in Rome and the circle around the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. Both were, what, 50 meters wide? Seems so. Within these circles, there are no lanes. 1% of the drivers are asshats who drive like Americans and the other 99% give and take as necessary to flow in and out of the traffic. It all works smoothly. Nobody honks, nobody beats on their steering wheel, nobody flips anybody off, and it isn't all horrible and depressing. They just navigate.


Here in California lane splitting has been going on for a long time and drivers are used to it. In the rest of the states I wonder what the reaction would be and how long it would take for drivers to be accustomed to it. Considering that many Americans can't name 5 members of the government, including the POTUS and VPOTUS, and couldn't find their own state on a map how do they get educated on something that is going to affect them on a daily basis?
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Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 04-04-2019 at 01:09 PM.
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post #10 of 44 Old 04-04-2019, 07:16 PM Thread Starter
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Irrelevant aside:

The Paris street scene video above makes me think of my observation and experience in the orient.

Consider the word, "LANE," in the phrases, lane-splitting and lane-filtering (as well as, lane-sharing).

Roads and streets in Seoul, South Korea, have LANES, evidenced by white paint on the pavement signifying their presence. However, the only result I observed from this lane marking was, a COLOSSAL WASTE OF WHITE PAINT! (Comment not exclusive to motorcycles; rather, universal to ALL vehicles.)

“You better put down that gun. You got two ways to go, put it down or use it. Even if you tie me, you’re gonna be dead.” "John Russell" (Paul Newman), Hombre
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