Colorado Legalizes Lane Filtering

Lane Splitting Lane Filterning
Colorado becomes the fifth state to legalize lane filtering, allowing motorcyclists to filter through stopped traffic. Photo by Kevin Wing.

Colorado has passed a bill to allow motorcycles to lane filter between stopped cars, becoming the fifth state to legalize it after California, Utah, Montana, and Arizona.

Lane sharing remains a controversial topic. In his article “Split Decision: Are Lane Splitting and Lane Filtering Safe?” Eric Trow references studies to show the effects of lane sharing in states where it is legal and found that the practice reduces the risk of rear-end collisions and reduces injuries, although it also introduces some new risks. You can find a deeper dive into the topic of lane sharing by reading Trow’s article.

Read “Split Decision: Are Lane Splitting and Lane Filtering Safe?” here

The Colorado bill goes into effect on Aug. 7, 2024, and it will allow motorcyclists to filter through stopped traffic at a speed of 15 mph or less. For more information on the bill, read the American Motorcyclists Association’s press release below.

Colorado Signs Motorcycle Lane-Filtering Legislation into Law

Colorado has become the fifth state to legalize lane filtering after Gov. Jared Polis (D) signed SB24-079 on April 4, allowing motorcycles to filter between stopped cars in traffic and at stoplights.

The bill passed through both the Colorado House and Senate behind strong bipartisan support. Colorado now joins California, Utah, Montana, and Arizona as states with lane-filtering legislation signed into law.

“The signing of SB24-079 is a significant win for motorcyclists in the state of Colorado,” AMA Central States Representative Nick Sands said. “With this new legislation, motorcyclists will now be allowed to filter through stopped traffic, giving riders the ability to legally remove themselves from vulnerable traffic situations before ever coming into contact with a distracted or inattentive driver.”

The bill — sponsored by Sens. Nick Hinrichsen (D-Pueblo) and Jim Smallwood (R-Douglas), as well as Reps. Javier Mabrey (D-Denver, Jefferson) and Ron Weinberg (R-Larimer) — will go into effect on Aug. 7, 2024. It will allow all motorcycles to pass stopped motor vehicles in the same lane. Motorcycles will be required to travel 15 miles per hour or less when filtering and will only be allowed to do so if the road has lanes wide enough to pass safely. Conditions must also allow for “prudent operation of the motorcycle while overtaking or passing.”

For the next three years, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) will collect safety data on lane filtering and issue a report to the Colorado General Assembly regarding the newly passed law.

The AMA continues to support efforts regarding lane-filtering legislation, as its success in several other states indicates its long-term viability in protecting motorcyclists on the open road.

To stay up to date on the latest lane filtering news, visit the AMA Action Center.

The AMA’s position on lane filtering, and lane splitting, can be found here.

The post Colorado Legalizes Lane Filtering appeared first on Rider Magazine.


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