Minnesota Legalizes Lane Filtering

Lane Splitting Lane Filterning
Minnesota has legalized lane filtering, allowing motorcyclists to filter through traffic. Photo by Kevin Wing.

This month, Minnesota has become the sixth state in the U.S. to pass legislation allowing lane filtering, aka lane splitting.

Along with the lane-sharing law, which allows motorcyclists to filter through traffic “at not more than 25 miles per hour and no more than 15 miles per hour over the speed of traffic,” Minnesota has also added punishments for drivers who impede motorcyclists.

As shown by reactions to our recent post about Colorado passing lane-filtering legislation last month, the topic of lane sharing remains controversial. Data indicates that lane sharing reduces motorcycle accidents and decreases the severity of injuries in collisions, especially in rear-end accidents. But some motorists in places where lane sharing is not the norm are skeptical of the practice, even though it’s common on most of the world’s roads.

For an in-depth look at the practice of lane sharing, read “Split Decision: Are Lane Splitting and Lane Filtering Safe?” by Eric Trow. For more about the new legislation in Minnesota, read the AMA’s press release below.

Minnesota Passes Historic Lane-Filtering Legislation

With the signing of HF 5247 into law by Gov. Tim Walz (D) on Friday, May 24, Minnesota became the sixth state to legalize lane filtering.

Minnesota is now the easternmost state to legalize lane filtering and joins California, Utah, Montana, Arizona, and Colorado — which also signed filtering into law this year — as states that permit lane filtering.

“With this new ability to filter through slow-moving traffic and at stoplights, riders in Minnesota will benefit from increased safety on the open road,” AMA Central States Representative Nick Sands said. “The recent successes of lane-filtering legislation passing into law in Colorado and Minnesota signal excellent momentum for our efforts in that space, and the overall well-being of our road-riding members.”

As part of a supplemental budget bill — which impacted several departments, including the Minnesota Department of Transportation — motorcyclists in Minnesota will now be allowed to filter through traffic “at not more than 25 miles per hour and no more than 15 miles per hour over the speed of traffic in relevant traffic lanes.” Written by Sen. Scott Dibble (D-61) and Reps. Frank Hornstein (D-61A), Brad Tabke (D-54A), and Erin Koegel (D-39A), this section of the bill will take effect on July 1, 2025.

The legislation’s success came after AMA member and BMW MOA treasurer Phil Stalboerger told his story of being rear-ended on a motorcycle while in traffic to several legislators who wanted to find a way to prevent further accidents from happening.

“After telling my story to a lot of people and educating people on what lane filtering means for the motorcycle community, it’s very rewarding seeing this legislation pass,” Stalboerger said. “There was a nice rally cry from the motorcycle community, clubs, small businesses, and others saying that ‘yes,’ we want this. The passage of this legislation illustrates grassroots advocacy at its finest.”

In addition to the lane-filtering aspects, HF 5247 also added punishments for drivers that impede motorcyclists on the open road, stating that “an operator of a motor vehicle must not intentionally impede or attempt to prevent the operation of a motorcycle” when filtering.

The AMA remains supportive of all efforts regarding the legalization of lane filtering, as its well-documented success in other states, in addition to support from several studies, indicate that it’s an effective way to keep motorcyclists safe on the road.

The AMA’s position on lane filtering, as well as lane splitting, can be found on the AMA website.

To stay up-to-date on the latest legislative news, visit the AMA Government Action Center webpage.

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

Source: RiderMagazine.com

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