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Arizona motorcyclists allowed to ‘lane filter’ under new law


A new law in Arizona allows for lane filtering by motorcyclists in some situations.

On September 24, 2022, SB 1273 went into effect, making it legal for two-wheeled motorcyclists to travel between lanes of traffic under some circumstances.

Lane filtering is not the same thing as lane splitting, which is allowed in California. Lane splitting is defined as driving a motorcycle between rows of stopped or moving vehicles in the same lane, including on both divided and undivided streets, roads, or highways, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Lane filtering, on the other hand, “refers to the practice of riding a motorcycle between stopped motor vehicles to the front of the pack, typically at a signalized intersection,” according to the American Motorcyclist Association.

The law allows lane filtering under specific conditions:

  • When the posted speed limit does not exceed 45 miles per hour
  • When the motorcycle is not traveling faster than 15 miles per hour when filtering
  • When vehicles are stopped
  • The street is divided into at least two adjacent lanes in the same direction of travel

Proponents of the lane filtering law say that it will improve safety for motorcyclists by allowing them to move ahead of traffic, reducing the risk of a rear-end crash.

Many local police departments in Arizona are attempting to educate the public about the new law through social media.


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