New Colorado Law Will Allow Lane Filtering for Motorcycles Starting August 7, 2024

Our Denver motorcycle accident attorneys at Donaldson Law, LLC, monitor new laws that may impact how our Colorado clients can pursue damages for their injury or wrongful death claims.

One new law that impacts all motorists is that starting August 7, 2024, motorcyclists in Colorado can lane filter after Governor Jared Polis recently signed a three-year trial of the maneuver into law. Here, we discuss what Colorado’s signed bill, SB24-0749, will allow motorcyclists to do.

Motorcyclists Overtake or Pass Another Vehicle Between Two Lanes

When Can Colorado Motorcyclists Overtake or Pass Another Vehicle Between Two Lanes?

Starting August 7, 2024, motorcyclists will be allowed to overtake or pass another motor vehicle between two lanes of vehicles under these conditions:

  • The other motor vehicle is stopped.
  • The road has lanes wide enough to pass safely.
  • The motorcycle is going 15 mph or less.
  • Conditions permit prudent operation of the bike while overtaking or passing.

The signed law also says motorcycle riders must not overtake or pass:

  • On the right shoulder.
  • To the right of a vehicle in the farthest right-hand lane if the highway is not limited access.
  • In a lane of traffic moving in the opposite direction.

The Colorado Department of Transportation will collect safety data to evaluate the measure during the trial period. The bill calls for repealing the law on September 1, 2027.

What is the Difference Between Lane Filtering and Lane Splitting, and Are They Safe?

Lane filtering occurs when a motorcyclist rides between stationary vehicles. Although there is no significant study on lane filtering due to restrictions on vehicle speeds, it would be reasonable to expect that it is safer than splitting.

Lane splitting is when a motorcyclist rides between moving vehicles. The most notable research on lane splitting was conducted at UC Berkeley’s Safe Transportation Research and Education Center.

The highlights of the study include:

  • Lane splitting is relatively safe if traffic moves at 50 mph or less and motorcyclists do not exceed the speed of other vehicles by more than 15 mph.
  • Motorcyclists going more than 15 mph faster than other vehicles significantly increased the risk of injury.
  • About 17% of motorcycle crashes involved lane splitting.
  • Lane splitting reduces rear-end collisions.

Introducing the maneuver takes getting used to by vehicle drivers and motorcyclists, which may increase collisions when vehicle drivers initiate lane changes without first checking. All Colorado motorists need to understand the new law to help prevent crashes and keep each other safe on our roadways.

Contact Our Personal Injury Attorney in Denver Today

While we hope you never need us, if you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by negligence, contact our skilled personal injury lawyers in Denver at Donaldson Law, LLC by calling (720) 458-5000 or contact us online to schedule a free, confidential consultation to discuss your case.

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Filed Under: Motorcycle Accident