Colorado Motorcycle Lane Filtering: Safety on Two Wheels, Clarity on the Road

‘Motorcycle Lane Filtering & Passing, or SB24-079, was signed into law on April 4, 2024. The law is set to take effect on August 7, 2024. Lane filtering is the practice of motorcycles navigating between lanes of stopped traffic to the front of the line for safety purposes. While some may be apprehensive about this new practice, research suggests it can actually benefit everyone on the road.

Understanding Motorcycle Lane Filtering:

Before diving into the specifics, let’s clarify what lane filtering entails. It allows motorcyclists to move between lanes of stopped or slow-moving traffic, typically at speeds under 20 mph (SB24-079 specifies 15 mph or less). This can be particularly advantageous in stop-and-go traffic, where motorcycles are more susceptible to rear-end collisions.

Studies Show Safety Benefits:

Concerns about increased accidents are understandable. However, numerous studies paint a different picture:

  • Reduced Fatalities: A year after the California Highway Patrol issued lane-splitting safety tips, motorcyclist fatalities were reduced by 30 percent because motorcyclists were less likely to be involved in a rear-end crash.
  • Lower Injury Severity: A 2012-2013 California study found motorcyclist injuries were far less severe when lane splitting compared to not lane splitting.
  • Fewer Crashes Overall: Three separate studies between 2011 and 2015, in California, revealed lane-splitting motorcyclists were less likely to be involved in crashes, with two studies reporting a 43% reduction in rear-end crashes specifically.

The evidence presented overwhelmingly suggests that lane filtering can contribute to safer roadways for both motorcyclists and other motorists.

Colorado Taking a Cautious Approach:

While these studies are promising, Colorado is rightfully conducting its own study to monitor the law’s impact, as outlined in SB24-079. This commitment to data-driven decision-making ensures a smooth transition for everyone.

CO’s motorcycle lane filtering law

Moving Forward Safely:

With SB24-079 in effect, let’s all work together to make Colorado’s roads safer. Motorcyclists, remember – safety first! Lane filtering in Colorado comes with some important caveats:

  • It’s only legal when traffic is stopped.
  • Motorcycle speed is limited to 15 mph or less while filtering.
  • The onus is on the motorcyclist to filter safely and maintain a safe distance from vehicles.

Your Rights on the Road

As a motorcyclist, even with the new law, exercising caution is paramount. Unfortunately, accidents can still happen due to other drivers’ negligence.  If you’re injured in a lane-filtering incident caused by another driver’s actions, you may be entitled to compensation for:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Motorcycle repairs
  • Pain and suffering

Kanthaka Group is here to protect your rights. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact our experienced team for a free consultation, (719)-633-2222. We’ll fight to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.