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HomeLocal NewsColoradoLane filtering, used by motorcyclists, will become legal in Colorado in August

Lane filtering, used by motorcyclists, will become legal in Colorado in August

DENVER — A technique used by motorcyclists that saves them time, eases traffic congestion, and which may also be safer than stopping behind stopped vehicles will become legal in Colorado later this year.

Lane filtering is already legal in Arizona, Hawaii, Montana and Utah. On Aug. 7, 2024, it will become legal in Colorado after Gov. Jared Polis signed SB24-079 into law last month.

Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) said they hope the technique ultimately leads to safer roadways for motorcyclists.

“What our organization’s worked so hard to do together is make sure that Colorado’s roadways are as safe as they possibly can,” said Colonel Matthew Packard, the Colorado State Patrol chief.

Packard on Monday explained the five rules of lane filtering that motorcyclists in Colorado must follow once the technique becomes legal in August:

1. The vehicles motorcyclists want to pass must be at a complete stop.
2. The lane must be wide enough to fit the vehicle and motorcycle while passing.
3. The motorcycle must go 15 miles per hour or less.
4. The rider must pass safely and control the motorcycle.
5. The rider must pass on the left and not enter the oncoming traffic lane.

These are rules Peter Wolfe, an instructor with Iron Buffalo Motorcycle Training, is very familiar with. He’s ridden motorcycles for decades, both in Colorado and California.

“I think it’s going to be an improvement providing there’s proper education for the drivers,” Wolfe said.

Education for riders and drivers is something both CSP and CDOT officials said they’ll provide as we get closer to Aug. 7.

“You can rest assured that our troopers and police officers from around the state and sheriff’s deputies will take a strict enforcement approach to ensure that this rule is being followed, the way it was designed, the way the legislature passed the law,” Packard said.

Most of all, officials want riders to know lane filtering and lane splitting are not the same thing. Lane splitting, which is when motorcyclists pass vehicles that are still moving, is still illegal in Colorado.

“Lane splitting is not allowed in Colorado, I’m not even going to use the ‘S’ word anymore,” said Glenn Davis, the Highway Safety Manager for CDOT. “This is a lane filtering state.”

Wolfe added he hopes the state makes a clear distinction between lane filtering and splitting, so riders and drivers get it clear.

“Lane filtering and lane splitting are totally different. And they’re confused about these two, and it’s a big problem and it could create a real disaster,” Wolfe said.

Though he’s optimistic lane filtering will make for safer roadways for motorcyclists.

“Let’s make sure that we’re we’re showing that we’re responsible motorcycle riders and give the public that good image so that we can all share and grow and not be in such a bad shape,” he said.



Lane filtering, a technique used by motorcyclists to save time, will become legal in Colorado in August

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