News Rights

Lane-Filtering Support Revs Up

By Kali Kotoski

The 2023 legislative year could see a raft of lane-filtering legislation introduced around the country, and wherever that happens, rider safety will improve (if filtering/splitting is done correctly) and American will move a step or two closer to adopting riding/traffic practices that are standard in many parts of the world.

At a recent conference hosted by Mid-South M.I.L.E. (Motorcyclists Improving Legislation Effectiveness) in Topeka, Kan., the AMA’s On-Highway Government Relations Manager Tiffany Cipoletti gave a presentation of how to achieve lane-filtering legislative success. She also presented the benefits of lane filtering, most notably in mitigating the chance of rear-end collisions when a motorcyclist is in stopped or slow traffic.

In recent years, lane filtering has gained steam, with laws adopted in Arizona, Utah and Montana that set requirements for permissible lane filtering. In 2021, supporters in Oregon were only stymied by a veto from the governor, despite having established bipartisan support.

“It is fair to say that lane filtering is gaining momentum,” said Cipoletti, “with more and more states inquiring about a path to introduce legislation or those that already plan to during the 2023 season.”

Mid-South M.I.L.E., an organization representing Arkansas, Kinase, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas, is just one group showing interest in lane filtering.

“2023 could be a big year for lane filtering,” Cipoletti said. “As of right now, it looks like Texas, Louisiana and Virginia are well-prepared to pursue lane filtering.”

She added that groups from Washington, Oregon, Maryland, Idaho, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Idaho are, or have started, laying the foundation for a legislative push. But Cipoletti reminds prospective states that legislation is not a one size fits all arrangement despite recent successes. Different bills and approaches could work for different states. But she stressed that gathering support from elected representatives and state agencies needs to go hand-in-hand with grassroots advocacy.

“The place we don’t want to be is when a bill lacks enough support to get out of committee, she said. “The demographics are starting to change, and more riders appear open to supporting lane filtering. If all goes well, we could see maybe 12 lane-filtering bills introduced across the country, and that possibility is exciting.”

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