Is Lane Splitting Legal in Arizona?


The State of Arizona is a beautiful state and owning a motorcycle is a wonderful and free feeling but as a motorcycle owner in Arizona, do you know the motorcycle laws and what to and not do? Is lane splitting legal in Arizona? What to do after a motorcycle accident?

This article focuses on lane splitting and, the burning question; is lane splitting legal in Arizona?

What is Lane Splitting?

Lane splitting is the act of riding a bicycle or motorcycle between lanes or rows of slow moving or stopped traffic moving in the same direction. Lane splitting is also referred to as; white lining, filtering, stripe lining or lane sharing.

Filtering and lane splitting are slightly different. While filtering describes moving through static traffic, or using the space on the outside edge of traffic; lane splitting means riding exactly between two lanes of vehicles.

Most popular in traffic dense areas particularly in the developing world, in the United States however, lane splitting is controversial and even illegal in 99 percent of sates. As it is extremely dangerous to riders, pedestrians and fellow road users, people often and constantly debate on whether or not it is legal, should be legal and if it should be practiced regardless of legality.

Is Lane Splitting Legal in Arizona?

Arizona shares a big part of its Western boarder with California and many roads and highways traverse between the two states and with this, many daily commuters and visitors. The boarder line between Arizona and California may be unclear, but the traffic laws between the two are clearer than ever.

California is the only state in the United States that allows lane splitting and for many motorcycle riders going from California to Arizona, the question ‘is lane splitting legal in Arizona?’ should be at the very front of their minds.

The simple answer is; no. Lane splitting is not legal in the State of Arizona. While there have been numerous attempts to adopt lane splitting in Arizona, the law is very clear as detailed in the Arizona Revised Statutes 28 – 903.

This makes for a drastic change for motorcycle riders who are used to lane splitting in California and cross to Arizona only to be arrested for breaking the law. Keep this in mind if you are a Californian motorcycle riders; California is the only state in America where lane splitting is legal.

What Puts Me at Fault as a Motorcyclist?

If you, as a motorcyclist, decide to share a lane with another car or, if two cars are next to each other and you decide to squeeze yourself between them, you are sharing that lane and essentially ; lane splitting. In Arizona, you cannot do this as it is illegal and, if while you’re lane splitting, someone ends up moving over and hitting you or, you hit them, or even if you so much as scratch their mirror, in the eyes of the law – it is your fault. Whatever you do while lane splitting that either results in an accident or not, is your fault.

Many people think that as long as you lane split in safety it is legal – it is not. Avoid causing an accident or being blamed for one by not lane splitting. As much as it is tempting to take advantage of the free space between cars in traffic jams or simply slow moving traffic, in any state that is not California and especially Arizona, do not lane split.

Precaution and Safety

Lane splitting is extremely dangerous for everybody; not only the motorcyclist, but other road users and pedestrians. One can inadvertently cause an accident by lane splitting in the blind spot of a car or, if lane splitting on either of the door sides of a car and the door opens; can be held responsible and face harsh charges for something unintended and unexpected.

However, lane splitting with another motorcyclist with valid consent it is allowed in some but not all instances; as long as there are no more than two (2) motorcyclists on one lane and regard and compliance with standing law is maintained and respected to the letter.

In addition to this, motorcyclist should always remember to wear protective gear and, if the rider is below 18 years of age, it is required by law to always have a helmet and protective eye gear at all times – whether riding in the city, or off road.

Lane Splitting Victims

Lane splitting may and often does result in accidents. This is one of the reasons why lane splitting is illegal in almost all the states. If you’ve been injured in an accident that involved lane splitting, the first thing that you should do is call a personal injury lawyer and they will be able to get you adequate compensation.

For car owners involved in an accident with a lane splitting motorcyclist; in addition to a personal injury lawyer if needed, a car accident lawyer is the next option to call. If you were not on the wrong and your car is damaged the offenders insurance company should pay for any repairs needs.

As for motorcyclists who may have gotten into an accident due to lane splitting, a motorcycle accident lawyer is the best option.

The personal injury team at JacksonWhite Law is a reputable and trustworthy and helped hundreds of car and motorcycle accident victims. As a full service law firm, JacksonWhite Law has experienced lawyers that deal in motorcycle law, motorcycle accidents and personal injury. Should you be involved in a motorcycle accident and suffer injuries and/or losses, JacksonWhite is a great comprehensive and meticulous choice sure to offer you unparalleled information, service and advice.

Call our Personal Injury team at (480) 467-4392 to discuss your case today.

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