Utah Motorcycle Lane-Splitting Bill Tabled

February 17, 2014
Bart Madson
By Bart Madson
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Bashing away at the MotoUSA keyboard for nine years now, Madson lends his scribbling and editorial input on everything from bike reviews to industry analysis and motorcycle racing reports.

A bill that would legalize motorcycle lane-splitting in Utah has stalled in committee. The Deseret News reports that the bill, HB281, proposed by State Representative Craig Hall was tabled in Utah’s House Transportation Committee by a vote of 7-1. The bill’s detractors cited safety concerns as the reason to delay the measure.

The Utah State Capitol played host to riders  fans and racing officials for a press conference to kick off the Miller SBK action.
A measure introduced at the Utah Capitol to legalize lane-splitting has been tabled owing to safety concerns.

The practice of lane-splitting, as the name implies, allows motorcycle riders to cut through slower traffic in the gap between traffic lanes. It is a common practice internationally, like in Europe, where it is called filtering. Lane-splitting is currently illegal in the United States, with the notable exception of California.

Considered a birthright by many California riders, the legality of lane-splitting has been challenged of late. Most recently a bill sponsored in the California Senate would have placed restrictions on the practice, but the measure was withdrawn in 2013. Further legitimizing the practice in the state, the California Highway Patrol published general guidelines for lane-splitting, which can be read at: www.chp.ca.gov/programs/lanesplitguide.html  

Efforts to introduce lane-splitting in states bordering California have met some legislative success, but ultimately been unsuccessful. A measure that would have allowed a one-year test of lane-splitting in Arizona’s Maricopa County was vetoed by Governor Jan Brewer. A bill in Nevada’s legislature passed its House only to stall in the state Senate. Several bills in Oregon to allow lane-splitting have also been tabled in committee – similar to the Utah measure.

The Deseret News reports that Hall (R-West Valley City) will continue to advocate for lane-splitting, with plans to introduce a bill in the next legislative session that addresses the committee’s safety concerns.

SOURCE: Deseret News www.deseretnews.com/article/865596294/Motorcycle-lane-splitting-bill-sputters-in-House-committee.html  


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