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What to know about Arizona's new motorcycle law

The new law lets motorcyclists ride between lanes, but only at stoplights.

PHOENIX — You might notice a lot of "lane filtering" on Arizona roads soon. 

That's because a new law will soon let Arizona motorcyclists go between the lanes of traffic to get to the front of the line at traffic lights. 

Advocates say it's actually safer than making motorcycles wait in between cars at stoplights. 

Here's what you need to know about the law and what motorcycles can and can't do. 

1. Only at stoplights

The law allows "lane filtering," which lets motorcycles go between cars to get to the front of the line of traffic.

But that only applies at stoplights, and only when traffic is at a complete stop.

“Traffic has to be at a complete stop," traffic attorney Eric Hill said. "So they're passing stopped vehicles. They're not passing vehicles that are moving” 

"Lane splitting," which is when motorcycles go between cars while traffic is moving on roads and freeways, is still illegal in Arizona. 

RELATED: 'I have buried way too many friends': New Arizona law aims to save motorcyclists

2. Only at slow speeds

The law specifically says motorcycles can only lane filter on roads where the speed limit is 45 miles per hour or less.

It also limits the motorcycles themselves to 15 miles per hour as they move between the lanes. 

Going faster than that would be a traffic citation, Hill said. 

3. It's safer (supposedly)

Motorcycle experts say lane filtering is actually safer for riders since it doesn't force them to be stopped behind one car and in front of another, which could be dangerous if they're rear-ended. 

"It takes motorcycles out of the spaces between cars," said Mark Weiss, a riding instructor at Desert Wind Harley-Davidson in Mesa. "When drivers are used to it, it works really, really, really well.”

4. It's not in effect yet

The law is passed and Gov. Doug Ducey has signed it, but riders can't lane filter just yet. 

The law goes into effect 90 days after the state legislature adjourns, which is usually in April. 

EN ESPAÑOL: Lo que debe saber sobre la nueva ley de Arizona relacionada con motocicletas

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