Motorcycle “Lane Splitting” Legal – But Not Here

Jun 22, 2023 | Allen A. Ritchie | 0 comments

Allen's Answers - Motorcycle Laws & Accidents


Stopped in traffic and had a motorcycle pass you coming down the white strip? That is illegal in Alabama, but it might not be for long.

I am shy of saying watch what they do in California; you might like it. But that state has made lane splitting legal with some restrictions. First, traffic must be stopped or moving slowly, and the bike can’t go over 10 mph.

A new law here may come down to the battle of the experts. California traffic engineers have determined that lane splitting helps traffic flow. As for safety, I can show you a study proving lane splitting motorcyclists are more likely to be involved in an accident than bikers who stay in their lane. We will see.

A dozen states don’t call lane splitting legal, but they don’t call it illegal. One of those is Mississippi. Florida and Georgia go along with Alabama and downright outlaw it.

Let me tell you about two other states with unique motorcycle laws. Utah allows lane filtering. This is when a biker goes to the front of a group of cars, which are stopped at a red light, and accelerates once the light changes. Because a motorcycle accelerates faster than a car, it can get ahead of the pack. Hawaii allows shoulder surfing. That is lane spitting but on the side of the road. Of course, Hawaii would call it surfing.

The laws may change, but one thing doesn’t – motorcycle accidents can be deadly. Here is my advice – no matter what the law says, you need to choose safe. I have dealt with a lot of motorcycle accidents, and they can be tragic.

If you suffer from any personal injury accident – car, boat, on-the-job, slip and fall, nursing home abuse, etc. – you can talk to us at the Law Firm of Eiland and Ritchie (251) 666-1212 for free. We want to help you get back on your feet.

Plus, join us on NBC 15 LawCall here in Mobile every Sunday night at 10:30, right after the news. We’ll have some legal information you can use. Plus, we specifically set aside a few hours on Monday morning to answer any questions you may have in real-time. Just call our office.

Allen Ritchie

Alabama Personal Injury Lawyer