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Lane Sharing Laws for Motorcycles in Arizona

lane sharing arizona

Arizona is a motorcycle-friendly state, and its laws reflect that. One of the latest Arizona laws that affects motorcyclists and other drivers came into effect in September 2022. Lane sharing, also called lane filtering, is at the crux of this new law.

Proponents of the law claim that it can positively affect traffic conditions, while detractors believe that it makes motorcycle accidents more likely to occur. At Gerber Injury Law, our motorcycle accident lawyers are ready to help you understand the law and can help you file a claim if you’ve been in an accident. 

Arizona’s Lane Share Law

As of September 24, 2022, Ariz. Rev. Stat. §28-903 allows operators of two-wheeled motorcycles to overtake and pass another vehicle that is stopped and that travels in the same direction as the bike. The vehicle has to be in the same lane as the motorcyclist.

Governor Doug Ducey signed Bill 1273 into law in March of 2022. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Tyler Pace and championed by ABATE in Arizona, passed with a 29-0 vote and then passed through the House with a 54-4 vote. With this law, Arizona has become the fourth state in the country to allow some lane filtering.

How Does the New Law Work?

Two-wheeled motorcycles can overtake and pass a vehicle going in the same direction of travel if the vehicles are not moving. The motorcycle driver can operate between lanes of traffic if it’s safe to do so.

The driver can only do this if they are traveling on a street divided into at least two adjacent lanes in the same direction of travel and if the street has a speed limit that doesn’t exceed 45 mph. The driver has to travel at a speed no greater than 15 mph.

This law only applies to two-wheeled motorcycles without sidecars, so it excludes drivers of trikes, Slingshots, Spyders, and Ural sidecars.

The lane-sharing law applies only on streets, not freeways, and only when traffic is at a standstill. The motorcyclist has to ensure that it is safe to lane share and that they have room to navigate their bikes.

This isn’t the same thing as lane splitting, which isn’t legal in Arizona. Lane splitting occurs when motorcyclists engage in riding around and passing vehicles while in heavy traffic. This lane-sharing law only applies when other vehicles aren’t moving.

How Will Bill 1273 Improve Road Safety?

Lane sharing in Arizona can improve road safety in several key ways. Lane sharing can help motorcyclists avoid some of the risks of constantly stopping and accelerating through heavy traffic. The constant braking and clutching of their motorcycles can fatigue riders, making them less alert and more likely to get into accidents.

Motorcycle riders are often at risk of collisions in stop-and-go traffic because other vehicles are less likely to see them, and they may not notice their proximity, leading to bumps that could knock the rider off the bike. By being able to move to the front of the line when traffic has stopped, they can get out of the way of other vehicles.

It’s also important to note that, unlike cars, motorcycles require the wind to cool off their engines. If the motorcycle is stuck in heavy traffic for a significant period, it can overheat, leading to engine damage and malfunctions that could cause more traffic accidents. In hot states like Arizona, this is essential.

The law also allows riders to avoid sitting in the hot sun themselves. The protective gear they wear can make them prone to sunstroke in Arizona and other hot states.

Lane filtering can also help reduce road congestion. Motorcycles take up less space than cars, but they can still add to the clogging of the roads. By allowing them to get out of the way more rapidly, they help provide more room for other vehicles.

Of course, for the law to increase road safety, both motorcyclists and other drivers have to adhere to the law’s stipulations. Drivers of other vehicles, in particular, have to be aware of the law and watch for motorcyclists.

They have to pay attention to the hand signals that they use because these signals often indicate whether a rider is planning on turning or otherwise maneuvering.

Drivers of other vehicles also have to check rear-view mirrors to ensure motorcyclists aren’t approaching and exercise caution when opening car doors, especially in congested areas.

These simple actions can make a difference in the safety of everyone involved.

How Gerber Injury Law Can Help After a Motorcycle Accident

Despite this new law, motorcyclists are at risk whenever they’re on the road. Without the protective structure that a car has, riders are more likely to suffer severe injuries in collisions, especially when traveling at high speeds.

If you have been in a motorcycle accident in Arizona, Gerber Injury Law can help you file a claim. We have been providing representation for more than two decades, handling hundreds of cases and earning clients more than $100 million in compensation.

We’re not just a law firm. We’re dedicated members of our community, ready to serve those who need our help most. Because we work on a contingency-fee basis, we don’t get paid if you don’t.

We have years of experience in court, so we won’t hesitate to move your case forward in that direction if we feel you’re not being treated fairly. With experienced and dedicated lawyers on your side, the process of filing a personal injury claim can be smooth and less stressful.

At Gerber Injury Law, we have a 99% success rate, and we are ready to put all of that experience to work for you if you’ve been in an accident. 

Our passion for justice and our community makes us the firm to trust in Arizona. Are you ready to fight for your rights? Contact Gerber Injury Law today to schedule your free consultation if you’ve been in a motorcycle accident.