Opinions please, from the motorcyclists on the board

I am aware of the new lane filtering law, although I have not read it and am not certain of the details. My nephew, a Salt Lake City Police officer, mentioned a few things:

Filtering is only legal on multiple lane roads,

Filtering can only occur at intersections with stop lights,

Filter is only allowed between vehicles stopped for a stop light, not allowed when vehicles are moving, I believe this means the motorcycle cannot pass traffic to the left or right of all lanes.

My first question is: Are the above statements correct?

I’ve witnessed three incidents, that I suspect were a result of motorcyclists misunderstanding the law:

Motorcyclist passed the car in front of me, on the right, in the bike lane, when stopped at a street light in the downtown area. The road, had only one lane in each direction. The motorcyclist and the motorist he passed almost came to blows over the incident.

Motorcyclist passed a long line of traffic, on the right, in a bike lane. The line had formed as a result of the traffic waiting for someone at the front to turn left, in the middle of a block. Again, the road has only one lane in each direction.

Motorcyclist passed my wife and I on the right, between southbound lanes of traffic on 7th East and 9th South, however, we were, as were all other lanes moving - the light had changed several seconds previously and all lanes were moving and accelerating to come up to speed. We were probably going 20 miles an hour by the time he passed us.

I’m interested in the opinions of motorcyclists on the board of these incidents.

I have also witnessed several incidents on southbound 7th East, during rush hour traffic, where motorists, who I assume are not familiar with the new law, become enraged at motorcyclists for passing them. More than once, these have nearly resulted in fistfights. I bring the subject up here, as a public service discussion opportunity. It seems to me that if more people were aware of the law, there would be less animosity. I have not seen anything (probably missed them) in the local papers, or on the local news about lane filtering, and if I’ve missed them, I assume many others have as well.

BTW - This is in no way meant as an indictment of motorcyclists. I personally have no problem with the law, and no problem with motorcycles or motorcyclists. My father, brother, and nephew were each at one point, motorcycle officers, for Salt Lake City, and lifelong motorcyclists. I road a motorcycle for many years, until a minor accident scared me away from them - not because of the motorcycle, but because of the motorists in cars who treat to motorcycles as second class vehicles. As with any group, there are those who drive safely and courteously, and those who do not.

Los Angeles commuter here. Motorcycles can lane split and lane filter in California. I have no problem moving aside for a motorcycle to pass me. At the end of the day, the motorcycle isn’t going to jam up my commute. They get in front of me, they speed off, and I’m no worse off than I was before the motorcycle moved by me.

As for Utah, drivers there are a different breed. I feel like they take it personal if someone gets in front of them, which includes motorcyclists. Also, I think the stopped traffic versus moving traffic will cause problems. I can imagine situations where there is a line of stopped cars, motorcycle begins to filter, then light changes and cars begin moving. Now the motorcycle has to try and fit between accelerating cars, which in my opinion is more dangerous than the motorcycle maintaining its position in between lanes.


Having grown up in the east coast, I have to say, I find Utah driver’s to be uniquely and entirely personal about how they drive; tailgateing, driving offensively, not allowing other’s out in front, speeding as one is passing them. Lots of stuff…
But I also can’t say it that’s not a trend anywhere else - because I’m not there.

That said, I gave up my motorcycle when I started working in emergency room back in 1980.
In the long run, I think it’s exhilarating, unsurpassed many ways, but ultimately, extremely dangerous
With the likelihood of much more consequential outcomes.
So I imagine it’s even worse, now that the law has just been changed.
A lot of drivers are probably completely clueless to the new allowances


You’ve obviously never driven in Baltimore or Washington D.C. Talk about aggressive drivers.

Correct, filtering must be between vehicles not on the edges or bike lane.

Also, vehicles must be stopped so the motorcycle can maneuver safely. That’s the key word, safely.

Filtering is only allowed in situations where there are two or more lanes, under 45 mph posted speed limit

I had several run ins with ignorant drivers who didn’t know the law existed. Some people who did know the rules were worse. They would slowly roll up to the congestion to make it so I couldn’t pass, since vehicles needed to be stopped. Or they would pinch off the room and make it difficult to pass.

Bottom line, Utah drivers are ■■■■■■■■■ For some reason they think it’s a perpetual race and the winner is forever deemed the greatest driver.

It got sketchy a few times over the summer but it was also a great tool to get ahead of traffic and decongest traffic. People don’t understand how to drive properly, going slower and allowing for room will get you to places faster. Tailgating and speeding only causes congestion and more traffic.

Motorcycles have their share of bad drivers and the ones who flaunt the filtering laws as an advantage deserve any backlash from cars. I just keep my nose clean and drive safe and I enjoy my rides. It’s too dangerous to be careless and a waste of time to not enjoy the ride.


Your understanding of the filtering law is correct I have not encountered any problems doing it. I’ve had a couple of people yell at me and I’ve suggested they google the lane filtering le to get educated about it. The law doesn’t specify where you are allowed to pass the stopped traffic. It says no more than 15 mph while passing and if tgh light changes you are required to merge back into the traffic at the earliest safest opportunity
Whomever pointed out utah drivers taking things personally is spot on. The law is designed to facilitate motorcycle safety AND move traffic better
The motorcyclists you mentioned were clearly not doing this properly

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