Busy and congested highways with bumper to bumper, stop and go traffic is part of the nightmare of driving for so many of us. We get it, we're used to it, we deal with it. It's even more frustrating though when it's not during rush hour rather construction is holding things up or an accident is keeping us at a turtle's pace.

Enter motorcyclists who often keep moving as they drive down the middle of two lanes on the dotted line while we're extending our neck or glancing at the solid, red line on our GPS to see how much longer our delay will be.

MD Shahjehan
MD Shahjehan
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Let's be honest, we've all cursed those motorcyclists as they zoom by while we're hitting our brakes...AGAIN. It's called lane-splitting or lane filtering and there's no way it's legal, right?

In nearly all states, according to the Twisted Road website, it will get the driver of the motorcycle a ticket. However this is slowly changing.

Getty Images
Getty Images
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While California has always looked the other way on it's busy freeways for decades, the Golden State officially made it legal and formalized the practice in 2016. Utah has had the lane filter law since 2019, Montana has had the law on the books since early 2021, Colorado's lane-filtering law starts in August of this year, 2024, Arizona follows shortly after formalizing lane filtering in September, and Minnesota passed the lane-splitting law for motorcyclists to begin in January of 2025

Lane Filtering versus Lane Splitting

The two are often used interchangeably however technically there's a subtle difference according to the Ride Apart website.

Lane filtering is when a motorcycle overtakes a stopped vehicle driving between two lanes and getting in front of another vehicle basically filtering in and out of the actual lanes.

Splitting is just driving down the dotted line between vehicles essentially creating a new lane.

Twisted Road
Twisted Road
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Meanwhile, several states are considering lane splitting or filtering while other states simply look the other way. Then there are those states that will issue you a ticket in a heartbeat.

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