Is it legal to lane split and filter in Texas?
Waiting in stalled or slow moving traffic is a major source of frustration for motorists. You might be on a motorcycle and wondering if you can make it through the gap between two slower automobiles. The practise is sometimes called “lane splitting.”
In other situations, you could be tempted to sneak to the front of the line during a traffic jam or a red light. It’s called “lane filtering” for short. Texas will join other states in making lane splitting and filtering illegal as of 2022.
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Lane splitting and filtering entails what, exactly?
You can “lane split” by riding your motorcycle between two lanes of traffic going in the same direction. When you’re at a stoplight or stuck in traffic, you can “lane filter,” or drive between the vehicles. Motorcycle riders often argue that lane splitting and filtering help keep traffic moving more efficiently. Lane splitting allows riders to make better use of their time by allowing them to go ahead of the traffic flow in congested areas.
CAN YOU LANE SPLIT IN TEXAS?
Although though lane splitting is prevalent practise, it is against the law in the state of Texas.
The practise of lane splitting is legal only in California at this time. Bill 273 was written by the Texas legislature in 2019 and addresses lane splitting. The Senate Transportation Committee in the 87th Texas Legislature did not approve this bill.
In 2017, an Austin Democrat on the Texas Senate Transportation Committee introduced a bill. Although a vote might have been held in the Transportation Committee, it was not. Hence, it was never officially enacted.
HOW SERIOUSLY IS LANE SPLITTING TREATED?
If you ride a motorcycle in Texas and try to split lanes, you can get a ticket for driving on the shoulder, which is illegal and costs money.
A Texas motorcyclist who causes an accident by lane splitting may be totally or partially at fault. Hence, the rider may not receive adequate compensation for his or her injuries.
The other driver may also share some of the blame for the collision if his or her reckless actions contributed to the crash, such as excessive speeding, passing too closely, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.