Lane Splitting Bill Proposed in Arizona

03/22/2010 @ 11:44 am, by Jensen Beeler17 COMMENTS

Arizona is considering a bill that would allow Arizonian motorcyclists to lane-split when traffic is stopped. The proposed bill should make motorcyclists happy and help relieve some traffic congestion; however all is not well in the Grand Canyon State. After the proposal of bill HB 2475, the local ABC affiliate went to the streets to ask citizens what they thought of the proposal, and the reaction they got was not a positive one.

Motorcyclists here in California have been enjoying the privilege of lane-splitting for some time now, a fact that seems to be escaping many anti-lane splitting advocates who view lane splitting as an unfeasible and unsafe hypothesis. As such, Arizona seems to be just another state that is meeting the concept with strong resistance and pre-conceived notions.

It’s unclear how popular HB 2475 is in the Arizonian legislature, but if the proposal should go through, it would see a one year test of the law occur in Maricopa County (Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, etc) during the 2011 calendar year. Presumably if the test was successful (we’re not sure what would define success in this matter), it would then be expanded to encompass the entire state in 2012.

Source:; Photo: omniNate/ Creative Commons – Attribution 2.0 Generic

  • I only hope this passes. For the sanity of Arizona motorcyclists. I have ridden on California roads most of my life, where lane sharing is not illegal. Most of that time owning only a motorcycle and no car at all. Non-riders are quick to claim how unsafe it is to do it, but they are also the ones who say motorcycling at all is unsafe (while texting). It is very safe, more efficient for traffic congestion, and better for the environment & roads.

  • Keith

    The argument by those opposed to Lane-Sharing is pretty ridiculous and includes things like “What if some stops quickly in front of them?” (you mean while the car is switching lanes?!?), or “What if someone opens there door?” (who the hell opens their door while driving down the road?)

    for the most part it’s just people who are easily frightened by passing vehicles or simply don’t like being passed while stuck in traffic.

  • Having spent a good deal of time in Phoenix, and having to pass through the hot city to get to the new Inde Motor Speedway (which just had it’s first trackday) I’ve noticed that Phoenix freeways have two important characteristics;
    1) Speed limits around 55mph, that people adhere to.
    2) No helmet laws.
    The first point bodes in favor of less-risky conditions for lane-splitters. The second, maybe not so much.
    Either way, with summer heat being what it is, let them split. I’d be anxious to get to the wonderful A/C of the closest CycleGear as well!

  • Bzzr

    I’m not opposed to lane splitting, but I’m not sure what a speed limit adds to or takes away from the risk…the article states that “Arizona is considering a bill that would allow Arizonian motorcyclists to lane-split when traffic is stopped.”

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  • MTGR

    Cage drivers are never happy with lane splitting because they feel cheated when they are stuck and you are not. If they were smart enough to look at the bigger picture they would realize that if you don’t lane split then you add to the traffic delays just like as another car does, so by splitting lanes you are saving yourself time, but you are saving them some time as well.

    Bikers put up with a lot of crap cagers don’t – weather, invisibility syndrome, limited passenger and goods capacity, increased risks, increased police scrutiny, outrageous insurance premiums. The least we can do is benefit in traffic, espeically when it actually reduces delays for other drivers too.

    Having lived in CA and split lanes for several years I found it was a huge plus and, if done correctly, not any more dangerous than being stuck in traffic and not splitting lanes is. I was reluctant to try it at first, but found it less stressful and actually had less ‘close calls’ splitting lanes than than I did sitting stuck in traffic on an unprotected bike between angry and impatient enclosed vehicles many times my size and weight.

  • CBR600RR 09

    Coming from Australia where Lane Splitting is Illegal full stop I would support that Bill!

    The only time I lane split is when all the vehicles are stationary thus reducing risk severly.

    Only idiots get hurt lane splitting, I mean seriously what are they doing…splitting two cars on a corner? Speeding? not watching for cars changing lanes?

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  • Shaun

    In my state in Australia it is not illegal. done with consideration – being able to make progress rather than push in front a few cars ahead – it works fine.

    I do it daily and a few people don’t like it but lots make extra room – I try not to fight or scare anyone and some gain is good but not at any risk.

    Remember it is illegal to threaten someone with a vehicle. And it is stupid to take too many risks.

  • Silvercbr

    I have been riding here in Iowa for 16 years and I about took out a lane splitter in San Fran this summer. I understand in congested areas where traffic jams are common but this Ass Clown was lane splitting on a curve and we were all driving 60mph. I went to change lanes and he was about a half second away from eating my bumper.

    It needs to be written in the laws that if you (the rider) hits another car while lane splitting then you (the rider) is at fault. It should be no different then passing a car on an open highway because if you hit the car then you are at fault. All liability should be placed on the rider and not the driver of the car (unless in extreme cases where the driver of the car is an ass).

  • Keith

    @Silvercbr what you’re describing would’ve been the riders fault if the accident happened. it’s called “reckless driving”

    what you’re requesting is a blanket clause saying that cars can say they took out a rider because they were lane-splitting regardless of speed or carelessness of who is actually at fault (this would include low-speed accidents & caging)

    if you note in the above article – it states that it would only be allowed in stopped, which by your description of the incident, if it occurred in Arizona would be deemed the riders fault.

  • fasterfaster

    I spent 3 years commuting by motorcycle 45 miles each way in the San Francisco Bay Area. On days with heavy traffic (at least half), I lane split carefully and considerately. I never even had a close call, let alone an accident. The stats in California support my experience and support legalizing lane splitting throughout the US. It’s good for traffic, the environment and riders.

  • Dejan

    I lived in Cali and now AZ, I lane split in Cali when IT IS SAFE TO DO SO, other then that I stay stationary if I dont have enough room. Here in AZ its 120+ during summer and I have to wait with the cars while everyone is enjoying their AC. So I cant wait for this to pass. People complain that its Dangerous, well what isnt. And I keep on hearing that California drivers are used to it, ok, so in time Arizona drivers will get used to it ,over time. This will save lives because we dont have to worry about motorcycle riders passing out on the freeways and streets because of heat strokes.

  • DWolvin

    To those concerned about the ‘less cautious’ riders making it look unsafe, the law just states that the lane sharing must be done in a reasonable and prudent manner. So, the 60+mph knuckleheads are violating that and a few other laws, on top of making us all look bad. On the other hand, I do 50+ miles roundtrip through San Diego traffic, and can not imagine not sharing lanes one or twice a week… It rocks!


    I think the anti-lane splitting advocates should have their air conditioning taken away when they are stuck in rush hour on a 115 degree day.

  • Let’s say, we’ll all wear helmets, and in exchange for that concession, we’ll get to lane split.

    Motorcyclists, and the industry as a whole, have done a $#!+ job of explaining this simple fact: while when lane splitting we get where we’re going a lot faster, by staying out of the traffic column and thus by _not_ contributing to the “accordion effect” we actually allow everyone else to get where they’re going a little faster, too.

    Individual motorcyclists need to learn that it’s possible to lane-split safely and without freaking out car drivers, at about 95% of the speed you’d travel when lane-splitting like a brain-dead, selfish ass. We’d all better give up that 5% to keep the 95%, because while AZ may be considering it, I can guarantee you that if California put it to a ballot measure, it would be voted down in a heartbeat. Most car drivers resent it.

  • u2metoo

    Bummer, it looks like Gov. Brewer vetoed the bill.