Arizona has become the latest state to take up legislation on the controversial practice of lane splitting. Also known as lane sharing, this maneuver allows motorcyclists to ride in between congested lanes of traffic. So far, California is the only state in the U.S. to allow this maneuver, but does that mean other states like Colorado could legalize lane splitting?
Is Arizona Lane Splitting a Gateway for Other States?
Since officially legalizing the practice of lane sharing back in 2016, many had believed that states would follow California’s example. This has not been the case as state after state has introduced lane splitting bills and voted/vetoed them down. Here in Colorado, the most recent effort to legalize lane splitting was voted down in a Colorado House Committee. This hasn’t stopped advocates from continuing to push.
Arizona State Senator David Farnsworth was contacted by one of his constituents, and though he’s not “enthusiastic” about the lane splitting practice, he has introduced a bill to the state legislature. He says that he is reasonably convinced that lane sharing will improve safety in his state, but that he would like to see more statistic and research on it. Arizona bill SB 1007 could soon come up for debate, which could see the senator get his wish as both sides of the issue speak their piece.
By this point, it has become clear that it will take more than California officially recognizing lane splitting before other states will follow. Some are waiting for the release of more data, while others continue to follow the skepticism that exists in law enforcement and transportation officials. If Arizona can manage to overcome these obstacles, it could become another example for other states to consider, but only time will tell when it comes to this motorcycle safety issue.
This was brought to you by the attorneys who ride at Metier Law Firm—following the news that matters for motorcyclists across Colorado.