Lane Splitting, Lane Filtering and Lane Sharing in Saint Petersburg, Florida

Lane splitting is becoming a larger problem across Florida, especially in densely populated areas like St Petersburg. Motorcyclists looking to take advantage of the small vehicle size travel between lanes in busy traffic. However this convenience often leads to serious injuries as drivers of cars, trucks and SUVs are unaware of the motorcyclists, and can change lanes causing a collision.

Lane Splitting, Lane Filtering & Lane Sharing - Whats The Difference?

Lane Splitting - (also known as white lining) occurs when a motorcyclist weaves between moving traffic at a higher speed in Saint Petersburg, Florida.

Lane Filtering This occurs when a motorcyclist weaves between slower-moving traffic or traffic that is stationary.

Lane sharing This occurs when two or more motorcyclists share the same lane riding either side-by-side or staggered.

Lane Splitting In Florida, Is It Legal?

Lane splitting allows a motorcyclist to travel on the dotted line between moving vehicles on a road with at least two lanes of traffic traveling in the same direction. Many cyclists engage in this activity to avoid congestion caused by slow-moving traffic. This happens on Central Avenue in Saint Petersburg. In Florida, it is against the law to lane split on a motorcycle.

According to Florida Statute 316.20, no rider is permitted to go between lanes of traffic or rows of vehicles. Doing so may result in a moving violation. In one study 17% of motorcycle accidents were directly linked to this action. Multiple factors can contribute to this behavior which includes:

• Distracted drivers changing lanes without checking their mirrors.
• Compact lanes
• Increased speeds while lane splitting
• Limited space between the motorcycle and other vehicles

Engaging in this activity could result in a moving violation in St. Petersburg, Florida. There are two groups among those who know about lane splitting. One group believes that lane splitting helps motorcyclists to avoid being rear-ended. Others believe that this practice is dangerous because motorcyclists could potentially be struck by changing lanes. It can also cause anxiety to other drivers when motorcyclists go by on local roads in Saint Petersburg.

A study on lane splitting in California found that almost 20% of motorcycle accidents were linked to this practice. This study addressed 6,000 collisions involving cyclists. Of the 6,000 cyclists, 1000 were engaged in lane-splitting maneuvers at the time of their collision. In conclusion, this data shows that lane splitting increases the likelihood of a collision.

In another study, the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles showed an average of 9,000 crashes involving motorcycles from 2018 to 2020. 9,000 collisions and 600 fatalities were reported the high rate of collisions is why the state of Florida did not want to introduce lane splitting in this state.

Lane splitting is legal in California. Other states permit it in Arizona, Montana and Utah. Lane filtering is different due to the fact that it requires the traffic to be stopped. Many consider lane filtering to be safer.

Over the years several bills have been presented to legalize lane splitting. Legally lane filtering is accepted provided specific criteria have been met. Lane filtering is riding a motorcycle between stopped motor vehicles to the front of the pack of motorcycles at a signalized intersection.

Several petitions have circulated seeking support for lane splitting in Florida. It is often cited to help reduce congestion on the roadway. No bills have passed to legalize it in the state of Florida.

Although there is data to support both sides of the issue of lane splitting there is evidence that shows that the speed at which a motorcycle is traveling plays a significant role in the safety and likelihood of a collision when lane splitting. The correlation between high travel speeds when lane splitting and the likelihood of a collision cannot be ignored.

The debate on the topic of lane splitting is divided. In the state of Florida, it is likely that it will never be legalized due to the fact that it could increase the number of fatal crashes on motorcycles in this state.

On the other hand, many motorcyclists like to lane split to move faster through traffic. In Florida, you will be issued a ticket if you lane split.

The St Pete Lawyer Michael Babboni has been proudly serving St Petersburg, and Pinellas County Florida for years, offering more than a century’s worth of combined legal experience to those who have been injured in accidents of all kinds throughout the state. Our St. Petersburg office and Michael Babboni have more than 27 years of serving the area for all kinds of injuries including motorcycle accidents.

We understand that your case is currently one of the most important parts of your life here in Saint Petersburg, Florida. Recovering from your injuries means making physical as well as a mental and emotional recovery and its hard to do until you are able to recover financially. Because of this it is vital to find help from an experienced professional in Saint Petersburg like Michael Babboni to understand your case and win for you. If you have a motorcycle case and need expert representation look no further than our professional attorneys at The Saint Pete Lawyer to assist your case today.