Motorcycle lane splitting: Colorado legislation wants to study the controversial practice

If passed, House Bill 23-1059 would authorize a study surrounding motorcycle lane splitting
Motorcycle lane splitting: Colorado legislation wants to study the controversial practice
Posted at 8:47 PM, Feb 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-15 09:50:29-05

DENVER — A bill introduced in the Colorado legislature aims to authorize a study of motorcycle lane splitting, which would be conducted by the Colorado Department of Transportation and Colorado State Patrol.

Currently in Colorado, a motorcycle driver cannot pass a vehicle by driving in the same lane or between rows of vehicles, which is known as lane splitting. The study proposed in House Bill 23-1059 would examine allowing motorcycle drivers to practice lane splitting.

“A motorcyclist being able to go in between cars when traffic is less than 40 miles per hour," explained prime sponsor of the legislation, Rep. Ron Weinberg, R-Loveland, who rides motorcycles. "In my opinion, it gives me legal authority to get out of the way of a car that doesn't see me."

Weinberg says the study would look at the pros and cons of legalizing lane splitting, along with safety issues related to allowing it.

Amendments made in the Transportation, Housing & Local Government Committee on Tuesday include studying the air quality impacts of lane splitting, and looking at the five other states Weinberg says already allow the practice.

“Motorcycling is a contentious issue... People are scared that it's going to create more fatalities," said Weinberg. “I certainly don't want that, but even more of a reason to study it."

Depending on the results of the study, Weinberg would consider introducing legislation in the next session to legalize lane splitting in Colorado.

“There's no arrogance or ego on this one. If it truly comes back and says it's detrimental to the life of Coloradans, I'm gonna kill it myself," said Weinberg.

HB23-1059 passed out of the Transportation, Housing & Local Government Committee on Tuesday, and heads to Appropriations next.

In Depth: Listen to an interview about lane splitting with Denver7 traffic anchor Jayson Luber and Representative Weinberg on the Driving You Crazy Podcast.

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