In March 2022, Governor Doug Ducey signed Bill 1273, which allows motorcyclists to ride between two lanes, also known as “lane sharing.” Advocates for Bill 1273 contend that the bill is different from “lane splitting,” which allows motorcyclists to split lanes on highways and roads at all times, regardless of speed. The bill passed with a 29-0 vote and passed through the house with a 54-4 vote. The law will go into effect 90 days following the adjournment of the state legislature, which usually takes place in April.
How Does the New Law Work?
- The law only applies to stop lights when traffic is at a complete stop.
- When approaching a stop light, motorcyclists can go to the front of the line between cars.
- Motorcyclists can only lane share if the speed limit on the street is 45 miles per hour or under.
- When lane sharing, the motorcycle cannot exceed 15 miles per hour.
How Will Bill 1273 Improve Road Safety?
Advocates of the new law state that it will improve road safety. According to the Team Arizona Motorcycle Training Center, the new law will reduce the number of collisions involving cars and motorcycles. They claim that motorcycles are often stuck in a pack of cars and are not as visible to other drivers. Allowing for motorcyclists to move to the front of the line at a stoplight allows them to be more visible to other drivers on the roadways and as a result prevent collisions.
Arizona joins Utah, California, and Montana as the fourth state that has adopted lane sharing. Utah, California, and Montana yielded higher road safety ratings since implementing the law. A study showed that riders who lane shared were 6% less likely to suffer a head injury, and 1.8% less likely to die in a crash. Lane sharing has proven to be a safer, more effective alternative in keeping motorcyclists safe.
- Baker, D. (n.d.). New law to allow Arizona motorcyclists to share lanes with stopped cars. https://www.azfamily.com. Retrieved April 6, 2022, from https://www.azfamily.com/2022/03/25/new-law-allow-arizona-motorcyclists-share-lanes-with-stopped-cars/
- Pitts, Author: William. “What to Know about Arizona’s New Motorcycle Law.” Com, 28 Mar. 2022, https://www.12news.com/article/traffic/arizona-new-motorcycle-law/75-b15323c8-b37d-4631-bc6f-fb1e2032734f.
- Mark Hinchliffe·Tips on lawsTips/training·9th October, 2019·3 min read, also, S., & tipsTips/training, R. (2019, October 10). Does lane splitting make motorcyclists safer? Motorbike Writer. Retrieved April 7, 2022, from https://motorbikewriter.com/lane-splitting-motorcyclists-safer/#:~:text=Overall%20they%20found%20riders%20who,to%20die%20in%20a%20crash.