Motorcycle Lane Filtering Bill to be Heard in House Transportation Sub-Committee
February 3, 2020

The Virginia Coalition of Motorcyclists (VCOM) has learned that HB 1236, a bill to allow motorcycles to lane filter under certain circumstances, will be heard in sub-committee this Monday, February 3rd., at 4:00 PM in House Room 400 A of the Pocahontas Building, which is located at 900 East Main Street in Richmond.  HB 1236 was introduced by Delegate Tony Wilt at the request of VCOM.  It authorizes the operator of a two-wheeled motorcycle to pass another vehicle that is stopped or traveling at no more than 10 miles per hour in the same lane, provided that there are at least two lanes of travel in each direction, such motorcycle does not exceed a speed of 20 miles per hour, and the operator executes such passing safely.  You can track the bill and read the full text here:

I have posted the email address for each member of the sub-committee below so that you can email your support for this bill if you wish.  Should you choose to email the members feel free to point out the following:

  1. Lane filtering has proven to reduce traffic congestion and reduce the number of motorcycles involved in rear end collisions.
  2. According to Dairyland Insurance Company the practices of lane filtering and lane splitting are gaining traction across the U.S., which it describes as good news for motorcyclists.
  3. The majority of the world allows the practice, to include almost all of Europe.
  4. California and Utah both allow similar forms of lane filtering, and the California Highway patrol specifically endorses the practice under controlled conditions such as those in HB 1236.
  5. A 2012 Belgian study found that if just 10 percent of drivers were to switch to motorcycles and filter through traffic, travel times would decrease for the remaining car drivers by some eight minutes per journey. This benefit would not exist if motorcyclists ignored the inherent advantages of their smaller, narrower vehicles and sat in line like cars.
  6. The same study found considerable environmental benefits to lane filtering. Not because bikes emit less carbon, but because every bike that lane filters actively reduces the amount of time every other vehicle on the road spends sitting in traffic jams.
  7. The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) endorses lane filtering/splitting, citing the long-term success in California and a study by University of California Berkeley researchers showing the practice enhances motorcycle safety.
  8. AAA of Southern California supports California’s law, and AAA of the Bay Area employs people to do roadside assistance using motorcycles, and they regularly take advantage of California’s law in doing so.
  9. Lane splitting or filtering shouldn’t be confused with reckless riding. Weaving in and out of traffic at high speeds isn’t allowed in any fashion anywhere and should never be a part of your riding routine.

The members of the sub-committee are as follows:

Delegate Jones  (Chairman)
Delegate Bagby          
Delegate Hurst           
Delegate Delaney       
Delegate Carter          
Delegate Helmer         
Delegate Adams          
Delegate LaRock         
Delegate Collins          
Delegate Miyares        

Delegate McQuinn (Chair of Full Transportation Committee)

As always, if you have any questions or comments about this bill or any other matters before the General Assembly, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Matt Danielson
McGrath, Danielson, Sorrell & Fuller
The Motorcycle Law Group