PROVO (ABC4 News) – A video showing a confrontation between a driver and motorcyclist highlights the confusion that still remains about Utah’s new motorcycle lane filtering law.
In a video posted in the Utah Motorcycle Riders group Sunday morning, motorcycle rider Collin Hansen could be seen filtering through lanes as cars slowed down for a red light at a Provo intersection.
As Hansen approached the red light, a Pizza Hut delivery driver opened his door to confront and stop Hansen.
“Hey, you’re supposed to be in the lane,” the driver said.
“Yeah, it’s called lane filtering. It’s a new law. Close your door,” Hansen replied.
The driver continues to question him as Hansen told him to look up the new law. The driver eventually closes his door after the stoplight turned green and Hansen rides off without any further escalation.
After Hansen posted the video on Facebook, hundreds of users chimed in to debate who was right and who was wrong. But Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Nick Street said both parties were in the wrong.
“The motorcyclist needs to understand you can’t lane filter until traffic’s stopped. That’s not allowed and you can get a citation for it. It’s an infraction-level offense,” said Sgt. Street. “As for the driver, it’s never okay to open your door on the roadway and intentionally opening your door to stop a motorcyclist, if you hurt someone, you could be facing an assault charge.”
He said neither party will face any charges this time, because troopers want to use this incident as a learning experience for both parties. But he said the public should use this moment to learn about Utah’s new lane filtering law that went into effect on May 14th.
“Lane filtering can only be done on a roadway with two lanes in the same direction that has a 45 mph speed limit or below. Cars must be at a complete stop and the motorcyclist can’t exceed 15 mph while filtering. The move must be made safely,” he said.
Officials said between 2015 and 2018, there were more than 3,000 motorcyclists who were rear-ended in the state. As a result, the new lane filtering law aims to create safer road conditions for motorcyclists.
“When a car gets read-ended, a lot of times, it’s just simple property damage, people exchange information, and they just get it repaired. But with motorcyclists, there’s no crush-zone like a car. They don’t have bumpers, so a motorcyclist is really left hung out to dry,” said Sgt. Street.
Sgt. Nick Street said the new law also helps with traffic flow during busy travel times.
“It’s actually better for the overall pattern when you think now motorcyclists aren’t occupying a vehicle space like they used to,” he said.
Hansen didn’t respond to ABC4 News’ request for comment.
For more information about lane filtering, click here.