Motorcycle Lane Filtering is Now Legal in Montana
Cold fronts are in the forecast for much of western Montana. With Fall officially here, "riding season" is slowly fading. Soon you will have your motorcycle packed up in the garage. Soon you will be staring at it blankly, daydreaming of spring. But, there is still time to get out and ride before winter arrives.
Every year we always want to remind motorists to be aware of motorcycles while driving. While you may think you can notice a vehicle in your mirrors before changing lanes. Motorcycles are not 1 ton of steel on wheels, like the vehicle you are behind the wheel of. Also, know that a motorcycle stands no chance in a collision with another vehicle.
Now, for my fellow motorcyclists. Starting this Friday, October 1st, a new riding law will take place. Just in time for your final rides of the season. Montana has become one of only three states to make "lane filtering" legal. For those not familiar with lane filtering, it is defined as:
(When) drivers of two-wheeled motorcycles overtake stopped or slow-moving vehicles at a speed not greater than 20 mph, in order to "filter" between lanes of stopped traffic traveling in the same direction as conditions permit.
This simply means, that as long as the motorcyclist is going at a slow speed, they can drive in between stopped or slowed cars on the line that separates lanes.
The law says that you can engage in lane filtering only if you are the operator of a two-wheeled motorcycle. You cannot filter any faster than 20 mph. You can only filter when conditions are reasonable. Finally, you cannot lane filter if the vehicle you are passing is driving any faster than 10mph.
Check out the following video out of Australia, that describe proper "lane filtering"