The act of lane splitting, which occurs when a motorcyclist drives between two lanes of traffic to bypass cars on the road, is illegal in most states. Motorcycle enthusiasts in Florida have pointed to various benefits of the act, such as how it clears up traffic congestion by allowing riders to escape traffic jams, freeing up space for more cars.
As of this writing, lane splitting is still illegal in Florida. This may come as a shock to certain riders who travel to the state from California, where lane splitting is not illegal. It is paramount for motorcyclists to abide by state laws because in the event of a collision, the motorcyclist may hold more of the liability.
In the event the police catch a motorcyclist riding between lanes, there is a good chance they will issue a ticket. Between fines and court fees, motorcyclists may end up paying upwards of $400 for a single infraction.
The issue of liability
In many accidents involving a car and a motorcycle, the driver of the car is found to be primarily responsible. Contrary to popular opinion, these collisions are not often the fault of the rider.
However, if the motorcyclist engages in dangerous acts, such as lane splitting or speeding, then he or she assumes at least a portion of the liability for the incident. This can severely limit the amount of compensation a rider can receive to pay for medical expenses and repairs to the bike.
Chances of Florida legalizing lane splitting
Over 4,900 Floridians have signed a petition to legalize the act of lane splitting. However, there are still no firm plans on when this action will be legal, if ever. Lane splitting bills have failed in several other states due to the efforts of the AAA and other groups aligned against the practice. Until lane splitting is declared a legal practice, it is critical for motorcyclists to respect the law because if they get in an accident, they do not want to be the one found responsible.