When it comes to traffic jams, many motorcyclists ride between lanes over the dashed white line to pass slowed to stopped vehicles on roads and highways. This is commonly known as “lane splitting.”
However, lane splitting is against the law in Colorado. In fact, the only state that permits this traffic maneuver is California.
The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) prohibits motorcyclists from passing or overtaking a motor vehicle in the same lane. Yet, it is legal for motorcycles to share a lane—or “co-ride”—with another motorcycle.
If a motorcyclist is caught lane splitting in Colorado, it is considered a traffic infraction punishable by a maximum $100 fine. In addition, this traffic violation also results in points being added to a motorcyclist’s license, which could lead to license suspension or increased insurance premiums. If a motorcyclist engages in lane splitting and causes an accident, he/she could be held liable in a car accident claim or personal injury lawsuit.
Furthermore, bicyclists are prohibited from lane splitting. State law says riders must stay in a designated bike lane or on the right side of the lane. Riders are also allowed to ride next to one another but cannot impede traffic.
Colorado lawmakers have attempted to pass bills that allow lane splitting. In 2016, the House voted against a bill lifting a ban on motorcycles riding between rows of traffic, if a rider is traveling no more than 15 miles per hour and the vehicle(s) he/she is riding next to is traveling no more than five mph.