JayMac: Motorcyclists are not butting in line

Jun 17, 2019, 4:34 PM | Updated: 4:42 pm
As of May 2019, Utah has a new motorcycle filtering law that allows bikers to navigate between stop...
As of May 2019, Utah has a new motorcycle filtering law that allows bikers to navigate between stopped vehicles in order to move to the front of the traffic line. The new law is designed to imporve motorcyclists' safety.

DISCLAIMER: The following is an opinion piece and does not necessarily reflect the views of KSL Newsradio or its ownership.

You’ve probably heard or seen something about this: Pizza delivery driver decides to take the law into his own hands when he opens his driver-side door to stop a motorcyclist, who is filming with a helmet cam, from “lane filtering,” which, under a new law in Utah, allows riders to navigate between stopped vehicles, with some conditions.

So this is more or less the exchange between the two motorists that went down recently in the middle of traffic in Provo:

Biker: Hey, what’s up?
Driver: Hey, you’re supposed to be in the lane.
Biker: Yeah, it’s called “lane filtering.” It’s a new law. Close your door.
Driver: Is — is it?
Biker: It’s a new law, look it up.
Driver: When did it happen?
Biker: Like, two months ago.
Driver: Yeah?
Biker: Dude, it’s a new law. Close your door.
Driver: Yeah, man.
Biker: Close your door. Dude, close your door!

And the biker roars away.

First of all, hey, driver: Your job is to deliver pizzas, hot and on-time, NOT to enforce traffic laws.

Listen, vigilantes and all other self-appointed law enforcement officers: This kind of a power trip is dangerous and wrong every time. Don’t do it. Just let other people be.

This law was passed not because motorcyclists are special and therefore deserve to go first. Safety of the rider is why the law was passed. Lane filtering prevents riders from being rear-ended by allowing them to get out of harm’s way.

According to the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), motorcyclists who split lanes in heavy traffic are significantly less likely to be struck from behind by other motorists and are less likely to suffer head or torso injuries.

“Reducing a motorcyclist’s exposure to vehicles that are frequently accelerating and decelerating on congested roadways can be one way to reduce rear-end collisions for those most vulnerable in traffic,” said Wayne Allard, AMA vice president for government relations.

From 2011-2017, 1,288-motorcycle involved rear-end accidents, some of which were fatal, took place on Utah roads.

This new law is not about butting in line. It’s designed to remove motorcycles from the traffic mix by moving them to the front of the line, where, when the light turns green, they can quickly move ahead and out of bunched-up traffic. Biker moves ahead, traffic fills now-empty space. Think traffic decongestant.

Here are the guidelines behind the new law:

  • Motorcyclists can move to the front of a traffic light on roads where the speed limit is 45 mph or less and has two or more adjacent traffic lanes in the same direction of travel.
  • Motorcyclists can only move to the front when vehicles are stopped. (Allow me to point out here that initially, the motorcyclist, wearing the helmet cam, began lane filtering when traffic was not completely stopped.)
  • Motorcyclists can’t move more than 15 mph when filtering lanes.

If a motorcyclist filters between your vehicle and another for the first time, it will probably be LOUD. You’ll get used to it in time. But let it happen. It is legal. It’s about bikers’ safety and NOT about cheating by cutting in line. You didn’t just have your day ruined because a motorcyclist moved ahead of you in stopped traffic.

Also, remember, if you open your door to halt a motorcyclist filtering between stopped vehicles, and that rider doesn’t see your door or can’t stop in time and is hurt as a result, you’re in trouble. That’s assault  — NOT worth it.

“[It’s] an obvious case that the gentleman that’s driving his personal vehicle for Pizza Hut needs an education on the law,” said Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Nick Street.

Now you know about Utah’s new motorcycle filtering law.

And remember, leave law enforcement to … law enforcement officers.

Jay Mcfarland hosts the JayMac News Show, weekdays from 12:30 to 3 p.m. on KSL Newsradio, as well as the fictional podcast, Hosts of Eden. KSL Newsradio is part of Bonneville Media and based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Today’s Top Stories

Jay Mcfarland

Jay Mcfarland

JayMac: The time for talk is over

JayMac: My favorite thing to hear from listeners is "You know, Jay Mac, I don't agree with everything you have to say, but I understand how you got there."
4 years ago
trump parade tanks...
KSL News Staff

JayMac: Will July 4th military parade salute America or Trump?

Will president's July Fourth military parade in D.C. be a salute to America or to Trump?
4 years ago
Nike is canceling a sneaker that featured a version of the American flag from the late 18th century...
KSL News Staff

Should Nike recall its Betsy Ross flag sneaker?

The Nike Air Max 1 USA has a retail value of $120 but is selling for more than $2,000 on resale site StockX after the shoes were pulled from retail shelves.
4 years ago
mackenzie lueck investigation...
Jay Mcfarland

JayMac: A cautionary tale from a young woman’s death

A young woman's death exposes dangers lurking online
4 years ago
mackenzie lueck missing...
Jay Mcfarland

JayMac: Don’t blame Mackenzie Lueck for her disappearance

JayMac: Resist the urge to blame the victim until all the facts are in. Mackenzie Lueck and all victims deserve better from us.
4 years ago
Jay Mcfarland

JayMac: Sick of babysitting parents, kindergarten teacher quits

A Virginia teacher says it's not her kindergarten students who are driving her away from the profession. It's the parents.
4 years ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
JayMac: Motorcyclists are not butting in line