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Is Lane Splitting Legal in Georgia? [2024 Updated]

Robert F. Spohrer

Many people enjoy riding motorcycles in Georgia, and most do so safely. Unfortunately, it is known that motorcyclists face increased danger while on the road. Motorcycles are less visible than other vehicles, and drivers in passenger cars may often be less cautious around motorcycles. In accidents involving motorcycles, motorcyclists are more likely to suffer catastrophic injuries. If you were in an accident, you need to secure a Georgia motorcycle accident attorney to protect your rights.

Due to the smaller size of motorcycles, they are also capable of the practice of lane splitting. Although especially tempting for riders caught in Georgia traffic, lane splitting is illegal in the state. Riders who lane split can face administrative penalties and fines, and they may also have a harder time recovering damages if they are involved in a car accident while lane splitting.

What Is Lane Splitting?

Lane splitting is when a motorcycle passes through rows of traffic going in the same direction, crossing white traffic lane lines to pass slower vehicles. Motorcyclists may engage in this practice in slow-moving traffic, congestion, and even intersections.

Some believe that lane sharing improves the flow of traffic and increases safety for motorcyclists by avoiding rear-end accidents or other dangerous situations. However, it is also considered to be very dangerous, which is reflected in Georgia state law. The laws explicitly state that lane splitting is illegal. Motorcyclists must pass other vehicles when it is allowed, and safe, and they must do so by using a passing lane like other vehicles. Law enforcement officers performing their duties are the only individuals legally allowed to lane split.

If you are a motorcyclist in the state, you must be aware that:

  • Lane splitting is illegal.
  • You can face legal penalties.
  • You may be placing yourself in significant danger.

Lane Splitting vs. Lane Filtering vs. Lane Sharing

Lane filtering is a type of lane splitting that occurs when traffic is slowed or stopped. Intersections, traffic jams, and other forms of congestion are popular times for lane filtering. Under state laws, lane filtering is also illegal.

Lane sharing is the practice of two motorcycles sharing the same lane of traffic side-by-side, and it is not illegal. Lane sharing can improve the visibility of motorcyclists, but it should only be done when it is safe.

It is only considered illegal when a motorcycle is in the same lane as a vehicle that is not another motorcycle.

Why Is Lane Splitting Illegal?

Drivers on the road have a duty of care to others to operate their cars and motorcycles with a reasonably expected level of safety.

Lane splitting is a complicated practice, as some believe that it increases safety on the road, while others believe that it increases risk. There are several risks to lane splitting, including startling motor vehicle drivers, who may then swerve. Motorcyclists can also misjudge the space they have for lane splitting and sideswipe other vehicles. The state has determined that the risks of lane splitting outweigh the potential benefits.

What If I Am in an Accident While Lane Splitting?

A motorcyclist is not automatically at fault for lane splitting before an accident. However, if you were lane splitting and this was the direct cause of the accident, you will likely be liable for damages. Whether you are at fault for the accident will depend on the unique factors involved. If the accident was the fault of another driver’s reckless actions, or you had to engage in lane splitting to avoid a more dangerous scenario, you may have a low or no portion of liability for an accident.

However, avoiding lane splitting can limit your legal and personal risk. Under the state’s comparative negligence laws, you can recover compensation for your injuries if you are less than 50% liable for the accident, but the compensation is reduced by the same percentage. If you are in an accident, lane splitting may increase the percentage of liability that you have for the accident. This can limit the compensation you receive, even if you were not wholly at fault.


Q: Will Lane Splitting Be Legal in Georgia?

A: As of 2024, lane splitting is illegal in Georgia, like it is in most states. There are no known bills in the state to allow lane splitting. Lane splitting occurs when motorcycle riders move between lanes of traffic. Lane filtering is very similar, but it occurs when the lanes of traffic are slowed or stopped. Both practices are illegal in Georgia, and they are specifically listed in law as prohibited.

Q: What Are the Motorcycle Laws in Georgia?

A: Motorcyclists in Georgia must follow the same rules of the road as any vehicle operator, including traffic laws and vehicle function requirements. To operate a motorcycle, an individual must be at least 16, have a Class M license, and have passed a license test.

Motorcyclists and their passengers are required to wear helmets that are approved under the Department of Transportation requirements. Additionally, motorcyclists must have a visor on the helmet or other approved eye protection, and the motorcycle must have a windshield that offers eye protection.

Q: What Is the Fine for Lane Splitting in Georgia?

A: The penalties for lane splitting in Georgia depend on the discretion of the county, so they differ based on where you are charged. You may receive points on your driver’s license or face a fine. Fines are typically around $130, but they may be much higher. These are the penalties if no accident or incident occurred from lane splitting. If a motorcyclist lane splits and this causes an accident, the consequences will be much more severe from both a legal and a personal injury standpoint.

Q: What Is the Difference Between Lane Splitting and Filtering?

A: Lane splitting occurs when a motorcyclist drives between lanes of moving traffic, crossing marked traffic lines along parallel-moving lanes of traffic. Lane filtering is similar, but it occurs when the traffic is slowed or stopped. A motorcyclist may engage in lane filtering during traffic congestion or at intersections, enabling a motorcyclist to be at the front of traffic.

In most states, including Georgia, both of these practices are illegal. Although individuals have different beliefs on the danger of lane splitting and lane filtering, motorcyclists can be fined or face other consequences for weaving between traffic.

Contact Spohrer Dodd Trial Attorneys

Just because you were lane splitting in a motorcycle accident does not inherently mean that you are fully at fault for the accident. Contact Spohrer Dodd Trial Attorneys to determine if another party can be held liable for your injuries after a motorcycle accident.