New York Laws Regarding Lane Splitting

Lane splitting refers to a maneuver that motorcyclists sometimes perform where they drive between lanes of traffic or between adjacent rows of vehicles. Most car drivers consider lane-splitting to be dangerous convenience, while motorcyclists believe it is a necessary measure to protect their own safety.

So is lane splitting safe? While there is no definitive and authoritative position regarding the safety benefits of lane splitting, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recognized that lane-splitting “slightly” reduces the risk of rear-end collisions for motorcyclists.

New York Laws on Lane Splitting

As with most other states, New York law prohibits the act of lane splitting. Currently, only California allows motorcycle riders to lane-split.

Under Section 1250 of the New York Vehicle & Traffic Law, “every person operating a motorcycle shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle under this title…”

Simply put, the law view motorcyclists and car drivers equally. Motorcycles riders have the same rights and the same duties as cars drivers. However, there are provisions of the vehicle law that specifically apply to motorcycles.

For example, Section 1252 of the vehicle law has specific prohibitions for maneuvers that are associated with motorcycles:

  1. “All motorcycles are entitled to full use of a lane and no other vehicle or motorcycle shall be driven in such a manner as to deprive any motorcycle of the full use of a lane. However, this subsection shall not be construed to prevent motorcycles from being operated two abreast in a single lane.
  2. The operator of a motorcycle shall not overtake and pass in the same lane occupied by the vehicle being overtaken.
  3. No person shall operate a motorcycle between lanes of traffic or between adjacent lines or rows of vehicles.
  4. Motorcycles shall not be operated more than two abreast in a single lane.”

As you can see, New York law both implicitly and explicitly prohibits lane-splitting. By recognizing that motorcycles and cars have the same duties, New York implicitly prohibits lane-splitting because cars are also barred from driving between lanes of traffic. Furthermore, New York explicitly prohibits lane-splitting in Section 1252 subsection (b).

Call a Dedicated Brooklyn Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Due to the vulnerable and exposed nature of motorcycle operation, riders are particularly at risk for severe and maybe catastrophic injury if involved in a traffic accident. That is why it is important for motorcyclists to be extraordinarily mindful about their own safety. If you or loved has been involved in a car accident, you should contact an experienced Brooklyn Motorcycle Accident attorney from Koenigsberg & Associates Law Offices. We have been practicing personal injury for more than 25 years, including motorcycle accident cases. We provide you with personalized legal representation that addresses the specific circumstances attendant to your case. From insurance claims to the closing statement in a trial, we are dedicated to fighting by your side until your case is resolved.

To arrange a free consultation, please call Koenigsberg & Associates Law Offices at (718) 690-3132 or contact us online today.

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