TAMPA, Fla. — A longtime Florida motorcyclist is concerned about the amount of fellow riders he sees lane splitting.

What You Need To Know

  • Lane splitting is when motorcycles drive in between lanes of moving traffic to get around other cars

  • Lane splitting is illegal in Florida. It’s also illegal to ride in bike lanes or emergency lanes

  • Lane splitting is legal in California. Some states allow lane filtering, which allows motorcycles to drive in between stopped traffic. Filtering is also illegal in Florida

Lane splitting is when motorcycles drive in between lanes of traffic to get around other cars.

“They’ll pass me. If I’m on my motorcycle, they’ll pass me in the same lane,” said motorcyclist Mark Curtis.

Curtis wrote into Spectrum Bay News 9 asking that the law be explained.

In Florida, lane splitting is illegal. Yet many drivers see it happen all the time.

Curtis has been riding for nearly 60 years. He’s also part of the Christian Motorcyclist Association.

In doing all of that riding, he’s seen a lot that concerns him.

“People who got into motorcycle accidents, we go to the hospital and pray for them. I don’t want to have to do that. I love my brothers and sisters and the motorcyclists. I just don’t want to do that,” Curtis said.

That’s why he is asking his fellow riders not to lane split.

He is also worried about motorcyclists using emergency or bike lanes, which is also illegal.

“They just go flying past. They think they’re invincible and I just worry about them,” Curtis said.

Curtis feels this happens because there are some misconceptions about whether or not it’s allowed in Florida.

“I go to different motorcycle events and people say it’s legal,” Curtis said.

In California, lane splitting is legal. Other states allow what’s called lane filtering, which means motorcycles can drive in between lanes of stopped traffic. Both filtering and splitting are illegal in Florida.

While some motorcyclists would like to see lane splitting or filtering made legal, Curtis feels there’s enough safety concerns on a bike in Florida as it is.

“There’s a lot of people that can’t see you, just riding along in your own lane normal. Much less lane splitting and come flying out of nowhere,” Curtis said.

Curtis also encourages all drivers to watch out for motorcycles on the road.