Busy and congested highways with bumper-to-bumper, stop-and-go traffic is part of the nightmare of driving for so many of us. We get it, we're used to it, we deal with it. It's even more frustrating when it's not during rush hour, but rather construction or an accident.

Enter motorcyclists, who often keep moving as they drive down the middle of two lanes on the dotted line while we're extending our necks or glancing at the solid red line on our GPS to see how much longer our delay will be.

MD Shahjehan
MD Shahjehan
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Let's be honest, we've all cursed those motorcyclists as they zoom by while we're hitting our brakes. AGAIN. It's called lane-splitting or lane filtering, and there's no way it's legal, right?

In nearly all states, it will get the driver of the motorcycle a ticket, according to the Twisted Road website. However, this is slowly changing, and in line to possibly make this a law are Massachusetts and Connecticut.

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Getty Images
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States That Allow Lane Filtering or Splitting

While California has always looked the other way on its busy freeways for decades, the Golden State officially made it legal and formalized the practice of lane splitting in 2016. Utah has had the lane filter law since 2019, Montana has had the filter law on the books since early 2021, Colorado's lane filtering law starts in August of this year, Arizona follows shortly after in September, and Minnesota's  lane-splitting law for motorcyclists begins in January of 2025.

Lane Filtering versus Lane Splitting

The two are often used interchangeably. However, there's technically a subtle difference, according to the Ride Apart website.

Lane filtering is when a motorcycle overtakes a stopped vehicle driving between two lanes and getting in front of another vehicle, basically filtering in and out of the actual lanes.

Splitting is just driving down the dotted line between vehicles, essentially creating a new lane.

Twisted Road
Twisted Road
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Meanwhile, several states are considering lane splitting or filtering besides Massachusetts and Connecticut, while other states simply look the other way. Then there are those states that will issue you a ticket in a heartbeat.

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