Lane-Splitting Laws in New York 

motorcycle riding center line
Posted: November 3, 2022

Lane splitting has been defined to include riding a motorcycle between lanes or rows of slow or stopped traffic that is moving in the same direction. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the term means: “Passing between lanes of stopped or slower-moving vehicles on a motorcycle. Not permitted in most of the U.S., it is allowed in many other countries and may provide a safety benefit. Also called ‘lane sharing.’” 

According to the New York Vehicle & Traffic Law (“VTL”), lane splitting activities are unlawful on New York roads. VTL 1252, entitled “Operating motorcycles on roadways laned for traffic,” states that:  

“(a) All motorcycles are entitled to full use of a lane and no motor 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.

(b) The operator of a motorcycle shall not overtake and pass in the same lane occupied by the vehicle being overtaken.

(c) No person shall operate a motorcycle between lanes of traffic or between adjacent lines or rows of vehicles.

(d) Motorcycles shall not be operated more than two abreast in a single lane.

(e) Subsections (b) and (c) shall not apply to police officers in the performance of their official duties.”  

Thus, generally speaking, New York motorcyclists cannot drive between designated traffic lanes or adjacent lines or rows of vehicles. The law does grant motorcyclists certain privileges, however, such as the right to ride two-abreast in a single lane.  

Determining Fault After a Motorcycle 

Immediately after a motorcycle crash an injured motorcyclist may feel overwhelmed. The other driver may attempt to blame the motorcyclist for their own injuries. Motorcyclists, like other motorists on the road, are required to follow the Vehicle and Traffic Law. Determining whether a motorist complied with the Vehicle and Traffic Law is often a fact-sensitive inquiry that will depend on an array of factors.  

An experienced attorney can help to locate, secure, and preserve important evidence that can bear on the important question of fault and, thus, liability.  

Hurt in a Crash Involving a Motorcycle? Call William Mattar, P.C. 

If you were injured in a motorcycle accident and are looking for help receiving maximum compensation for your injuries, please do not hesitate to call the attorneys at William Mattar P.C. at (844) 444-4444. We are happy to take a look at your case to see if you have a claim. 


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