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Sheriff Encourages Drivers To Educate Themselves Regarding New Motorcycle Filtering Laws

Utah Department Of Public Safety

A new Utah state law allows so-called “lane filtering” for motorcycles—that is, it allows cyclists to travel between lanes of cars.

However, Summit County Sheriff Justin Martinez said there’s still a learning curve underway for the new ordinance.

Sheriff Justin Martinez said that personally, he has mixed feelings about the law, which has been in effect for about a month.

“The motorcycle law does allow in certain situations for motorcycles to travel between cars," Martinez said. "Typically, it's at a stop light and they can come up through cars that are stopped. What that allows them to do is get out in front and take off and be seen. They’re not just stuck behind a truck. What I think the motoring public is not really aware of, or comfortable with yet, is sitting at a light or being in traffic and here comes a motorcycle between them and another vehicle. It has the potential for there's a safety risk involved for sure.”

We discussed the topic with the sheriff, even a video, gone viral, shows a confrontation between a motorist and a cyclist in Sunday traffic in Provo.

The Sheriff said both types of travelers have to be cautious, while they get used to the new law.

“It's just a matter of educating the motoring public, especially those are in their vehicles, to be aware," Martinez explained. "To lookout and don't be surprised if you see a motorcycle splitting the lanes. In addition, to that, definitely have to educate the motorcycle riders. This is not a free pass to go as fast as you want, zip in and out of cars. I think a lot of people might take advantage, which can cause a deadly situation to be very candid. So laws are written sometimes they aren’t always written perfectly, but our lawmakers are always trying to do what they feel is best. There's other communities—California does this law they've gotten very good at it, but they're used to it.”


Known for getting all the facts right, as well as his distinctive sign-off, Rick covered Summit County meetings and issues for 35 years on KPCW. He now heads the Friday Film Review team.
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