Lane splitting and filtering

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  • #7218
        • Junior Member
        • Posts: 8

      So, this is a very common topic on motorcycle forums, I thought I may as well get it out of the way  8)
      Seems like the community is very split about it.  Be interesting to see a purely Alberta perspective.

      I'm sure you're all familiar – lane splitting is when a motorcycle uses the unused space between lanes to pass,  usually in heavy and/or slow traffic. It doesn't mean that motorcycles don't have to obey speed limits, but if traffic is slow (Calgary…) then they have the option of using the lines.  It's legal in California, and most of Europe, but I think that's about it.  Filtering is when you move up the line of cars at a red light to get to the front.

      Personally, I think that if they made it legal, and made sure driver's knew about it then it would not cause problems.  It will help to reduce congestion, and gives people an incentive to ride.  The less time we spend sitting in traffic idling the less emissions we're pumping out.  It also gives the rider the option, if he is being tailgated or ignored by drivers around him, to just scoot up a few car lengths.    The Victoria (Australia) traffic authority says they have seen no instances of lane splitting causing an accident.  Of course, it's all personal choice on the part of the rider.

      Filtering, I think should be legal without a doubt.  Again, it will reduce congestion and emissions.  Additionally, it gives us the opportunity to get out of the way of all the cars who, as we all know, exist solely to hit us.  This is especially helpful in the rain/wet as it saves us from getting sprayed by cars in front of us.

      All that said, we live in conservative Alberta and I doubt very much that any laws about splitting will ever come up, let alone get passed.  Still fun to talk about though.


          • Full Member
          • Posts: 302

        My thoughts…

        The problem with living in Alberta is that we’re not a progressive province.  As long as we’re still extracting oil and gas out of the ground, any idiot in power can ride the economic coattails of this province’s success and take credit for it.  With all the royalty money coming in, the infrastructure in this province still sucks balls because of our backwards-thinking and fiscally irresponsible government. 

        Now before I start pissing patriotic Albertans off by shoving my political views down their throats like those crazy, Sunday morning TV preachers do with their religious views, I’d like to get back to my point.

        What I’m trying to get at is that people are inherently naive when times are good.  It’s the “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” attitude that everyone seems to have these days.

        Growing up, I used to think that Canada was an innovative and progressive country that other countries looked to emulate but I’m learning that we’re becoming more and more conservative like our neighbors to the South and I find myself wishing I lived in some of those more progressive European countries.

        We need proactive leaders in this province who will see the benefits of allowing lane splitting and filtering.  I just don’t see any of this happening until we run out of oil and gas or people start taking politics more seriously and start demanding more from their elected officials.

        Until then, I won’t be surprised to see only one occupant in almost all vehicles (most of which are SUVs of course) driving to and from work during rush hour.  It’s an absolute shame.

        You can probably tell where I’m going with this so I’ll come straight out and say it.  I support both lane splitting and filtering. 

        I have personally experienced lane splitting while down in California and avoided a lot of riding in less than safe conditions doing so.  And for people driving cars who think it’s unfair;  grow up, stop being selfish and look at the bigger, long-term picture.  Two of the many benefits everyone enjoys from lane-splitting are less congestion and less pollution.  What more can you ask for?  It’s a no-brainer but unfortunately also an idea ahead of its time in most parts of the world.

        Here is a great article on lane splitting by the way:

        Lane Splitting: Tear Along Dotted Line

        Same thing with filtering.  An absolute no-brainer but again, an idea ahead of its time, except for places like Spain where they now have specially-marked areas in front of crosswalks where motorcycles and scooters can filter through to when the lights turn red.

        …and that’s all I have to say about that.

            • Junior Member
            • Posts: 27

          I agree with you dudes.  It’d definitely be nice but doubtful that there’ll ever be lane splitting/filtering in Canada. 

          Cagers get too offended when we accelerate quickly off the line, which in our minds is because if there’s no cars around us there’s no dumbass in an SUV talking on a cellphone to sideswipe us, but in their minds it’s because we’re trying to “race” or “showoff”…ha.  They’d definitely hate if we had the legal right to go in front of them at lights.  😛

              • Junior Member
              • Posts: 13

            that’s an interesting topic…

            I live in Montréal and people are doing it around here.
            It is not legal, but i would say it is tolerated.

            i am 100% agreed on ryan’s political point of view.

            cati 800
                • Junior Member
                • Posts: 10

              Hello all,

              I agree this would be a great idea however in this province full of impatient SUV driving bozo’s we would have a backlash of epic proportions on our hands that would make riding even more dangerous. Have you ever passed someone on your bike and just out of spite they take offence…..this would happen here my friends and it would be open season on motorcycles. People would be beefing up there bush gaurds and calling them bike gaurds.

              If you want progressive move out of Alberta this province is and will remain scared and untolerating.

              And I am born and raised here. but not proud of it anymore.

                  • Full Member
                  • Posts: 75

                E-mail your MP.

                I did and even had a nice talk. Provided links provided by the CA hiway department showing a reduction in Motorcycle crashes specificaly in rear end crashes(bike is rear ended) and well as mentioning the benifits to encouraging more alberta moterists to use bikes and scouters.

                I then also bring up the benifit of cheaper infastructure due more people using bikes and getting more people through traffic on busy conjested roads such as Deer Foot.

                I also sugested free bike/scooter parking downtown.

                We can all complain how our goverment does not listen…but it works better if you tell them what you want.

                If enough people inform there MP’s of there desire for will become.

                It only takes one MP to start the ball rolling and the other mP’s having been baraged with e-mail’s requesting this idea backed by logical and statistical arguments will see legislation changed.

                    • Junior Member
                    • Posts: 7

                  Lane splitting in major centre’s is a no brainer. It is better for traffic flow. There are like any rules a few exceptions. Lane splitting was first introduced(as I understand it) in Cali because bikes were overheating in the traffic congestion. This would be a streach in Alberta. The big consern I would have in Alberta would be the number of larger trucks and SUV with the monster mirrors sticking out. Also because of the reduced bike season here people just dont see bikes. Every jerk in a cage will be cussing you out as you split by him at the next construction zone. I think the average bike riding is ready for lane splitting but the average cage ridier is a long way off on this one. JMHO

                      • Full Member
                      • Posts: 75

                    I agree and that is why such a policy would have to include educating drivers through public media.

                    Cities need to be encouraging more poeple to take these forms of transportation.

                    1) More fuel Effecient.
                    2)less parking required downtown
                    3)less infastructure(can fit more people down a 2lane road @ 80km on scooters than each in cars)

                    There is a reason why every other country does this except of the US (except cali) and Canada. Most other coutries even make special acomidations for bikes to encourage there use.  If you offered faster commutes(by not having to wait in traffic), better cheaper parking all for a lower inital and operating cost as compared to cars more and more people would serously look at using these in there cummites to and from work.

                    The city beifits due to having to pay less for infastructure.

                    Problem is that this is a federal and provincial issue and this issue won’t win an MP any votes or really be worth there effort to implement unless you tell them it is important to you.

                    Find your MLA for your area and send them a short E-mail.

                    For your MP

                        • Full Member
                        • Posts: 293

                      So, is it officially illegal?

                      I lane-split and filter all the time on my commute to and back from work, (I tuck back into traffic when people get moving over about 30kph) and don’t have a big speed differential between myself and the rest of traffic…..but find myself worried I’ll get some ridiculous charge for my efforts. I’m not a jerk about it, and my rule of thumb is that as long as nobody else has to adjust their driving habits in any way shape or form there is no harm done (i.e. nobody has to brake or move due to my presence between lanes).  When I tuck back in I find a spot where all the motorist has to do is not accelerate as quickly for a brief moment  to allow the gap to widen. If they are jerks and refuse to do this I move up and tuck into another gap. You can always find someone within 2 car lengths who is slow off the brakes when traffic gets moving.

                          • Full Member
                          • Posts: 75

                        It is illegal and cops would wright you ticket if they saw you.

                        Don’t agree with it but that is the way it is.

                        Talk to your MLA’s and MP’s.

                        They will actually read what you send and get a reply back. Was quite impressed with the reply recieved by our MP who seemed like he actually looked into it.  More e-mails from more people may bring the issue up and talked about.

                            • Full Member
                            • Posts: 293

                          That is how it started with anything that was ever legalized anywhere.

                              • Full Member
                              • Posts: 326

                            anything new regarding this?

                                • New Member
                                • Posts: 1

                              I’m also a big proponent of lane splitting having done it in countries where it is permitted (as well as here in Calgary when traffic is too backed up). As alluded to above, Alberta is not the most progressive province and would probably be one of the last places this will even be allowed to happen. The only way I could even see this getting any traction is if we all get enough riders together to organize a protest like this lol:

                                  • Senior Contributor
                                  • Posts: 1523

                                Welcome to the site…

                                Wow, you’re one brave dude…I don’t think I would trust the NUTTY drivers in Calgary…they would probably try to take you out (pinch you off)

                                Although having said that, I have rode the curb to get to a turn to get the hell out of the traffic…so, I guess that is kinda lane spitting…kinda…


                                    • New Member
                                    • Posts: 1

                                  Well I sent an email to My PM, but he is known for being a useless PM. Has any one else?

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