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WSP Warning Motorcyclists to Not Split Lanes – It’s Illegal

The Washington State Patrol wants it known that under any circumstances, it is illegal to pass between two cars currently occupying a lane.

Lane splitting is against the law.

Motorcycle Deaths Rise In California
Getty Images – Motorcycle Deaths Rise

Specifically, no person shall operate a motorcycle between lanes of traffic or between adjacent lines or rows of vehicles; nor can a motorcycle overtake and pass in the same lane occupied by the vehicle being overtaken.

RCW 46.61.608 has not been modified nor altered during the 2017 legislative session so the State Patrol will be enforcing the law as it is currently written on the law books.

The summer months see a dramatic uptick of motorcycle riders on the road and with that comes the inevitable few who zig and zag and zip between other drivers causing consternation and frustration.

According to the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission, an average of 74 motorcyclists died every year between 2011 and 2015.

Drivers need to remember motorcycles are physically smaller than cars; they can be harder to see. Drivers need to check mirrors before changing lanes, use turn signals, and increase following distances around motorcyclists.


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