PROVO — Although Utah’s new lane filtering law for motorcyclists has been on the books for a month there still seems to be some confusion over it.
Take, for example, a viral video showing a confrontation between a motorist and motorcyclist who was lane filtering, or moving through traffic that is stopped.
Collin Hansen was riding his motorcycle Sunday on University Avenue in Provo and recorded video from his helmet camera as he attempted to use the new lane filtering law at a stoplight.
In the video, Hansen can be seen approaching a stopped vehicle with a Pizza Hut delivery sign on top. The driver is seen opening his door as if to try and stop Hansen.
The two parties exchange words until finally the motorist closes his door and Hansen drives away.
He uploaded the video online following the encounter.
“This behavior is never OK,” said Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Nicholas Street after watching the video, adding both parties behaved badly.
Utah law states lane filtering is allowed on roads where the posted speed limit is 45 miles per hour or under, there are two lanes going in each direction and all vehicles are stopped. Then, motorcyclists are only allowed to travel at a speed of 15 mph or slower.
“As the motorcyclist started to filter you can see there are two cars on his left and you can see the tires are still moving,” Street said.
Sunday’s confrontation could’ve ended much worse had there been an actual collision.
“If you open your door to a motorcycle coming down the lanes and they get hurt then that is an assault,” Street said. “They both made infractions here.”
UHP plans to reach out to both drivers now to educate them about the details of the law. At this time, there is no plan to ticket either person. Street says UHP is welcoming the opportunity to explain lane filtering as Utahns continue to get adjusted to the new law.
“I get it,” Street said. “If you didn’t know this was a law this would be really frustrating to think you’re losing your spot in line at the traffic light. What motorists need to understand is that they’re really not. Motorcycles can speed up quicker and it really helps with the flow of traffic.”
Representatives from Pizza Hut said they are aware of the situation and are looking into it further.