7 LONG TITLE
8 General Description:
9 This bill amends the traffic code to allow certain motorcycles to pass another vehicle in
10 the same lane, under certain circumstances.
11 Highlighted Provisions:
12 This bill:
13 ▸ creates a definition for lane splitting;
14 ▸ amends the traffic code to allow for lane splitting under certain circumstances when
15 operating certain motorcycles on roadways divided into two or more adjacent traffic
16 lanes in the same direction of travel; and
17 ▸ makes technical changes.
18 Money Appropriated in this Bill:
20 Other Special Clauses:
22 Utah Code Sections Affected:
24 41-6a-102, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2016, Chapters 40 and 173
25 41-6a-704, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2015, Chapter 412
26 41-6a-710, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2015, Chapter 412
28 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
29 Section 1. Section 41-6a-102 is amended to read:
30 41-6a-102. Definitions.
31 As used in this chapter:
32 (1) "Alley" means a street or highway intended to provide access to the rear or side of
33 lots or buildings in urban districts and not intended for through vehicular traffic.
34 (2) "All-terrain type I vehicle" means the same as that term is defined in Section
36 (3) "Authorized emergency vehicle" includes:
37 (a) fire department vehicles;
38 (b) police vehicles;
39 (c) ambulances; and
40 (d) other publicly or privately owned vehicles as designated by the commissioner of the
41 Department of Public Safety.
42 (4) "Autocycle" means the same as that term is defined in Section 53-3-102.
43 (5) (a) "Bicycle" means a wheeled vehicle:
44 (i) propelled by human power by feet or hands acting upon pedals or cranks;
45 (ii) with a seat or saddle designed for the use of the operator;
46 (iii) designed to be operated on the ground; and
47 (iv) whose wheels are not less than 14 inches in diameter.
48 (b) "Bicycle" includes an electric assisted bicycle.
49 (c) "Bicycle" does not include scooters and similar devices.
50 (6) (a) "Bus" means a motor vehicle:
51 (i) designed for carrying more than 15 passengers and used for the transportation of
52 persons; or
53 (ii) designed and used for the transportation of persons for compensation.
54 (b) "Bus" does not include a taxicab.
55 (7) (a) "Circular intersection" means an intersection that has an island, generally
56 circular in design, located in the center of the intersection where traffic passes to the right of
57 the island.
58 (b) "Circular intersection" includes:
59 (i) roundabouts;
60 (ii) rotaries; and
61 (iii) traffic circles.
62 (8) "Class 1 electric assisted bicycle" means an electric assisted bicycle described in
63 Subsection (16)(d)(i).
64 (9) "Class 2 electric assisted bicycle" means an electric assisted bicycle described in
65 Subsection (16)(d)(ii).
66 (10) "Class 3 electric assisted bicycle" means an electric assisted bicycle described in
67 Subsection (16)(d)(iii).
68 (11) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of the Department of Public Safety.
69 (12) "Controlled-access highway" means a highway, street, or roadway:
70 (a) designed primarily for through traffic; and
71 (b) to or from which owners or occupants of abutting lands and other persons have no
72 legal right of access, except at points as determined by the highway authority having
73 jurisdiction over the highway, street, or roadway.
74 (13) "Crosswalk" means:
75 (a) that part of a roadway at an intersection included within the connections of the
76 lateral lines of the sidewalks on opposite sides of the highway measured from:
77 (i) (A) the curbs; or
78 (B) in the absence of curbs, from the edges of the traversable roadway; and
79 (ii) in the absence of a sidewalk on one side of the roadway, that part of a roadway
80 included within the extension of the lateral lines of the existing sidewalk at right angles to the
81 centerline; or
82 (b) any portion of a roadway at an intersection or elsewhere distinctly indicated for
83 pedestrian crossing by lines or other markings on the surface.
84 (14) "Department" means the Department of Public Safety.
85 (15) "Direct supervision" means oversight at a distance within which:
86 (a) visual contact is maintained; and
87 (b) advice and assistance can be given and received.
88 (16) "Divided highway" means a highway divided into two or more roadways by:
89 (a) an unpaved intervening space;
90 (b) a physical barrier; or
91 (c) a clearly indicated dividing section constructed to impede vehicular traffic.
92 (17) "Electric assisted bicycle" means a bicycle with an electric motor that:
93 (a) has a power output of not more than 750 watts;
94 (b) has fully operable pedals on permanently affixed cranks;
95 (c) is fully operable as a bicycle without the use of the electric motor; and
96 (d) is one of the following:
97 (i) an electric assisted bicycle equipped with a motor or electronics that:
98 (A) provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling; and
99 (B) ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per
101 (ii) an electric assisted bicycle equipped with a motor or electronics that:
102 (A) may be used exclusively to propel the bicycle; and
103 (B) is not capable of providing assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20
104 miles per hour; or
105 (iii) an electric assisted bicycle equipped with a motor or electronics that:
106 (A) provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling;
107 (B) ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 28 miles per
108 hour; and
109 (C) is equipped with a speedometer.
110 (18) (a) "Electric personal assistive mobility device" means a self-balancing device
112 (i) two nontandem wheels in contact with the ground;
113 (ii) a system capable of steering and stopping the unit under typical operating
115 (iii) an electric propulsion system with average power of one horsepower or 750 watts;
116 (iv) a maximum speed capacity on a paved, level surface of 12.5 miles per hour; and
117 (v) a deck design for a person to stand while operating the device.
118 (b) "Electric personal assistive mobility device" does not include a wheelchair.
119 (19) "Explosives" means any chemical compound or mechanical mixture commonly
120 used or intended for the purpose of producing an explosion and that contains any oxidizing and
121 combustive units or other ingredients in proportions, quantities, or packing so that an ignition
122 by fire, friction, concussion, percussion, or detonator of any part of the compound or mixture
123 may cause a sudden generation of highly heated gases, and the resultant gaseous pressures are
124 capable of producing destructive effects on contiguous objects or of causing death or serious
125 bodily injury.
126 (20) "Farm tractor" means a motor vehicle designed and used primarily as a farm
127 implement, for drawing plows, mowing machines, and other implements of husbandry.
128 (21) "Flammable liquid" means a liquid that has a flashpoint of 100 degrees F. or less,
129 as determined by a tagliabue or equivalent closed-cup test device.
130 (22) "Freeway" means a controlled-access highway that is part of the interstate system
131 as defined in Section 72-1-102.
132 (23) (a) "Full-sized all-terrain vehicle" means any recreational vehicle designed for and
133 capable of travel over unimproved terrain:
134 (i) traveling on four or more tires;
135 (ii) having a width that, when measured at the widest point of the vehicle:
136 (A) is not less than 55 inches; or
137 (B) does not exceed 92 inches;
138 (iii) having an unladen dry weight of 6,500 pounds or less;
139 (iv) having a maximum seat height of 50 inches when measured at the forward edge of
140 the seat bottom; and
141 (v) having a steering wheel for control.
142 (b) "Full-sized all-terrain vehicle" does not include:
143 (i) all-terrain type I vehicle;
144 (ii) a utility type vehicle;
145 (iii) a motorcycle; or
146 (iv) a snowmobile as defined in Section 41-22-2.
147 (24) "Gore area" means the area delineated by two solid white lines that is between a
148 continuing lane of a through roadway and a lane used to enter or exit the continuing lane
149 including similar areas between merging or splitting highways.
150 (25) "Gross weight" means the weight of a vehicle without a load plus the weight of
151 any load on the vehicle.
152 (26) "Highway" means the entire width between property lines of every way or place of
153 any nature when any part of it is open to the use of the public as a matter of right for vehicular
155 (27) "Highway authority" means the same as that term is defined in Section 72-1-102.
156 (28) (a) "Intersection" means the area embraced within the prolongation or connection
157 of the lateral curblines, or, if none, then the lateral boundary lines of the roadways of two or
158 more highways which join one another.
159 (b) Where a highway includes two roadways 30 feet or more apart:
160 (i) every crossing of each roadway of the divided highway by an intersecting highway
161 is a separate intersection; and
162 (ii) if the intersecting highway also includes two roadways 30 feet or more apart, then
163 every crossing of two roadways of the highways is a separate intersection.
164 (c) "Intersection" does not include the junction of an alley with a street or highway.
165 (29) "Island" means an area between traffic lanes or at an intersection for control of
166 vehicle movements or for pedestrian refuge designated by:
167 (a) pavement markings, which may include an area designated by two solid yellow
168 lines surrounding the perimeter of the area;
169 (b) channelizing devices;
170 (c) curbs;
171 (d) pavement edges; or
172 (e) other devices.
173 (30) "Lane splitting" means, when operating a motorcycle, other than an autocycle, the
174 act of overtaking and passing another vehicle moving in the same direction in the same lane.
175 (31) "Law enforcement agency" means the same as that term is as defined in Section
178 (a) that is designated specifically for through traffic; and
179 (b) over, from, or to which neither owners nor occupants of abutting lands nor other
180 persons have any right or easement, or have only a limited right or easement of access, light,
181 air, or view.
183 body of a county, municipal, or other local board or body having authority to enact laws
184 relating to traffic under the constitution and laws of the state.
186 (i) is designed to be operated at speeds of not more than 25 miles per hour; and
187 (ii) has a capacity of not more than four passengers, including the driver.
188 (b) "Low-speed vehicle" does not include a golfcart or an off-highway vehicle.
190 is wholly or partly of metal or other hard nonresilient material.
192 seat or saddle that is less than 24 inches from the ground as measured on a level surface with
193 properly inflated tires.
194 (b) "Mini-motorcycle" does not include a moped or a motor assisted scooter.
195 (c) "Mini-motorcycle" does not include a motorcycle that is:
196 (i) designed for off-highway use; and
197 (ii) registered as an off-highway vehicle under Section 41-22-3.
199 (a) a trailer or semitrailer that is:
200 (i) designed, constructed, and equipped as a dwelling place, living abode, or sleeping
201 place either permanently or temporarily; and
202 (ii) equipped for use as a conveyance on streets and highways; or
203 (b) a trailer or a semitrailer whose chassis and exterior shell is designed and
204 constructed for use as a mobile home, as defined in Subsection [
205 instead used permanently or temporarily for:
206 (i) the advertising, sale, display, or promotion of merchandise or services; or
207 (ii) any other commercial purpose except the transportation of property for hire or the
208 transportation of property for distribution by a private carrier.
210 (i) pedals to permit propulsion by human power; and
211 (ii) a motor that:
212 (A) produces not more than two brake horsepower; and
213 (B) is not capable of propelling the cycle at a speed in excess of 30 miles per hour on
214 level ground.
215 (b) If an internal combustion engine is used, the displacement may not exceed 50 cubic
216 centimeters and the moped shall have a power drive system that functions directly or
217 automatically without clutching or shifting by the operator after the drive system is engaged.
218 (c) "Moped" includes a motor assisted scooter.
219 (d) "Moped" does not include an electric assisted bicycle.
221 (i) at least two wheels in contact with the ground;
222 (ii) a braking system capable of stopping the unit under typical operating conditions;
223 (iii) a gas or electric motor not exceeding 40 cubic centimeters;
224 (iv) either:
225 (A) a deck design for a person to stand while operating the device; or
226 (B) a deck and seat designed for a person to sit, straddle, or stand while operating the
227 device; and
228 (v) a design for the ability to be propelled by human power alone.
229 (b) "Motor assisted scooter" does not include an electric assisted bicycle.
231 (a) a motor vehicle, other than a tractor, having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider
232 and designed to travel with not more than three wheels in contact with the ground; or
233 (b) an autocycle.
235 motor assisted scooter, and every motorized bicycle having:
236 (i) an engine with less than 150 cubic centimeters displacement; or
237 (ii) a motor that produces not more than five horsepower.
238 (b) "Motor-driven cycle" does not include:
239 (i) an electric personal assistive mobility device; or
240 (ii) an electric assisted bicycle.
242 which is propelled by electric power obtained from overhead trolley wires, but not operated
243 upon rails.
244 (b) "Motor vehicle" does not include vehicles moved solely by human power,
245 motorized wheelchairs, an electric personal assistive mobility device, or an electric assisted
248 defined under Section 41-22-2.
253 is occupied or not.
254 (b) "Park" or "parking" does not include the standing of a vehicle temporarily for the
255 purpose of and while actually engaged in loading or unloading property or passengers.
257 Peace Officer Classifications, to direct or regulate traffic or to make arrests for violations of
258 traffic laws.
260 (a) on foot; or
261 (b) in a wheelchair.
263 regulate pedestrians.
267 (a) designed to be drawn by another vehicle and attached to the towing vehicle by
268 means of a reach, or pole, or by being boomed or otherwise secured to the towing vehicle; and
269 (b) that is ordinarily used for transporting long or irregular shaped loads including
270 poles, pipes, or structural members generally capable of sustaining themselves as beams
271 between the supporting connections.
273 and used for vehicular travel by the owner and those having express or implied permission
274 from the owner, but not by other persons.
276 stationary rails.
278 authority of a public body or official or by a railroad and intended to give notice of the presence
279 of railroad tracks or the approach of a railroad train.
281 coupled with or operated without cars, and operated upon rails.
283 lawful manner in preference to another vehicle or pedestrian approaching under circumstances
284 of direction, speed, and proximity that give rise to danger of collision unless one grants
285 precedence to the other.
287 ordinarily used for vehicular travel.
288 (b) "Roadway" does not include the sidewalk, berm, or shoulder, even though any of
289 them are used by persons riding bicycles or other human-powered vehicles.
290 (c) "Roadway" refers to any roadway separately but not to all roadways collectively, if
291 a highway includes two or more separate roadways.
293 for the exclusive use of pedestrians and that is protected, marked, or indicated by adequate
294 signs as to be plainly visible at all times while set apart as a safety zone.
296 (i) complies with the color and identification requirements of the most recent edition of
297 "Minimum Standards for School Buses"; and
298 (ii) is used to transport school children to or from school or school activities.
299 (b) "School bus" does not include a vehicle operated by a common carrier in
300 transportation of school children to or from school or school activities.
302 (i) designed for carrying persons or property and for being drawn by a motor vehicle;
304 (ii) constructed so that some part of its weight and that of its load rests on or is carried
305 by another vehicle.
306 (b) "Semitrailer" does not include a pole trailer.
308 (a) that area of the hard-surfaced highway separated from the roadway by a pavement
309 edge line as established in the current approved "Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices";
311 (b) that portion of the road contiguous to the roadway for accommodation of stopped
312 vehicles, for emergency use, and for lateral support.
314 lateral lines of a roadway, and the adjacent property lines intended for the use of pedestrians.
316 does not depend on compressed air for the support of the load.
318 occupied or not, for the purpose of and while actually engaged in receiving or discharging
322 of a vehicle, whether occupied or not, except when:
323 (a) necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic; or
324 (b) in compliance with the directions of a peace officer or traffic-control device.
326 type I vehicle, utility type vehicle, or full-sized all-terrain vehicle that is modified to meet the
327 requirements of Section 41-6a-1509 to operate on highways in the state in accordance with
328 Section 41-6a-1509.
330 conveyances either singly or together while using any highway for the purpose of travel.
332 inconsistent with this chapter placed or erected by a highway authority for the purpose of
333 regulating, warning, or guiding traffic.
335 mechanically operated, by which traffic is alternately directed to stop and permitted to proceed.
337 designed, intended, or used to interfere with the operation or cycle of a traffic-control signal.
339 carrying persons or property and for being drawn by a motor vehicle and constructed so that no
340 part of its weight rests upon the towing vehicle.
341 (b) "Trailer" does not include a pole trailer.
343 the transportation of property.
345 (a) designed and used primarily for drawing other vehicles; and
346 (b) constructed to carry a part of the weight of the vehicle and load drawn by the truck
349 (a) provided for vehicle operators making left turns in either direction;
350 (b) that is not used for passing, overtaking, or through travel; and
351 (c) that has been indicated by a lane traffic-control device that may include lane
354 in which structures devoted to business, industry, or dwelling houses are situated at intervals of
355 less than 100 feet, for a distance of a quarter of a mile or more.
357 capable of travel over unimproved terrain:
358 (i) traveling on four or more tires;
359 (ii) having a width that, when measured at the widest point of the vehicle:
360 (A) is not less than 30 inches; or
361 (B) does not exceed 70 inches;
362 (iii) having an unladen dry weight of 2,200 pounds or less;
363 (iv) having a seat height of 20 to 40 inches when measured at the forward edge of the
364 seat bottom; and
365 (v) having side-by-side seating with a steering wheel for control.
366 (b) "Utility type vehicle" does not include:
367 (i) an all-terrain type I vehicle;
368 (ii) a motorcycle; or
369 (iii) a snowmobile as defined in Section 41-22-2.
371 be transported or drawn on a highway, except devices used exclusively on stationary rails or
373 Section 2. Section 41-6a-704 is amended to read:
374 41-6a-704. Overtaking and passing vehicles proceeding in same direction.
375 (1) (a) On any highway:
376 (i) the operator of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same
377 direction shall:
378 (A) except as provided under Section 41-6a-705, promptly pass the overtaken vehicle
379 on the left at a safe distance; and
380 (B) enter a right-hand lane or the right side of the roadway only when safely clear of the
381 overtaken vehicle;
382 (ii) the operator of an overtaken vehicle:
383 (A) shall give way to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle; and
384 (B) may not increase the speed of the vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking
386 (b) The exemption from the minimum speed regulations for a vehicle operating on a
387 grade under Section 41-6a-605 does not exempt the vehicle from promptly passing a vehicle as
388 required under Subsection (1)(a)(i)(A).
389 (2) On a highway having more than one lane in the same direction, the operator of a
390 vehicle traveling in the left general purpose lane:
391 (a) shall, upon being overtaken by another vehicle in the same lane, yield to the
392 overtaking vehicle by moving safely to a lane to the right; and
393 (b) may not impede the movement or free flow of traffic in the left general purpose
395 (3) An operator of a vehicle traveling in the left general purpose lane that has a vehicle
396 following directly behind the operator's vehicle at a distance so that less than two seconds
397 elapse before reaching the location of the operator's vehicle when space is available for the
398 operator to yield to the overtaking vehicle by traveling in the right-hand lane is prima facie
399 evidence that the operator is violating Subsection (2).
400 (4) The provisions of Subsection (2) do not apply to an operator of a vehicle traveling
401 in the left general purpose lane when:
402 (a) overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction in
403 accordance with Subsection (1)(a)(i);
404 (b) preparing to turn left or taking a different highway or an exit on the left;
405 (c) responding to emergency conditions;
406 (d) avoiding actual or potential traffic moving onto the highway from an acceleration
407 or merging lane; or
408 (e) following the direction of a traffic-control device that directs the use of a designated
410 (5) On a roadway divided into two or more adjacent traffic lanes in the same direction
411 of travel, a person operating a motorcycle may engage in lane splitting only when the following
412 conditions exist:
413 (a) the motorcycle is traveling at a speed of 40 miles per hour or less; and
414 (b) the movement may be made safely.
417 Section 3. Section 41-6a-710 is amended to read:
418 41-6a-710. Roadway divided into marked lanes -- Provisions -- Traffic-control
420 On a roadway divided into two or more clearly marked lanes for traffic the following
421 provisions apply and any violation of this section is an infraction:
422 (1) (a) [
423 (i) shall keep the vehicle as nearly as practical entirely within a single lane; and
424 (ii) may not move the vehicle from the lane until the operator has reasonably
425 determined the movement can be made safely.
426 (b) A determination under Subsection (1)(a)(ii) is reasonable if a reasonable person
427 acting under the same conditions and having regard for actual and potential hazards then
428 existing would determine that the movement could be made safely.
429 (c) On a roadway divided into two or more adjacent traffic lanes in the same direction
430 of travel, a person operating a motorcycle may engage in lane splitting only when the following
431 conditions exist:
432 (i) the motorcycle is traveling at a speed of 40 miles per hour or less; and
433 (ii) the movement may be completed safely.
434 (2) (a) On a roadway divided into three or more lanes and providing for two-way
435 movement of traffic, a person operating a vehicle may not drive in the center lane except:
436 (i) when overtaking and passing another vehicle traveling in the same direction, and
437 when the center lane is:
438 (A) clear of traffic within a safe distance; and
439 (B) not a two-way left turn lane;
440 (ii) in preparation of making or completing a left turn in compliance with Section
441 41-6a-801; or
442 (iii) where the center lane is allocated exclusively to traffic moving in the same
443 direction that the vehicle is proceeding as indicated by traffic-control devices.
444 (b) Notwithstanding Subsection (2)(a)(i) and in accordance with Subsection (1)(a), a
445 person operating a vehicle may drive in a center lane that is a two-way left turn lane if:
446 (i) the center lane is:
447 (A) on a roadway divided into three or more lanes that provides for two-way
448 movement of traffic; and
449 (B) clear of traffic within a safe distance;
450 (ii) there is only one lane of travel in the direction the person operating the vehicle is
451 traveling; and
452 (iii) the person operating the vehicle is overtaking and passing a bicycle or moped that
453 is moving at less than the reasonable speed of traffic that is present.
454 (3) (a) A highway authority may erect traffic-control devices directing specified traffic
455 to use a designated lane or designating those lanes to be used by traffic moving in a particular
456 direction regardless of the center of the roadway.
457 (b) An operator of a vehicle shall obey the directions of a traffic-control device erected
458 under Subsection (3)(a).
Legislative Review Note
Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel