Are Lane Sharing and Lane Splitting Legal in Ohio?

You may have been on the highway before when you noticed a group of motorcyclists passing you by. But instead of being in a line, some of them were sharing the lane. Is this legal? The short answer is yes.

Lane Sharing Laws

Certain rules and regulations in the state of Ohio apply only to motorcyclists. According to Section 4511.55 of the Ohio Revised Code, which is where you can find these rules, allows for two motorcycles to ride side by side within one lane. This is called lane sharing.

The allowance of lane sharing doesn’t mean that all motorcyclists must ride side by side. In fact, it’s never required that they do this. Instead, it simply allows them to do so should they choose. However, they can’t ride with more than two motorcycles next to each other.

But what about when a motorcycle or bicycle moves between two lanes that are going in the same direction? In other words, can a motorcycle or bike ride on the line between two lanes? This is called lane splitting and is illegal in the state of Ohio. In fact, it’s illegal in every state but California.

So what happens if you are found to be lane splitting? In Ohio, those motorcyclists and bicyclists who are caught lane splitting may receive a traffic citation as well as a fine for the dangerous operation of a vehicle. What’s more, if you are involved in an accident while lane splitting you may be at least in part liable.

Lane Splitting Laws

While there is no specific law that prohibits lane sharing in the state of Ohio, it becomes an issue because it breaks other existing traffic laws. This is why if a cyclist is involved in an accident while lane splitting, the court will likely find the cyclist liable for lane splitting, which has not been accepted.

California, which is the only state to officially legalize lane splitting, allows cyclists to do so under certain conditions. The highway must have at least two traffic lanes going in the same direction and riders are required to remain under a certain speed while engaging in the practice.

The rest of the country is still split in terms of whether legalizing lane splitting is a good idea. While advocates for the practice say that it can reduce the amount of rear-end collisions, which often injure cyclists, as well as cut down the amount of time needed to commute, those against the practice maintain that it is extremely dangerous and can often surprise other drivers on the road. This can create a risk of other accidents.

Despite advocates who continue to push for lane splitting in Ohio, for now, the practice remains off the table.

The Attorneys at Jones Kahan Law, LLC Can Help Those in Ohio and Kentucky Who Have Been Injured in a Motorcycle Accident

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, it can greatly impact many parts of your life. The physical, emotional, and financial toll can be overwhelming. That’s why it is so important to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney.

At Jones Kahan Law, LLC, our Cincinnati, Dayton, and Northern Kentucky Personal Injury attorneys have a long history of dealing with motorcycle accidents and have helped our clients to recover the compensation that they deserve. We will fight for what is in your best interest. We don’t charge you any attorneys’ fees until we win your case. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!