If you ride a motorcycle and either live in Texas or are planning a road trip through the Lonestar State, you need to know if lane splitting is legal in Texas! Luckily, we have everything you need to know about lane splitting in Texas right here!
Lane splitting is not legal in Texas. In fact, lane splitting is illegal in every state except California. You can and probably will get a ticket for lane splitting on your motorcycle while in Texas. It is also illegal to drive a motorcycle (or any vehicle) on the shoulder in Texas.
If you want to understand the ins and outs of lane splitting in Texas, including what will happen if you do so, read on! We are going to dive into the details right now so that you have all the information you need to avoid getting a ticket on your motorcycle.
Why is Lane Splitting Illegal in Texas?
Now that you know that lane splitting is illegal in Texas, you may want to know why and how the law actually works.
Here’s the thing: Lane splitting is not explicitly illegal in Texas. However, it is considered illegal because the rules of the road state that all vehicles, including motorcycles, must stay in designated lanes while driving unless it is safe to pass another vehicle.
Essentially, there is no law that makes it legal for motorcycles to drive between the lanes, which means it is considered illegal to lane split.
Realistically, lane splitting is illegal in Texas because lawmakers and police believe it is an unsafe practice and increases vehicle accidents.
And whether or not you agree, you should certainly follow the laws of the state because if you don’t, you could find yourself with a hefty fine!
Can You Get a Ticket for Lane Splitting In Texas?
As lane splitting is illegal in Texas, if you get caught by the police, you will almost certainly get a ticket.
While the ticket itself usually includes a $175 fine, there are actually possible consequences that are far worse that you should be aware of.
If motorcyclists get into a traffic accident while lane splitting, they will likely be blamed for the accident by the police and the insurance company as they were breaking the rules of the road.
Therefore, even if it wasn’t actually your fault, you could end up paying extreme insurance costs or even going to court if a car doesn’t see your lane splitting and causes an accident.
So the bottom line is that even if you’re not worried about a ticket or you feel confident in your ability to safely lane split, you should follow the law and stay in a lane as you could get into quite a bit of trouble if an accident occurs.
Can Motorcycles Drive on the Shoulder in Texas?
Another common question motorcyclists ask is whether or not they can legally drive on the shoulder in Texas.
And the answer is a definitive no, motorcycles cannot legally drive on the shoulder in Texas. In fact, it is illegal for motorcycles to drive on the shoulder in every state except Hawaii.
The rules of the road are quite clear: You must drive within the designated lanes unless it is safe to pass another vehicle.
And because the shoulder is not technically a lane, it is considered illegal to use it, even for passing!
Some motorcyclists claim that using the shoulder is safe, convenient, and can even improve traffic build ups. However, you can still get a ticket for doing so in Texas.
In What States is Lane Splitting Legal?
It’s important to understand that many motorcyclists claim that lane splitting should be legal as it helps alleviate traffic and, of course, helps them save time on their travels.
However, in 49 of the 50 states, lane splitting is considered illegal. Whether because of a direct law or the lack of the legalization of the practice, such as in Texas.
There is one state where lane splitting is legal, and that is California. California legislation sees lane splitting as a way to decrease traffic, which the state desperately needs in certain areas.
So while you cannot legally lane split in Texas or 48 other states in the country, you can confidently pass through the traffic on your motorcycle by lane splitting in California.
Unfortunately for motorcyclists, lane splitting is not legal in Texas. If you practice lane splitting here, you could face a hefty fine or another penalty.
And now you know not only that lane splitting is illegal in Texas but also why this is the case, what happens if you break this law, and even in which state you can legally lane split!
As promised, you now have all the information you need about lane splitting in Texas so that you can drive your motorcycle safely without getting a ticket!