Lane Splitting Is Illegal in New York

No one likes to sit in traffic, so it’s not surprising that those who can avoid it will do so. If you ride a motorcycle or scooter, you may have taken advantage of your vehicle’s slimmer profile to ride between slow or stopped cars.

Known as “lane splitting,” this riding technique is actually illegal throughout New York. If a police officer sees you riding between two driving lanes, you can be stopped and issued a ticket.

Which New York Laws Prohibit Lane Splitting?

The Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) 1252 is the statute that bans lane splitting throughout New York. This law specifically addresses motorcycles and how riders should use and share driving lanes.

Specific to lane splitting, the law states the following:

  • (b) “The operator of a motorcycle shall not overtake and pass in the
    same lane occupied by the vehicle being overtaken.”
  • (c) “No person shall operate a motorcycle between lanes of traffic or
    between adjacent lines or rows of vehicles.”
  • (d) “Motorcycles shall not be operated more than two abreast in a
    single lane.”

New York is far from the only state that bans lane splitting, and several other states don’t have any laws about it on their books. So far, the only state that explicitly allows lane splitting is California.

Penalties for Lane Splitting in New York

Lane splitting is considered a moving violation that can result in a ticket. The penalties you can face for lane splitting can be severe depending upon your financial situation and how many points are already on your driving record.

The possible consequences for lane splitting break down as follows:

  • First Offense – Maximum fine of $150, surcharge of $88, 2 points, and possibly 15 days in jail.
  • Second Offense – Maximum fine of $350, surcharge of $88, 2 points, and possibly 15 days in jail.
  • Third Offense – Maximum fine of $450, surcharge of $88, 2 points, and possibly 15 days in jail.

These penalties are worth serious consideration. If you have many points on your driving record, a lane splitting violation can result in the suspension of your driver’s license. This can make your daily life difficult, as can losing hundreds of dollars that could be spent on necessary expenses.

Ticketed for Lane Splitting? We Can Help.

If you received a ticket for lane splitting in New York City, Stites Law can provide the legal support you need. When you reach out to us for help, we can build a legal defense strategy that can limit your responsibility for the accusations against you.

If you wish to learn more, contact us online to request an initial consultation.