Lane Splitting Illegal for Tennessee Motorcyclists

John and Joy Day both love motorcycles.  In fact, their first date was a 17-hour motorcycle ride and hiking expedition.  Joy on a 100th Anniversary Edition Harley Sportster and John on a BMW 1200CLC.    So it is not surprising that at the Law Offices of John Day, we are profoundly interested in making sure motorcyclists practice safe and legal riding. And, of course, to the extent a motorcyclist is injured by the carelessness of another, our award-winning lawyers are here to help.   

Over the next few days, we are going to cover some of the basics of Tennessee’s motorcycle laws.  Today, we will start with lane splitting.  Lane splitting is the practice of riding a motorcycle in between lanes when traffic is stopped or slowed.   In some states such as California, lane splitting is a legal maneuver.  But in Tennessee, motorcyclists are not allowed to split lanes. 

Tennessee Code Annotated 55-8-182 provides the following rights and responsibilities for motorcycle riders and sections (b) and (c) specifically address lane splitting:

(a) All motorcycles are entitled to full use of a lane and no motor vehicle shall be driven in a manner that deprives a motorcycle the full use of lane.  (This does not apply to a two motorcycles riding side by side in a single lane);

(b) A motorcyclist shall not overtake and pass in the same lane occupied by the vehicle being overtaken;

(c) No driver shall operate their motorcycle between lanes of traffic or between adjacent lanes or rows of vehicles;

(d) Motorcycles shall not be operated more than two(2) abreast in a single lane.

(e)  The lane splitting provisions do not apply to police officers on motorcycles in the performance of official duties.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact us to discuss your case.  Call us anytime at 615-742-4880 or toll-free at 866-812-8787 for a free, no-obligation consultation.  We handle all motorcycle accident cases on a contingency basis.