Is lane splitting legal in Alberta? - Edmonton Infringement Law Attorney (2023)

  • Posted on: February 14, 2022
  • For
  • Injury Law
  • (0) comment

One of the questions that you must have asked yourself several times while driving is lane splitting. Is it legal to split lanes in Alberta? The general idea is that it is illegal to do so anywhere in the world.

But that's not the end of the discussion here. It's similar for splitting tracks as well. There are two sides of a coin.

This article will look at lane splitting in Canada, especially Alberta. In the end we will know if it is good to share a lane as a driver of a motor vehicle.

What is lane splitting?

The practice of riding a motorcycle (or bicycle) through lanes or rows of slow or stopped traffic traveling in the same direction is called lane splitting. Lane sharing, carriageway, filtering, and white lines are used to describe this practice. Riders can avoid traffic congestion, save time, and potentially be safer than stopping behind stopped vehicles.

Another term that goes hand in hand with banding is band filtering. Driving through slow (less than 30 km/h) or non-moving traffic is known as lane filtering. It can also refer to the use of space at the outer edge of one-way traffic.

Why should you consider lane splitting?

Motorcyclists and cyclists in developing countries and others use lane splitting and filtering. Many countries are densely populated and crowded urban areas allow their use for practical purposes. There are often many more motorcycles, bicycles and scooters in these countries than share the road with other cars.

Therefore, getting around the busy streets of these countries can be quite a challenge. Motorcyclists prefer to split lanes from time to time to save time and travel fast. But the main question is: is it legal to split the lanes?

(Video) What happens in Traffic Court

Common Lane Splitting Guidelines

Each country has ageneral guide for motor vehiclesDrivers As a motorcyclist, you might consider following them while riding your bike. This includes following the rules when dividing lanes.

It would be best if you only consider lane splitting when you are traveling at a speed of 10 MPH or less. This speed limit allows drivers to react to sudden and uncertain situations. Higher speed means higher risks associated with cycling on the streets.

When vehicles on the highway are moving faster than 30 MPH, lane splitting should not be considered. The level of danger increases as the speed of traffic increases. For example, it takes a driver an extra 1-2 seconds to react to dangerous situations while driving at 20 MPH. Those few seconds are very important when you are driving a vehicle on a busy highway.

It's a much safer option if you consider the split between the first and second lanes. This is mainly because other motorists are often aware that motorcyclists are changing these two lanes. Also, you should never consider splitting lanes near ramps and exit routes.

Lastly, it is highly recommended to check the surrounding environment before splitting the lane. It would be better if you take into account the weather, the dimensions of the street, the condition of the vehicle and the road in general. This will help you to be alert for any type of unexpected movement during the lane change.

Also check:Who qualifies for legal aid in Alberta?

The Few Disadvantages of Lane Splitting

The other side of the lane splitting coin is its drawbacks. Here are a few to consider:

Hazard exposure

The space between two lanes of traffic is minimal. Many things can happen in this space. For example, a car can open the door without a prior signal. Or someone in the car could have their hands out of the window. These kinds of things can be hard for a cyclist to predict.

(Video) Pawn Stars Chumlee Sentenced To Life In Prison After This

The fault of the motorcyclists during the collision

It will certainly be your fault if you are involved in a minor or major collision. Motorcyclists are often at fault during these incidents. So prepare yourself!

Increased chance of traffic accidents

When two or more cars are very close together, the risk of road violence increases. Many motorists are hesitant to share their lane, and some resent motorcyclists for cutting ahead of them. It can turn into a big road fight between bikers and car drivers.

Is it legal to split lanes in Canada?

Lane splitting and lane filtering are not yet allowed in Canada. Various organizations continued to lobby their city and provincial governments to legalize gang splitting and filtering. Perhaps lane splitting could be safer for a cyclist. And what's more, it can save time for everyone. So it's an ongoing fight to legalize lane splitting in Canada.

Check:Is a brake check illegal in Canada?

The good sides of lane splitting

Lane splitting can be a good thing for many cyclists. Here are some of the benefits of split lanes:

More safety for motorcyclists

This is undoubtedly the first thing that can occur to anyone. Are motorcyclists safe during lane splitting? Certainly yes! the chances of beingrear collisiondecrease during track division.

Saving time on the road

It saves a lot of time dividing the lanes while biking. This also reduces congestion as the entire road can be used.

Environmental Protection

This may be true under certain circumstances. Suppose it is raining heavily and sideways. Motorcyclists will be much safer when they stay next to a car in the lane split.

(Video) Cops Pull Over Hells Angels - Watch What Happens Next!

Other drivers are aware of your presence

Let's face it, a big truck or bus driver doesn't always give small bikes their full attention. The best way to draw attention to them is by splitting the lane. This can help you avoid sudden traffic and road accidents.

See more:Is Jaywalking Illegal in Canada?

Why isn't the law changed in Canada?

Regarding these positive sites, Canada is not yet ready to change its laws. Do you understand why? Due to various concerns, changing this law will be difficult.

Let's find out more about them.

Motorcyclists are at risk of other hazards

There is not much space between the rows of cars. So anything can happen while a motorcycle passes you, including car doors opening unexpectedly, people sticking their hands out of windows, vehicles changing lanes unexpectedly, and more. It is very difficult for a motorcyclist to avoid these things.

Law enforcement is challenging

For safety reasons, lane splitting should only be done in slow or stationary traffic, and the bicycle should not overtake cars by more than a few kilometers per hour. Also, there must be a safe distance between vehicles on the road.

And these laws are hard to enforce because people tend to break them when there isn't enough scrutiny. Changing the overall structure requires a strong push.

However, 2% of Canadian drivers use motorcycles on the road. Canada is less motivated to implement such major changes because of this.

(Video) This Cop Is SO MAD!! When Getting Pulled Over GOES WRONG! - Bikers Pulled Over #11

Regional changes are also unrealistic

Changing at the national level is certainly difficult, but what about changing at the background level of an individual? This is also a bad idea, because unfamiliar drivers may be alarmed by motorcycles sharing the lane due to inexperience.

However, when driving in another region, motorcyclists experience the same problem. In other words, if adjustments are not made throughout the country, there will be no benefit for the authorities by changing the law in some places.

What is the difference between band filtering and band splitting?

track division:Lane splitting is the act of driving a motorcycle (or bicycle) across lanes or rows of stationary or slow-moving vehicles traveling in the same direction.

Band filtering:Passing through traffic that is stopped or moving very slowly (less than 30 km/h) is called lane filtering. Furthermore, it can be used to describe the use of space next to traffic in the same direction as outside.


Lane splitting in Canada can be dangerous if not done carefully. Riding a bike on a busy road is always challenging and risky. So if you're a regular lane divider, maybe it's time to first understand the law. You too can be the judge to understand the good and bad aspects of lane splitting and act accordingly.

frequent questions

What is track division?

Splitting lanes means riding your motorcycle between lanes of slow cars on the highway. Bicyclists can also share lanes when there is heavy traffic and no moving cars.

Is it legal to split the lane in Canada?

Lane splitting in Canada is completely illegal. But the fight continues to make it legal for cyclists.

Where is it legal to split lanes?

Lane splitting is illegal in Canada. But it is not strictly prohibited. It is legal in some parts of the US to split lanes during heavy traffic.

(Video) Turning Right at a Red Light

Can the motorcycle lane be divided in Alberta?

Lane splitting is illegal in all Canadian provinces. And that includes Alberta as well. But officials are beginning to relax the practice.

Why should it be legal to split lanes?

There are many good sides to split lanes. This includes saving time, traffic congestion, and others. So track splitting should be legal in Canada.


Is lane splitting legal in Edmonton? ›

Lane splitting is illegal in every province in Canada. And that includes Alberta as well.

Is lane splitting legal in Alberta Canada? ›

The practice of lane splitting, and lane filtering is currently not legal in Canada. A number of groups continue to petition their local and provincial governments to consider making lane splitting and lane filtering legal.

What's the difference between lane splitting and lane filtering? ›

“Lane splitting” refers to the practice of riding a motorcycle between clearly marked lanes for traffic traveling in the same direction. “Filtering”refers to the practice of riding a motorcycle between stopped motor vehicles to the front of the pack, typically at a signalized intersection.

Can motorcycles drive between cars in Alberta? ›

Motorcycles can not drive between cars in Alberta. Lane splitting is quite restricted here so that the bike can't move between vehicles for going forward. However, the authority should re-think it as it saves their time during heavy traffic, which is why many places make lane splitting legal.

Do you need a license to drive a scooter in Edmonton? ›

According to Alberta law, scooters with engines that have a displacement of 50 cc or less are considered mopeds, and those with larger engines are considered motorcycles. You need a licence to operate a scooter.

Is filtering legal in Alberta? ›

So-called “lane-splitting” is illegal in the province, but many frustrated riders are skirting the law to avoid traffic bottlenecks. Proponents say the practice will ease congestion and speed up traffic flow for everyone on the road.

How long does it take to get a motorcycle license in Alberta? ›

If you only have your Class 7 learner's licence, you will be given a probationary Class 6 GDL licence after you pass your Class 6 knowledge and basic road tests. Because you're still a new driver, you will have to ride a motorcycle for two years with your Class 6 GDL before you can get your Class 6 motorcycle licence.

Can you turn left on a red light in Alberta? ›

When the light is red, if there are no signs prohibiting the turn, you may turn left on a red light from a one way to a one way after you come to a complete stop at the proper stopping location (stop line or crosswalk) and it is safe. This also applies to dual lane turns. Yield to pedestrians crossing to your left.

What is the fine for driving a motorcycle without a license in Alberta? ›

Just $230 fine or does it void my insurance? So if a "friend" drives a motorcycle he has insured and registered, without a class 6 (or a partner with class 6)... is it the $230 fine for no licence, or does not having a licence void his insurance ($2500 fine)?

Is lane splitting safer than sitting in traffic? ›

If traffic moves along at 50 mph or less and the motorcyclist doesn't ride more than 15 mph faster than the surrounding vehicles, lane splitting is typically safer than staying in the same lane.

Is lane splitting safer than not? ›

Risks and Rewards of Lane-Splitting

That said, data suggests that lane-splitting can help make motorcycle riding safer. In a 2015 study at UC Berkeley, researchers found that motorcyclists were far less likely to be struck from behind and had a lower risk of catastrophic injuries as a result of lane-splitting.

How do I stop my lane from splitting? ›

Lane filtering tips and tricks for city riding
  1. Master your low-speed maneuvers. Before you get out on riding in the city, it's best that you master the art of riding slowly. ...
  2. Use your rear brake. This is so important, that we need to mention it twice. ...
  3. Watch your speed. ...
  4. Know your bike's dimensions. ...
  5. Modify your bike.
Jul 19, 2021

Can you split lanes on a motorcycle in Alberta? ›

In Canada, lane splitting is prohibited in every province. No exceptions in Alberta as well. The legislation is not entirely clear, though, as motorcyclists are not included in the writing of driving laws.

Are wheelies illegal in Canada? ›

Section 172(1) of the Highway Traffic Act in Ontario states: “No person shall drive a motor vehicle on a highway in a race or contest, while performing a stunt or on a bet or wager.” Bikers need to remember that wheelies and stoppies could wind them up before a Court for stunt racing in Ontario.

Can you cross the border with a motorcycle? ›

You can easily cross the border on your motorcycle — if you prepare correctly. Read on to learn more about taking a San Ysidro to Tijuana motorcycle crossing trip on your bike.

Are scooters allowed on sidewalks in Edmonton? ›

E-scooters are not permitted on sidewalks, unimproved park trails, on roadways with the posted speed limit higher than 50 km/h, or on road lanes closed for patio expansion on Jasper Avenue, Whyte Avenue, or Old Strathcona. Do I need to wear a helmet?

Can you double on a scooter in Alberta? ›

E-scooter users could be fined for double-riding, sidewalk collisions | Calgary Herald.

Can you bike on sidewalk Edmonton? ›

Is it legal to ride my bicycle on a sidewalk? Cycling on the sidewalk is not permitted except for bikes with a 50 cm wheel diameter or less, such as kids' bikes.

Is it legal to change the color of your car in Alberta? ›

Paint colour : You can change your vehicle colour if you apply for a new vehicle permit. Tires and rims : Replacing your tires and rims with custom or oversize versions is common. If the tires are approved for highway use, it's legal.

Is it legal to straight pipe your car in Alberta? ›

Exhaust regulations

A person shall not drive or operate a motor vehicle propelled by an internal combustion engine if a device is attached to the exhaust system or the muffler that increases the noise made by the expulsion of gases from the engine.

Which of the following activities is illegal when driving in Alberta? ›

It restricts drivers from doing any of the following, even while stopped at red lights: using hand-held cell phones. texting or e-mailing. using electronic devices such as laptop computers, video games, cameras, video entertainment displays and programming portable audio players such as MP3 players.

Is Alberta getting rid of the advanced road test? ›

Driver licensing changes

Starting in spring 2023, Alberta will no longer require the advanced road test for Class 5 and Class 6 Graduated Driver's Licences (GDL).

Can I ride motorcycle with car Licence? ›

Yes, if you have a full car licence you can ride a 125cc scooter or motorbike off-road. However, you must take and pass your compulsory basic training (CBT) before riding on the road.

How do I get rid of my GDL in Alberta? ›

GDL drivers must have no suspensions or traffic violations within their last 12 months of probation, including zero tolerance for any alcohol and/or drug consumption.

What does a blinking green light mean in Canada? ›

Drivers facing a flashing green traffic control light are permitted to go through, turn left or turn right without stopping. Opposing traffic will be facing a red light; however a driver must still yield to pedestrians or other vehicles lawfully in the intersection.

How do I fight a red light camera ticket in Alberta? ›

Photo Radar or Red Light Camera Tickets

If you feel you were wrongly charged, submit a not guilty plea and you'll get a trial date so you can tell the judge your story. If they agree with you, you may get the ticket withdrawn but you'll pay the full fine if they don't.

How much is a running a red light ticket in Alberta? ›

In Ontario, the fine for running a red light or failing to stop for a red light is $325 and three demerit points if you are charged by a police officer. In Alberta, running a red light will cost you $388 and three demerit points.

How long does a license suspension stay on your record in Alberta? ›

Two years after the date of conviction

Two years after the date of your conviction, the demerit points will be removed from your driving record/abstract. Your conviction date is not the date you received the ticket.

What happens if you are caught driving without a license in Alberta? ›

If you've been charged with driving without a license, you may indeed face a jail sentence of between 14 days to 6 months, depending on the conditions and circumstances around your charges. As per Transport Alberta, “jail terms for this offence are common.”

How much does it cost to get your motorcycle license in Alberta? ›

The cost for the test is $150, including permit and tax. If you pass the road test, you can re-class your licence to include Class 6.

What is the argument for lane splitting? ›

Being stuck in traffic is never fun, but lane splitting can help cut down on emissions of every car on the road, get motorcyclists out of harm's way, and keep freeways from getting congested. It's a win-win—if you're not getting ticketed for it in a state that doesn't approve.

Why was lane splitting invented? ›

Lane splitting is riding a bicycle or motorcycle between lanes or rows of slow moving or stopped traffic moving in the same direction. It is sometimes called whitelining, or stripe-riding. This allows riders to save time, bypassing traffic congestion, and may also be safer than stopping behind stationary vehicles.

What lane of traffic has the most accidents? ›

The center lane is the second safest lane because cars follow a consistent speed. On the other hand, the left lane (fast lane) is the most dangerous, although many people would think it's safe. The left lane is the most dangerous because the cars move at a higher speed.

Where is the safest place to ride a motorcycle? ›

Despite the higher average speeds, all available evidence and statistics indicate that highways are safer than city streets for motorcycle riders.

How many US states allow lane splitting? ›

Today, California remains the only U.S. state to allow lane splitting (the practice is legal in Europe and Asia), and researchers and motorcycle experts say that lane splitting can actually reduce traffic and improve roadway safety.

Does lane splitting cause more accidents? ›

Lane-splitting riders were less likely to experience torso and head injuries, but that doesn't make the practice any safer. In fact, should an accident happen, you're more likely to be thrown off your bike and in front of or behind the wheels of a vehicle in either adjacent lane.

What is the difference between lane filtering and lane splitting? ›

It's common knowledge among riders that lane splitting is very different from lane filtering. They're both the act of riding through the middle of two vehicles on the road, but splitting is actually overtaking at highway speeds while filtering is weaving through slow-moving traffic or gridlock.

Should you indicate when the lane splits? ›

You can just choose and stick to a side as the split approaches, but it's always good courtesy to indicate also.

Why does California allow lane splitting? ›

Why? California recognizes lane-splitting as a tool to decrease traffic congestion, and the volume of freeway traffic here is higher than in most other states.

Can you lane split with a Harley? ›

Lane splitting by motorcyclists is legal in California. Intentionally blocking or impeding a motorcyclist in a way that could cause harm to the rider is illegal.

Is it illegal to speed in Canada? ›

Excessive speed

If you are convicted of speeding, you may receive demerit points in addition to fines. For example, if you drive 40 kilometres per hour over the speed limit, you will be fined $7, times 40, for a total of $280.

Is it illegal to wear motorcycle Colours in Canada? ›

The Royal Canadian Legion has adopted a new national policy that prohibits the wearing of "outlaw motorcycle club and street-gang colours" at its events and premises.

Will motorcycles be banned in Canada? ›

The federal government's announcement this week that it will be illegal to sell gas-powered motorcycles and scooters in Canada by 2030 took most of us by surprise. It's been welcomed by advocates for electric vehicles, but roundly criticized as impractical by the motorcycle industry and riders alike.

Can I ride motorcycle in Canada with US license? ›

Unlike the old days, you need a passport to cross into Canada. Despite the federal government's push to implement REAL ID, having a compliant driver's license is not enough to get you across the border, even into Canada.

Can I buy a motorcycle in Canada and bring it to the US? ›

Absolutely! Importing vehicles from Canada is permitted by any person looking to use the vehicle for personal use. It must comply with the Federal Department of Transportation safety standards and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency emissions standards.

Can I bring a motorcycle from the US to Canada? ›

Unfortunately, you can't just buy a motorcycle in the US, throw it on your truck and bring it back home to Canada with you. You can't just ride it back either (not legally anyway). The bad news is that there's a bit of a process involved, and it could take anywhere from one to three weeks.

What states in the US allow lane splitting? ›

Today, California remains the only U.S. state to allow lane splitting (the practice is legal in Europe and Asia), and researchers and motorcycle experts say that lane splitting can actually reduce traffic and improve roadway safety.

Is lane splitting illegal in all 50 states? ›

California. California is the only state where lane splitting is legal. Experts in this state do recommend that motorcyclists only go ten miles per hour above the speed of the surrounding traffic and that they avoid lane splitting over speeds of 30 miles per hour. You also can't lane split near freeway exits or ramps.

Where is lane splitting illegal in the US? ›

States Where Lane Splitting Is Legal 2023
StateLane Splitting Legal Status
Rhode IslandIllegal
South CarolinaIllegal
South DakotaIllegal
46 more rows

Is it legal to filter through traffic on a motorcycle? ›

Filtering is the act of overtaking slow moving or stationary traffic by travelling between lanes and it's completely legal if it is done safely.

What are the benefits of lane splitting? ›

Being stuck in traffic is never fun, but lane splitting can help cut down on emissions of every car on the road, get motorcyclists out of harm's way, and keep freeways from getting congested. It's a win-win—if you're not getting ticketed for it in a state that doesn't approve.

Do people lane split in Texas? ›

As of 2023, under Section 545.060 of the Texas Transportation Code, all drivers and motorcyclists must drive within a single lane.

Are helmets mandatory in Alberta? ›

Cyclists under the age of 18 must wear an approved bicycle helmet. If you have children and pull them in trail-a-bikes or trailers, they must also wear an approved bicycle helmet. Fit the helmet an inch above your eyebrows and make sure it's level.

Is there a helmet law in Edmonton? ›

Alberta Traffic Safety Act, Part 6 Division 5 Section 111 & 112: Cyclists younger than 18 are required by law to wear an approved bicycle helmet. Children in trailers and on trail-a-bikes are required by law to wear an approved bicycle helmet. Adults are encouraged to wear a helmet.

Do adults have to wear bike helmets in Alberta? ›

It's the law in Alberta that anyone younger than 18 years must wear a helmet when riding a bicycle.

Why should lane-splitting be illegal? ›

More Traffic, More Accidents

The study also found that lane-splitting accidents increase during commute times. During the morning and afternoon rush hours, 14.9 percent out of this group hit another vehicle or were hit themselves. An additional 45.2 percent nearly hit another vehicle.

Why is lane-splitting only legal in California? ›

Why? California recognizes lane-splitting as a tool to decrease traffic congestion, and the volume of freeway traffic here is higher than in most other states.

Is lane splitting legal in England? ›

Filtering or Lane Splitting, the art of riding a motorcycle through the middle of two lanes of traffic that are heading the same direction, is legal in the UK, but we have questions about the rest of Europe.

Can you lane split in California? ›

Lane splitting by motorcyclists is legal in California. Intentionally blocking or impeding a motorcyclist in a way that could cause harm to the rider is illegal. Opening a vehicle door to impede a motorcyclist is illegal.

Why do motorcycles weave through traffic? ›

Lane splitting is riding a bicycle or motorcycle between lanes or rows of slow moving or stopped traffic moving in the same direction. It is sometimes called whitelining, or stripe-riding. This allows riders to save time, bypassing traffic congestion, and may also be safer than stopping behind stationary vehicles.


1. Advance Costs: Anderson v. Alberta 2022 SCC 6 and Access to Justice
(Osgoode Hall Law School)
2. Erin Coates Interview
(Justin Peters Ministries)
3. Mother Sets Up Hidden Camera, Catches Her Husband In An Act That’s Swept The Whole World
(Viral Stories)
4. Commercial Real Estate and COVID-19: Alberta Market Impacts
(Stikeman Elliott)
5. CKWS-TV 6pm News, October 4, 2007
6. Romans 13 and James Coates
(Justin Peters Ministries)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Prof. An Powlowski

Last Updated: 25/07/2023

Views: 5546

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (64 voted)

Reviews: 87% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Prof. An Powlowski

Birthday: 1992-09-29

Address: Apt. 994 8891 Orval Hill, Brittnyburgh, AZ 41023-0398

Phone: +26417467956738

Job: District Marketing Strategist

Hobby: Embroidery, Bodybuilding, Motor sports, Amateur radio, Wood carving, Whittling, Air sports

Introduction: My name is Prof. An Powlowski, I am a charming, helpful, attractive, good, graceful, thoughtful, vast person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.