Is Lane Splitting Legal in Alberta

Airdrie Personal Injury Lawyer > Blog > Traffic Law > Is Lane Splitting Legal in Alberta
Is Lane Splitting Legal in Alberta Featured Image

Did you ever get confused while driving, like whether you should split lanes or not? It happens. The widespread consensus is that doing so is forbidden everywhere in the world.

Yet, one of the most common questions is whether lane splitting is legal in Alberta. If not, what should we do?

Well, lane splitting reduces traffic density and saves time also. This isn’t very clear, anyway. The authorities are still unwilling to amend this regulation since it poses more risks than advantages.

This article will examine lane splitting in Canada—particularly in Alberta. In conclusion, we will understand whether it is wise for a driver of a moving vehicle to split lanes.

What Does Lane Splitting Mean?

On dual-lane highways and roads, riders frequently cruise along the lines dividing lanes or weave in and out of vehicles travelling in the same lane. This maneuver is known as lane splitting. It is a common trait among motorcycle drivers.

During lane splitting, a motorcycle rider follows the lane divider markings to move between lanes of traffic. The conduct is also known as “stripe riding” or “white lining.” It supports bikers in avoiding traffic and saving time.

As it is risky, the practice is forbidden in almost all states in Canada. However, there are situations when it is a safer choice—we will discuss it later.

Why is the Reason for Lane Splitting?

In many countries, motorcycle and bicycle riders do lane splitting and filtering. Many countries have a high population density, and crowded cities enable utilization for practical purposes.

In these countries, bikes, scooters, and cycles frequently outnumber vehicles on the road by a wide margin. As a result, navigating congested streets might be difficult. Motorcycle riders want to split lanes occasionally to expedite their progress.

It is a method often used in developed nations with heavy traffic. Though it’s a sensible strategy to help them save time and deal with traffic problems more quickly, the results of this approach are not always favourable. Driving can be particularly challenging since motorcyclists frequently break the rules and split lanes.

Is Lane Splitting Allowed 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.

Since there are no clear rules for bike riders, this causes misunderstanding. Riders who are spotted doing this are frequently accused of racing or irresponsible driving. And this is unfair since lane splitting is usually a sign of reckless driving or racing!

In Canada, it is widely believed that lane splitting is forbidden. So there, the laws are not apparent either.

According to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, filtering is “very dangerous,” although they don’t mention specific laws. Finding lane-splitters guilty of specific traffic infractions like those listed in Sections 154 or 148-50 of the Highway Traffic Act can be challenging.

In contrast, riders who cross lanes are frequently issued ambiguous citations for “careless driving” or “racing.”

Why is Lane Splitting Illegal in Canada?

Despite many good reasons for lane splitting, Canadian law is still concerned about why you should not do it. Look up the reasons:

It is risky

The space between the two car rows is narrow. As a result, anything can occur while a motorcycle is moving through them, including unexpected automobile doors opening, passersby extending their arms out of car windows, sudden lane changes, and a host of other things. It is challenging for a rider to stay away from these things.

It’s a dilemma for Law Enforcement

For safety reasons, lane splitting should only be allowed in stopped or slow-moving traffic, and by no means should the bike travel faster than the cars by more than a few kilometers per hour. Also, there must be a safe distance between vehicles on the road.

Since people tend to break laws with less scrutiny, enforcing these laws is difficult. Besides, changing the standard structure might require a strong push.

Again, only a minority of Canadian motorcycle drivers are on the road. Hence, Canada is less driven to bring such radical reforms.

The regional permit is detrimental

Legalizing lane splitting could be more detrimental than beneficial if done province-by-province. Lane-splitting bikes will scare passing drivers, and startled drivers often make poor decisions. Likewise, visitors who ride motorcycles won’t know how to split lanes.

People might thus be persuaded to ride more advanced than they are capable of. Though many think lane splitting should be lawful on a national level, it’s unlikely to happen.

No rational reason to warrant a change

As already mentioned, it is difficult to define the rules governing lane splitting. Adoption of legislation would need considerable effort. Again, with 2% of road users being motorcycle riders, the authority isn’t persuaded that they bear enough weight.

Final Words

Lane splitting in Canada can be deadly if it’s not done right. Riding on a busy road is difficult and dangerous at all times. So, if you frequently split lanes, it might be necessary first to learn the law. You can also decide how to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of lane splitting and how to proceed.

Again, the infrastructure in Canada is insufficient to make it legal. So, allow the authorities to come up with a better solution. Until then, stay careful and drive cautiously!


What is lane splitting?

Bicycling or riding a bike between rows or lanes of motionless or slow-moving traffic in one direction is known as lane splitting. It can be dangerous sometimes.

Can motorcycles drive between cars in Alberta?

In Alberta, motorcycles cannot pass between vehicles. The ability to split lanes between vehicles to propel the bike forward is severely restricted in this area.

Can motorcycles lane split in Alberta?

In every province of Canada, lane splitting is forbidden. And that also applies to Alberta.

Why should lane splitting be legal?

The benefits of lane splitting are numerous. That includes avoiding traffic jams and other delays. Therefore, lane splitting ought to be permitted in Canada, though the possibility is implausible.



    Airdrie Personal Injury Lawyer

    Please contact us for more information.
    Our email is monitored seven days a week and we will get back to you shortly.