Is Lane Splitting Legal in Mississippi?
What is Lane Splitting?
Lane splitting is the motorcycle maneuver of riding in between lanes of traffic to pass a motorist in a larger vehicle. It is sometimes called white-lining or stripe riding in some circles. Some motorcycle riders also use lane splitting to weave through stopped or slow traffic, such as to get to the front of traffic at a stopped red-light intersection. Most motorcyclists agree that lane splitting helps them avoid serious motorcycle accidents caused by negligent drivers.
Here in Mississippi, lane splitting is not legal, but it has also not been labeled as strictly illegal in all contexts.
For the time being, law enforcement officers in Mississippi seem to use their discretion when deciding to ticket a motorcyclist for lane splitting or not. If you want to stay out of trouble, then you should just plan on not lane splitting whenever you’re riding in Mississippi.
Can Motorcyclists Drive on the Shoulder?
While the shoulder may look appealing, especially when there is traffic, no motorist -- not even motorcyclists -- can legally drive on the shoulder of a roadway in Mississippi. Driving on the shoulder not only risks damage to your bike, but it is also highly dangerous to the rider and their passengers.
Where is Lane Splitting Legal?
Despite the safety of lane splitting, it remains illegal in every state but California. So if you are planning on an out-of-state road trip, make sure you read up on that state's traffic laws to avoid receiving a surprise traffic citation.
Lane Splitting Can Affect Liability
Another reason to avoid lane splitting in Mississippi is that it can worsen your liability if you’re in a motorcycle accident. Engaging in any unlawful activity – like lane splitting or riding while intoxicated – will almost guarantee that your liability will increase, which, in turn, drops how much compensation you can get from the other party.
If you’re in a motorcycle accident in Mississippi, call (601) 265-6869 to speak with ‘Maggio | Thompson, LLP in Jackson. Our attorneys can help you understand your rights and whether you should file a claim based on the circumstances of your crash, such as if you were lane splitting. Contact our firm today.