Minnesota is set to become only the sixth state to allow "lane filtering". While the bill was just recently signed into law by Governor Walz, it doesn't go into effect for a while. For those who don't know what "lane filtering" or the similar practice of "lane splitting" are, you'll want to know when this law goes into effect.

Here's a look at what becomes legal when this law goes into effect, in what circumstances it can be done, and when the law goes into effect.

What is 'lane filtering' and how is it different from 'lane splitting'?

Lane filtering is what will become legal under the new Minnesota law. Filtering and splitting are, however, two different things.

As explained in a post from a law office, lane filtering is the practice of a motorcycle filtering through traffic, passing between vehicles along the painted line between lanes, at slower speeds, or during traffic backups.

Conversely, lane splitting is the same type of activity, only done at higher speeds. This was not made legal by the new law.

Is lane filtering dangerous?

Photo by Harley-Davidson on Unsplash
Photo by Harley-Davidson on Unsplash

While some argue that the practice makes motorcyclists seem more unpredictable to automobile drivers, thus making it more dangerous, there is research that suggests otherwise.

A UC Berkeley study from 2015 (via American Motorcyclist) says that motorcyclists who filter or split lanes are "significantly less likely" to be struck from behind by other motorists and are "less likely to suffer head or torso injuries, and are less likely to sustain fatal injuries in a crash."

MIX 108 logo
Get our free mobile app

This argument for safety is the reason legislators made the move to legalize lane filtering in Minnesota.

What other states have laws to allow this?

Minnesota joins California, Utah, Montana, Arizona, and Colorado in allowing motorcyclists to filter through slower-moving traffic.

What does Minnesota's law specifically say about lane filtering?

As explained by Revzilla, the new law will allow motorcyclists to pass stopped or slow-moving traffic, but only in specific situations.

Motorcyclists will be able to filter between vehicles as long as the motorcycle doesn't exceed 25 mph and does not go 15 mph over the speed of the rest of traffic. This means that the maneuvering will all happen at relatively slow speeds in times of congestion or stoppages.

READ MORE: Minnesota makes changes to legal marijuana law

The new law also forbids motorists from obstructing them from filtering. Intentional impeding or attempts to prevent a motorcyclist from operating a motorcycle as permitted by the law can lead to petty misdemeanor charges.

When does this law go into effect in Minnesota?

Motorcyclists will have to wait a while for this new law to go into effect. As spelled out in the state's documentation on the new law, it won't go into effect until July 1, 2025. In the meantime, there is a second component to the law that goes into effect a year earlier.

That second component is actually an appropriation for the Commissioner of Public Safety to start educating drivers about the new law ahead of it going into effect a year ahead of the new law. This means that you'll likely start seeing a public education campaign starting this summer.

The 10 Best City Parks In Minnesota

While Minnesota's state parks and Voyageurs National Park tend to get the most attention, the Land of 10,000 Lakes is home to a lot of incredible city & municipal parks that deserve a visit (or several).

To celebrate these incredible free gems throughout the state, here is a list of the 10 best city parks across Minnesota, according to TripAdvisor.

Gallery Credit: Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth

More From MIX 108