Ask Trooper Steve: Are motorcyclists allowed to split or pass backed-up traffic?

Trooper Steve answers viewer questions

ORLANDO, Fla. – News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero answers viewer questions about the rules of the road every week, helping Central Florida residents become better drivers by being better educated.

Trooper Steve was asked, “If a roadway is backed up, can a motorcyclist split or pass traffic?”

“There is no question there are a lot of motorcycles in Florida. With the sun and the beaches and some of the biggest motorcycle events happening in this state, you can see why,” he said.

Still, there’s a lot of confusion sometimes when it comes to comparing certain traffic laws in other states to driving in our state.

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According to Trooper Steve, motorcycles and vehicles are treated as equals in Florida, meaning there are no exemptions in any moving traffic laws that allow them to do things that a car would not.

There are places with designated parking spots for motorcycles of course, but when it comes to traveling on the road, Trooper Steve said things tend to be equal.

“Lane splitting is not allowed in Florida. This is when a motorcycle drives between two vehicles, splitting two different travel lanes in order to pass them. This is common in California where motorcycles are allowed to do this as long as they are not exceeding the posted speed limit,” he said. “Here, this would be considered a moving violation and you could be stopped for it.”

Trooper Steve added that drivers in Florida generally don’t expect motorcyclists to split lanes, so it could result in a pretty serious crash.

“Addressing the photo that is included in this, there are no designated motorcycle travel lanes on our roads, and in this case, that would be a bicycle lane. I understand some would say this isn’t a big deal, but to a bicyclist or a driver — not expecting a motorcycle there — this might not end well,” he said.

If you have a traffic question for Trooper Steve, email him at

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About the Author:

Steven Montiero, better known as “Trooper Steve," joined the News 6 morning team as its Traffic Safety Expert in October 2017. A Central Florida native and decorated combat veteran, Montiero comes to the station following an eight-year assignment with the Florida Highway Patrol.