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Lane sharing is the practice of operating a vehicle in a traffic lane in a manner that allows other traffic to use the unused portion of the lane, or to pass slower traffic in the lane by using an unused portion of the lane. When lane sharing is done for the purpose of passing slow or stopped congested traffic, it is called filtering forward. When lane sharing is done by using space between lines of traffic, it is called lane splitting.
Examples of lane sharing
- A right turning driver moves towards the curb in a wide lane to share the remainder of the lane to his left with overtaking through traffic.
- Two motorcyclists riding side-by-side in a lane.
- A dozen cyclists riding in a bunch, or peloton, within a lane.
- A farm tractor driver moving over partially into a shoulder to leave room in the lane for overtaking traffic.
- A cyclist or motorcyclist riding in the unused space surrounding the lane stripe to overtake stopped traffic (filtering forward).
- A bicyclist riding in the shoulder side of a lane to allow faster traffic to pass on the inward side.
Safety and legality
The safety and legality of lane sharing varies depending on the form of lane sharing being used, and on local traffic laws.