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Should Motorcycle Lane-Splitting Be Allowed?

This week, the CHP posted rules for the practice that is legal in California.


Motorcyclists seem to love it. Car drivers generally hate the practice. In fact, one recent traffic survey even suggested 7 percent of drivers admit they have attempted to block a lane-splitting motorcyclist from passing them.

Lane-splitting, where cyclists are able to cut between slower moving cars and zoom ahead, is legal in California. But California is alone in endorsing the practice. It's illegal in every one of the other 49 states. Also called "white-lining," the California Highway Patrol has guidelines on its website that speak to the practice. Those guidelines became the focus of several media reports this week. CHP officials say it's all part of a statewide highway safety push.
Is lane-splitting safe? That same traffic survey says almost 15 percent of riders report they've either been hit by a car, or that they've hit a car with their motorcycle. And 47 percent say they've "nearly hit a car." More often than not, a motorcycle will strike a car or truck's side mirror, sometimes knocking the mirror off the car, sometimes shattering the mirror.

87 percent of California motorcycle riders report they are lane-spliters. In the CHP guidelines, motorcyclists can ride between two cars if there is room, but must so at a speed no more than 10 miles per hour faster than the vehicles they are passing. The guidelines also say lane-splitting should not take place when the flow of traffic is greater than 30 miles per hour. However, when freeway traffic is moving at less than 30 miles per hour (such as in rush hour traffic), lane splitting is permitted.

The Sacramento Bee quoted motorcycle activists that approve of the guidelines.
"They are very reasonable," said Greg Covel, executive director of ABATE of California, a motorcycle rights organization, told the Bee.

Now, "we know what the guidelines are, how close we are to staying within the law or pushing the law," Covel said. "If we get stopped for unsafe speed or lane changes, we know what we are getting into." And Gabe Ets-Hokin, editor of CityBike magazine in the Bay Area, told the Bee "Lane-splitting is a unique lifestyle to California motorcyclists, a subculture," he said. "If we can do it safely, what is the problem?"

Other points contained in the state guidelines:


  • Inexperienced motorcyclists are not advised to lane-split.
  • Typically, it is more desirable to split between the #1 and #2 lanes than between other lanes (lanes are counted from the left).
  • Motorists should not take it upon themselves to discourage motorcyclists from lane splitting.
  • Intentionally blocking or impeding a motorcyclist in a way that could cause harm to the rider is illegal (CVC 22400).
  • Opening a vehicle door to impede a motorcycle is illegal (CVC 22517).
What do you think? Should motorcycle lane-splitting be allowed in our state? Is the procedure safe? Have you had experiences with lane-splitters that were dangerous? And if you ride a motorcycle, have you had experiences with drivers that tried to block you, or discourage you?


Should Motorcycle Lane-Splitting Be Allowed? - San Anselmo-Fairfax, CA Patch
 

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Blue Ghost said:
Should Motorcycle Lane-Splitting Be Allowed?
)

What do you think? Should motorcycle lane-splitting be allowed in our state? Is the procedure safe? Have you had experiences with lane-splitters that were dangerous? And if you ride a motorcycle, have you had experiences with drivers that tried to block you, or discourage you?

Should Motorcycle Lane-Splitting Be Allowed? - San Anselmo-Fairfax, CA Patch
I am subscribing ... I haven't had the experience yet, but I am leaning against ... Probably cause I am not a high risk taker. I would also love to pass traffic when stopped or slow :) maybe ill go both ways.

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I'd love to have the option. Don't know if I'd risk it much in moving traffic, but it'd be great to filter to the front of stopped traffic for lights.
I always see people doing thinks like opening their door to dump drinks at lights.:eek:
Don't think i want to be the one driving between the cars to have someone not look n pop open the door as i'm coming threw...:facepalm::facepalm:
Makes for a ruined biking day 4 sure....:eek::eek:








 

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earlthepearl said:
I always see people doing thinks like opening their door to dump drinks at lights.:eek:
Don't think i want to be the one driving between the cars to have someone not look n pop open the door as i'm coming threw...:facepalm::facepalm:
Makes for a ruined biking day 4 sure....:eek::eek:
That's the stuff I think of too. It would be nice to have an option- if I would I'd go slow also

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i personally think it should be legal. if someone can make a conscious decision to smoke a cigarette, why can't they decide to put themselves at minor risk by puttin by a few cars. I think this is one of the few things that cali does have right.

you're really not putting anyone but yourself at risk when you do so, so i really don't see any problem with it. I used to do it on occasion when i had my scooter, but i don't trust myself to do it yet with the ninja. ALSO, i only do it for good reason (like when a light is stuck on red because of a train crossing and i'm all the way in the back wanting to take a right turn). I haven't been on the highway in a traffic jam yet, but if i ever do i will most definitely be taking the shoulder of the road to the nearest highway exit. People get way too damn angry in traffic jams.
 

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i personally think it should be legal. if someone can make a conscious decision to smoke a cigarette, why can't they decide to put themselves at minor risk by puttin by a few cars. I think this is one of the few things that cali does have right.

you're really not putting anyone but yourself at risk when you do so, so i really don't see any problem with it. I used to do it on occasion when i had my scooter, but i don't trust myself to do it yet with the ninja. ALSO, i only do it for good reason (like when a light is stuck on red because of a train crossing and i'm all the way in the back wanting to take a right turn). I haven't been on the highway in a traffic jam yet, but if i ever do i will most definitely be taking the shoulder of the road to the nearest highway exit. People get way too damn angry in traffic jams.

I can see doing the shoulder thing. Usually there's much more room there.
Butttttt....I'd myself never try the between cars thing....:facepalm::facepalm:








 

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I watched a video of over an hour of crashes and there was a lot of lane splitting hits,people changing lanes not expecting someone in that narrow space. It's not for me but to each his own. I want to enjoy riding for many years to come and I'm not going to risk that just to get to the corner two seconds faster than the other guy. Just my view from the rubber side. Lol
 

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I watched a video of over an hour of crashes and there was a lot of lane splitting hits,people changing lanes not expecting someone in that narrow space. It's not for me but to each his own. I want to enjoy riding for many years to come and I'm not going to risk that just to get to the corner two seconds faster than the other guy. Just my view from the rubber side. Lol
I did the same from utube...








 

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indyjoe7 said:
It's like we r the only two people on here most of the time. Lol
And me. :)
Sometimes.
It's true about time savings not being worth the risk. Most of the time you have secs maybe a min or two ... Is that worth the risk, many people seem to think so. I will totally know which side of the fence I am on when the option is a available. I like the side of the road idea in stopped traffic. Seems safer than slow moving ttraffic.

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I personally split the traffic often mainly because in my experience the Safest place for a bike is at the front of the traffic, I'm not saying split the traffic at a million miles and hour, but given the correct circumstances its perfectly justifiable to do it
 

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This should only be allowed on days half the cars are in reverse..... n....... the other cars have there drivers doors open.
Thinks that leaves out tuesday n friday?

:whistling: :whistling: :whistling: :whistling: :whistling:








 

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Bottom line; I live in California, and it is legal! You can only lane split when traffic is going less than the posted speed limit, and you can only travel 10mph faster than the flow of traffic.

Do I lane split, yes. Do I agree with it, yes. Is it 'safe'? No! Riding a motorcycle will always have its inherent dangers though...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
don't think you put your opinion anywhere ghost.. i'm curious :ermm:... what do you think?
Until car drivers become more aware of motorcyclist, lane splitting is still very dangerous and should be used with extreme caution when the law allows.

I've used the shoulder on many occasions to filter up to the front of traffic, but most times it was to get to the next exit or make a turn away from traffic. No need of me sitting and overheating for no reason.
 
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