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lane splitting


beagle

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What’s your opinion on lane splitting? I go to Chicago every week to ten days, and the last several times I’ve been passed by bikes in stop and go traffic on the Skyway and Lakeshore Drive going at least 50mph. These guys will prove Darwin right, and frankly, I don’t care if they do – live like an as*hole, Die like an as*hole. My issue is we’re all judged, and charged for insurance, by the least among us. (The majority of bikes doing this are Asians rockets, so this hits the sport riders the most) Should lane splitting be outlawed?

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I don't live in an area where it is necessary to do it, but when traveling to Houston a few months back I came upon a 2 mile backup, traffic stopped and just creeping forward. Picking my passes strategically, I was able to get through in a matter of 10 minutes. I mostly moved back and forth into open areas in either lane, and went between lanes when traffic was stopped. While not really lane splitting as most think of it, I don't see any problem with this, and think most motorist wish they could be doing the same.

 

I would hate to see this type of manuevering outlawed.

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I wish we could lane split in Florida. I don't think I'd do the whole ride thing. Just to be able to get up front at a light or ditch that pinhead whose on the phone, putting makeup on, or reading the paper would be nice.

 

Only downside here is that there are to many dumbass amature riders. Geez, it just gets me PO'ed sometimes. Once in a while I'd like to stop and slap the crap out of some of these Bozo's. Are you frikin stupid??? Alas, it probably wouldn't do any good.

 

 

 

ISYHTRAH

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moshe_levy

At 50 mph? Surely that shouldn't be legal. But safe lane splitting is possible and is one of the great advantages to riding a motorcycle. Most of the anger car drivers feel when being passed at a standstill is simply misplaced jealousy. If they didn't want to be stuck in the herd, perhaps they too should ditch the Hummer and ride something more practical for today's congested traffic situation.

 

-MKL

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ShovelStrokeEd

Discussed half to death up in the ride well forum. Has both opponents and proponents. Those who can do it legally mostly are for it, those who have never done it or are constrained by traffic laws in their region are mostly against it. I fall in both categories in terms of the action and in the for it category in terms of my sentiments.

 

What I find annoying is when those who are against it declare that "Darwin will win in the end" in a tone as if wishing harm to those who choose to use the method. It is not particularly dangerous and, given the number of rear end collisions that occur in heavy traffic situations, could probably be argued that it is safer than sitting in the traffic. It is NOT squidly behavior when done at prudent speeds and sport bikes, with their much more narrow profile, are the ideal tools for the job.

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Francois_Dumas
Should lane splitting be outlawed?

 

I think it should be officially ALlowed eek.gif You guys are running 20 years behind..... grin.gif

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It already IS illegal in Illinois. And even in CA, where it's legal, 50mph through stopped traffic is stupid, plain and simple. However, the NHTSA has data showing that motorcyclists who are allowed to split lanes, when accompanied by cooperative automobile drivers, do better at avoiding accidents than those who are forbidden from doing so. This is the foundation for many new lane-splitting laws being considered in Washington, Oregon and other states.

 

The issue is the initial lack of cooperation and understanding of the "driving" populace. Reactions like "why should THEY get where they're going sooner than me," shows an ignorance of the facts. A motorcyclist splitting lanes delays no one from their arrival time and actually contributes to EVERYONE arriving sooner than they would if those motorcyclists were in cars, instead, further clogging the roads. So laws that encourage the use of traffic thinning vehicles, such as motorcycles, help reduce traffic and gridlock.

 

Educating the public regarding the overall benefits to them, not just to the riders, of a properly written and policed lane-splitting policy will go a long way toward helping make lane splitting possible in more states. This is a lot more difficult than it sounds as people are often reluctant to learn something new and want to hang on to antiquated perspectives or, if something benefits anyone even a little more than it benefits them, they oppose it.

 

As for its effects on insurance rates, a properly written and enforced law will likely contribute to a reduction in rates because it reduces accidents. However, as I said, it's the car drivers who have to learn to accept it and work with it, instead of branding, impeding and name-calling those who do it.

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I ride daily in KS & MO where it is decidedly illegal. Never-the-less if I get stuck in a big tie up, I will do it once in a great while to avoid just being a sitting duck sitting there. Always at no more than 10 MPH above the surrounding traffic. What amazes me is the number of people in cages up ahead that apparently see me coming up in their outside mirror and move over a bit to cut me off. What impact does my getting home sooner have on them? If anything I'm helping reduce the overall congestion by getting one more vehicle off the roadway sooner. And I'm more likely not less so to damage their vehicle if they tighten the space. It's all just vindictiveness against the motorcycling community.

 

ISFA as filtering to the front at a light, no way would I ever try it around here. It would only be a matter of time before some redneck would jump out of his monster truck and be all over me. Or just pull the 45 out from under the seat.

 

Makes me wonder if it became legal and more common if the number of bike accident cause by cages 'pinching off' riders would go up?

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What amazes me is the number of people in cages up ahead that apparently see me coming up in their outside mirror and move over a bit to cut me off. What impact does my getting home sooner have on them?

 

They probably feel you are illegaly intruding on "their space".

 

One of the things I liked best about living in CA was the ability to "lane share" in traffic (as well as not having to wait at the entrance ramp meters). I wish all the effort that goes into repealing helmet laws was redirected towards getting more states to allow lanesharing. Just goes to show how dumb the cruiser riders really are.

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What amazes me is the number of people in cages up ahead that apparently see me coming up in their outside mirror and move over a bit to cut me off. What impact does my getting home sooner have on them?

 

They probably feel you are illegaly intruding on "their space".

 

One of the things I liked best about living in CA was the ability to "lane share" in traffic (as well as not having to wait at the entrance ramp meters). I wish all the effort that goes into repealing helmet laws was redirected towards getting more states to allow lanesharing. Just goes to show how dumb the cruiser riders really are.

 

It's not that they're dumb, it's that they don't spend a lot of time in heavy traffic. Cruiser riders are mostly weekend riders, not commuters.

 

Dave

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I hope it's never outlawed. It's one of only a few good reasons for living in Cali. Being able to lane split for many years maintains my sanity. Requiring to inch along in never ending stop and go traffic eliminates the advantage of a motorcycle. It's got to be done sensibly however. Splitting at 50 mph ticks off the cage drivers and will result in further traffic delays when these hooligans crash. A lane split at 50 mph is also illegal in Cali. I try to lane split gently and courtesously, silently thanking the cage drivers for letting me split.

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skinny_tom (aka boney)

I like to contrst the lane sharing topic against other topics that many motorcyclists get into heated debate over.

 

1. Many motorcyclists will argue, scream and yell, and throw themselves on the ground kicking and screaming for the RIGHT TO CHOOSE whether or not to wear a helemt. In many states they have succeeded in passing legislation to repeal helmet laws even though there is statistical proof that more of them will die in accidents the following year, and continuing on until the law is enacted again.

 

2. Others may find it a subject of their personal interest to be able to modify their motorcycles with obnoxiously loud exhaust pipes that have come under scrutiny lately. "It's my right" they claim, to be able to annoy the nieghbors, scare children and basically ruin for the time that they are near, any ability to function besides covering ones ears. Eventually, as the trend has already started, this phenominen will prevent ALL MOTORCYCLISTS from legally operating their bikes in many desired locations.

 

3. Lane Sharing, a personal pet- and one of many Californians, actually harms no-one. In fact there are benefits instead. The topics of interest have already been discussed in this thread, but I'll summarize; The motorcyclists stay out of the traffic in which they are subject to rear-end collisions. An added bonus of that is there are less vehicle in traffic, for an overall savings of time.

 

I find it almost hypocritical that in the same sentance many motorcyclists will say that riding without a helmet is their "right" but lane sharing is stupid and dangerous (please note Beagle, that I am not accusing you of this). The facts support otherise. Thankfully, these facts are not lost upon the California Highway Patrol, who were the most vocal PROponents of lane sharing last time it came up for review in California.

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Dennis Andress
What amazes me is the number of people in cages up ahead that apparently see me coming up in their outside mirror and move over a bit to cut me off. What impact does my getting home sooner have on them?

 

Think about what would happen if one of them hit you? Since lane splitting is illegal there, you would be at fault. However, in California this would depend on which side of the line you were on, you would be at fault if you were in their lane at the time of impact and they would be at fault if you were not. I'm sure there's more to it then that but I brought it up to highlight what EffBee said earlier about educating the public and having a properly written lane splitting policy, allowing legal lane splitting in other places would only be the first step towards making it accepted and safe.

 

I lane split, a lot. As far as I'm concerned, it's all asphalt and it was put there so I can get out of the way. While that attitude works in L. A. it would be disastrous somewhere else. That same logic says that I can't take issue with a rider who doesn't accept lane splitting, and that they give me the same consideration.

 

Then again, if any of you naysayers were to find yourself in SoCal, look me up and I'll show you how it's done.

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Hopefully not too much of a hijack, but I'll be in California in a couple of weeks, and was wondering how I can lane split legally (and safely). Someome also mentioned something about not having to wait at on-ramp red lights; is that true?

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I hate this practice and if the local authority makes it illegal, then you should loose your license for doing it.

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Joe Frickin' Friday
What amazes me is the number of people in cages up ahead that apparently see me coming up in their outside mirror and move over a bit to cut me off. What impact does my getting home sooner have on them?

 

Think about what would happen if one of them hit you? Since lane splitting is illegal there, you would be at fault.

 

I'd be curious to hear from a LEO or lawyer, but I suspect that if it can be shown that the driver deliberately caused the biker to crash - even if the biker was violating traffic ordinances at the time - then the driver will be held responsible for the accident.

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Dennis Andress
What amazes me is the number of people in cages up ahead that apparently see me coming up in their outside mirror and move over a bit to cut me off. What impact does my getting home sooner have on them?

 

Think about what would happen if one of them hit you? Since lane splitting is illegal there, you would be at fault.

 

I'd be curious to hear from a LEO or lawyer, but I suspect that if it can be shown that the driver deliberately caused the biker to crash - even if the biker was violating traffic ordinances at the time - then the driver will be held responsible for the accident.

 

I'm curious too, Mitch. What I described was the short version of a conversation with a CHP officer at the scene of a motorcycle accident involving lane splitting. Since California law only says that two vehicles can share a lane, I assume that this is case law, a court decision handed down as the result a situation similar to what Ken described. It does emphasize the road ahead as other states legalize lane splitting.

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Steve_Witmer

In many states, if you involved in illegal activity at the time of an event that leads to damages, your participation in the illegal activity may act to bar recovery of damages. Racing on a public highway would be a good example, but in states that have this principle operative the rule is pretty inflexible, i.e., the degree of illegality or culpability of the conduct frequently does not matter.

 

Of course in Virginia, we also have contributory negligence, a traditional rule that technically bars recovery by a party who bears any of the fault in an accident. In practice juries will still award damages to parties who have only a small part of the fault.

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kingpinofdisks

Thank the lord you don't make laws, BillZ.

 

I split every day in California. It is legal, in the sense that there is no specific law against it. It saves me about 45 minutes of time on the average day if I am safe in the splitting, or an hour + if I am zooming along.

 

There are always 2-5 CHP at Hollywood BMW (where my beast gets service). I have asked them numerous times, and they always say the same thing to me. They don't care if you split, just as long as you are being SAFE. If you don't look safe to them, they will pull you over & give you a ticket for things like excessive speed, changing lanes without a signal, tailgating, or whatever suits their fancy.

 

I split right down the double-yellow line (carpool in SoCal is double-yellow line except for defined exit/entry points), and no CHP has ever looked at me twice, except to get me outa the way so they can split ahead of my slow butt.

 

Some issues I find when splittin are:

- people never look over their shoulder - almost all drivers rely on mirrors only before changing lanes

- cell phones and in-car entertainment systems cause major lapes in concentration all the time for the cages

- some people like to show you they are like BillZ, and cut you off when you try to split by them - CHP told me that it is technically an attack on your person if someone tries to use their car to hit you on the freeway

- the thicker the traffic, the lazier people get in their attempts at lane positioning, making it harder to split

- people not born in the USA seem to panic more than natives when you split by them - I saw one middle-eastern looking lady in my mirror almost hit the car next to her after I split by her

 

Did I mention that cell phones should be BANNED in cars? Starting July 1, 2007, it is illegal to talk and drive here. Thank GOD someone had the sense to pass that law last year.

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I would venture to guess that anyone who vilifies lanesplitting has not (a) legally been allowed to do it and (b) has not experienced LA traffic. My tune has changed with regards to the practice of lanesplitting. I used to be against it, but over the years I have come to accept it and do it under the following conditions:

 

1. Traffic is near or at a stand still (< 15 mph) on a freeway

 

2. Traffic is seriously backed up at a traffic light (> 6 or 7 cars). By not filtering, I will sit through the same light cycle over and over as my engine gets hotter and hotter. . Those of you from other parts of the country have no idea how STUPID LA drivers are at traffic lights. People do not go on green lights here!

 

3. I never go more than 10 - 15 mph over prevailing traffic on freeways or 5 at traffic lights.

 

4. I never split aggressively. Some riders act as though they are entitled to split lanes, and obnoxiously push through traffic in a hazardous manner. This behavior serves only to aggravate the driving public and polarize them against us. No one notices me, waiting patiently to pass through a space that opens up for me, but they all notice the squid tailgating them and forcing their way through or the HD guy popping the throttle to announce his presence with a loud backfire.

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Hopefully not too much of a hijack, but I'll be in California in a couple of weeks, and was wondering how I can lane split legally (and safely). Someome also mentioned something about not having to wait at on-ramp red lights; is that true?

 

Mark, you can split almost anywhere. It is prefered that you split between the #1 and #2 lanes (fast lane and next fastest lane) on a freeway. The limits on speed and speed differential when lane splitting are a gray area and are usually left up to the officer's judgment. And, in fact, while lane sharing is legal, you can be written up for straddling two lanes, which is what, in fact, occurs when you split. However, if you are doing it only momentarily, when passing between two vehicles, it is almost always overlooked.

 

The idea is not to ride the white line, but to use it for momentary overtaking when riding through slow-moving traffic. When traffic is stopped, then riding the white line is the only option and there is almost never a problem with that provided your speed is reasonable (10-20mph over the traffic speed provided the traffic speed is at about 2/3 of the posted speed or lower). These are not statutory guidelines, just what I've observed having ridden out here for 35 years.

 

Yes, you may "filter" up to the front of the line when cars are stopped at a light. However, as for onramp control lights, no, you may not ignore them. However, many onramps have separate lanes for vehicles with 2 or more people (basically vehicles which would qualify for the HOV lane). Since motorcycles also qualify for the HOV lane, when you encounter an onramp with a separate lane for HOV-qualified vehicles, you may use that lane. But do stop at the red light at the top, before merging into traffic.

 

Perhaps when you're out here we can go for a ride. I promise you when we get done you'll feel like a wicked criminal. And, except for the excessive speed on some of our backroads, it's all pretty much legal, or at worst allowed and (usually) not cited.

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Did I mention that cell phones should be BANNED in cars? Starting July 1, 2007, it is illegal to talk and drive here.

 

Not true.

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Did I mention that cell phones should be BANNED in cars? Starting July 1, 2007, it is illegal to talk and drive here. Thank GOD someone had the sense to pass that law last year.

 

Is that for the whole state, or just a certain area? Either way, good for CA......I wish they would do it here.

 

I literally counted 9 cars in a row this morning on my commute that all had phones stuck to their ears (counting unattentive drivers has become my past time recently while commuting). Who the hell needs to be on the phone at 5:45am? The guy driving the 10th car was only eating his breakfast dopeslap.gif. All prime examples of why I take the backroads on the ride home.

 

EDIT: Crap, I just was Eric's post. I had my hopes up for a second

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The so-called ban goes into effect July 1, 2008. It imposes a $20 fine for talking on a cell phone while driving. Hands-free is exempt. Hardly a ban.

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skinny_tom (aka boney)
I hate this practice and if the local authority makes it illegal, then you should loose your license for doing it.

 

May I ask what your experience with lane sharing is to make your feelings so strong?

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Hopefully not too much of a hijack, but I'll be in California in a couple of weeks, and was wondering how I can lane split legally (and safely). Someome also mentioned something about not having to wait at on-ramp red lights; is that true?

 

Mark, you can split almost anywhere. It is prefered that you split between the #1 and #2 lanes (fast lane and next fastest lane) on a freeway. The limits on speed and speed differential when lane splitting are a gray area and are usually left up to the officer's judgment. And, in fact, while lane sharing is legal, you can be written up for straddling two lanes, which is what, in fact, occurs when you split. However, if you are doing it only momentarily, when passing between two vehicles, it is almost always overlooked.

 

The idea is not to ride the white line, but to use it for momentary overtaking when riding through slow-moving traffic. When traffic is stopped, then riding the white line is the only option and there is almost never a problem with that provided your speed is reasonable (10-20mph over the traffic speed provided the traffic speed is at about 2/3 of the posted speed or lower). These are not statutory guidelines, just what I've observed having ridden out here for 35 years.

 

Yes, you may "filter" up to the front of the line when cars are stopped at a light. However, as for onramp control lights, no, you may not ignore them. However, many onramps have separate lanes for vehicles with 2 or more people (basically vehicles which would qualify for the HOV lane). Since motorcycles also qualify for the HOV lane, when you encounter an onramp with a separate lane for HOV-qualified vehicles, you may use that lane. But do stop at the red light at the top, before merging into traffic.

 

Perhaps when you're out here we can go for a ride. I promise you when we get done you'll feel like a wicked criminal. And, except for the excessive speed on some of our backroads, it's all pretty much legal, or at worst allowed and (usually) not cited.

 

Thanks Fernando. That's easy to understand. I'l keep an eye out for the HOV on-ramps too. When driving along the HOV lane during our last visit, we were virtually the only car in it -- it seemed just about every vehicle had only one occupant.

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skinny_tom (aka boney)

Mark, I'm not sure where you'll be, but be aware that in the SF Bay Area, the carpool lanes are regular lanes that become "exclusive" durning peak times. Additionally, ALL of the bridges in the area are free to carpools (motorcycles as well) during the peak hours. If you have the ability to plan your riding around these times, your trip will be more enjoyable.

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OldBoldPilot
Just goes to show how dumb the cruiser riders really are.

 

For those who missed it in the "Ride Well" section,

in California looks like.

 

Oh, and the superfluous comment above demeans you more than the persons to whom you directed it.

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Mark, I'm not sure where you'll be, but be aware that in the SF Bay Area, the carpool lanes are regular lanes that become "exclusive" durning peak times. Additionally, ALL of the bridges in the area are free to carpools (motorcycles as well) during the peak hours. If you have the ability to plan your riding around these times, your trip will be more enjoyable.

 

Thx. I will be in the Bay area (Sausalito). When you say plan my riding "around" those times, do you mean avoid peak hours, or do you mean the opposite?

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BluesTraveler

My commute to work here in SoCal, Riverside to San Deigo is roughly 62 miles one way. Morning ride in the split is at least 15-20 miles. Ride home is at least 40. Before this the other way (72 miles) into Huntinton beach was much more. If the powers that be ever took this away i'd go back to caging it as im sure many others would too. There would be no reason at all to use the bike for commuting if I had to sit in the same amount of traffic day to day. Why would I want to sit in traffic breathing in all the fumes while my bike sat there and overheated. Take all those bikes and make them cages and traffic would just get worse. In the last 2 years i've been hit twice on the way home and I wasn't even splitting traffic at the time. Last time was just 3 weeks ago. I guess the driver thought the space I was in was empty as he looked right through me and made his lane change, BHAM! At least I didn't go down this time. And unlike the first time where I did go down this time the driver stopped to see if I was OK.

 

Someone mentioned cell phone use. One day on my ride home I decided to count those talking on there phones. When I reached my off ramp the the count stood at 67. And im sure I missed a few. When its finally law, and i'll believe it when it finally happens the next step is enforcement.

 

IMO lane sharing should be legal in all states

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Should lane splitting be outlawed?

 

No.

 

Is it possible to demonstrate bad judgement while splitting?

 

Absolutely.

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skinny_tom (aka boney)
Mark, I'm not sure where you'll be, but be aware that in the SF Bay Area, the carpool lanes are regular lanes that become "exclusive" durning peak times. Additionally, ALL of the bridges in the area are free to carpools (motorcycles as well) during the peak hours. If you have the ability to plan your riding around these times, your trip will be more enjoyable.

 

Thx. I will be in the Bay area (Sausalito). When you say plan my riding "around" those times, do you mean avoid peak hours, or do you mean the opposite?

 

Ride during them, generally. From Sausalito, if you go north on 101 the hours are from 4 to 7 pm weekdays. There are no morning time carpool hours headed north (and they aren't really needed) Watch for the choke point in San Rafeal where there's a lot of construction, the lanes are narrow, they aren't the smoothest and have sharp bends. The carpool lane picks up again once you're through there.

 

South bound Marin County Carpool hours are from 6:30 am to 8:30 am with the same conditions as north bound.

 

South from Sausalito, across the Golden Gate Bridge, is free for carpools between 5:30 and 9 am and again ( I think ) 4 to 6 pm. It'll save you $5 a trip. North GGB is free.

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EffBee and others have already weighed in on the benefits of lane-sharing. Allow me to pose a question:

 

Assuming heavy commute traffic, stop-and-go or just stopped. And assuming you get hit while on your motorcycle. Would you rather receive a glancing blow as while lane-splitting, or would you rather get crushed between two much larger vehicles while in the traffic lane? eek.gif Which do you think you'd have more of a chance of surviving?

 

Think of your commutes. How many times do you see side-swipe type accidents versus rear-enders? I'll bet you see much more rear-enders than just about anything else.

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Francois_Dumas

 

Makes me wonder if it became legal and more common if the number of bike accident cause by cages 'pinching off' riders would go up?

 

Hmmmm... we'd all be dead here if that were the case..... smirk.gif

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I don't lane split while traffic is moving at regular highway speeds but when traffic gets backed up due to an accident or construction etc i will lane split in a heartbeat. lane splitting while driving at normal highway speeds is unnecessary and dangerous in my opinion.

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I don't lane split while traffic is moving at regular highway speeds but when traffic gets backed up due to an accident or construction etc i will lane split in a heartbeat. lane splitting while driving at normal highway speeds is unnecessary and dangerous in my opinion.

 

Where are you lane splitting in PA? They would throw the book at you if you tried to do it in my neck of the woods......accident, construction......it wouldn't matter. As sad as it is, I actually feel that most people around this area would intenionaly move their vehicles into your path to prevent you from filtering up through traffic.

 

I wish they would legally allow us to do it here. Especially in MD. I commute from York, PA to Towson, MD everyday.........83 and 695 can be a real mess somedays.

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Francois_Dumas

Just wondering here..... the ONLY reason I see commuting on a bike would make sense would be because of the time gained BY lane splitting when traffic is stalled. If you can't/are not allowed to do that, where is the benefit !!?? eek.gif

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I don't lane split while traffic is moving at regular highway speeds but when traffic gets backed up due to an accident or construction etc i will lane split in a heartbeat. lane splitting while driving at normal highway speeds is unnecessary and dangerous in my opinion.

 

Where are you lane splitting in PA? They would throw the book at you if you tried to do it in my neck of the woods......accident, construction......it wouldn't matter. As sad as it is, I actually feel that most people around this area would intenionaly move their vehicles into your path to prevent you from filtering up through traffic.

 

I wish they would legally allow us to do it here. Especially in MD. I commute from York, PA to Towson, MD everyday.........83 and 695 can be a real mess somedays.

 

i live in PA near philly and lane splitting is just as illegal here as in york. lane splitting is like speeding you know it's illegal and you know you'll get fined if caught but you do it anyway. i'm fortunate that i seldom run into traffic congestion but when i do i will lane split to the nearest exit. so far i've been lucky when i've lane split because cops are usually on the lookout for people riding the shoulder.

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Dave McReynolds

Lanesplitting is not the only reason for commuting on motorcycles, just like it's not the only reason we bought them. Some days, when the weather is nice, it just makes you show up at work with a smile on your face.

 

But I'll agree that on the other days, when it's too hot or too cold or too rainy for really enjoyable biking, lanesplitting is the only reason I commute on my bike. Motorists in California are pretty used to it, and will generally either tolerate it or sometimes move over and make room for you to lanesplit. Very rarely do I get the feeling that someone is trying to make it difficult for me to lanesplit, and it's never really obvious, just seeing someone glance in the mirror and seeing me and not trying to widen the gap once the traffic starts moving. There are always ways to solve that problem. In fact, one of the reasons I like to commute on the bike and lanesplit is the mental workout I get, rather than just waiting in line like a zombie.

 

I don't know how many people in California really appreciate the fact that by lanesplitting, we're reducing traffic congestion: one less car in line. Occasionally, when it comes up as a newspaper editorial topic, some people rave on about the selfish, suicidal bikers who lanesplit and how it ought to be illegal. Bikers will also write in about the positive aspects of it, but in general, most California drivers seem to either ignore us, which is fine, or to be slightly annoyed and wonder why we're allowed to get away with it. A little more public information about the positive effects on traffic congestion would be a good idea, I think, especially since we're hanging out there as the sole place in the USA where it's really legal.

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John in VA
Just wondering here..... the ONLY reason I see commuting on a bike would make sense would be because of the time gained BY lane splitting when traffic is stalled. If you can't/are not allowed to do that, where is the benefit !!?? eek.gif

 

Interstate HOV exempts motorcycles in No VA, which makes for a very nice commute.

 

It'll be even nicer when the exemption for hybrids finally expires next July -- which have ballooned to about 25% of the HOV volume. Don't get me started on that scam... the feds give huge grants to buyers of a 25mpg highway Lexus or Highlander SUV so they can cruise alone on HOV lanes? My old 323i gets 29mpg, but no HOV. When the exemption ends, you'll see a glut of hybrids dumped in the used car lots around here. /rant

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Just wondering here..... the ONLY reason I see commuting on a bike would make sense would be because of the time gained BY lane splitting when traffic is stalled. If you can't/are not allowed to do that, where is the benefit !!?? eek.gif

 

My MAIN reason for commuting on my bike is the fact that

 

A. I prefer to ride than to drive my 600 mile a week commute

B. My truck gets 19mpg on the highway. I can beat the crap out of my bike and still get 40mpg. I can save over $50 a week by riding the bike. That really shows up at the end of the month when its time to pay bills (or buy farkles grin.gif)

 

For what its worth.....I also don't get stuck in heavy gridlock much either. Not saying it doesn't happen from time to time, but I VERY RARELY ever have to put my feet down unless I'm at a stop sign/light.

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Occasionally, when it comes up as a newspaper editorial topic, some people rave on about the selfish, suicidal bikers who lanesplit and how it ought to be illegal.

Those types are full of it. They're the ones who are phacking selfish, because it has little to do with safety. They're jealous. They just can't get over the fact that when the traffic slows or stops due to a wreck, rubberneckers, or whatever, a motorcyclist can easily thread his/her way through the mess, and they can't do that.

 

The more disgusting of this crowd are those that would go so far as to push for laws against lane-splitting.

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Adding one more comment. I always try and wave thanks to those who visibly move over for me when I split. When my speed is barely faster than that of traffic, I can usually lift my left hand off the grip and give a courteous acknowledgment. When my speed is a bit greater, I can keep the heel of my palm on the grip and give a wrist-pivot wave.

 

To my right it's a bit more difficult. However, sometimes the vehicle in the left lane is simply too wide, or too unaware, to provide the extra space, and the vehicle to the right makes the move. Then I absolutely slow down and give them a right-hand wave or a quick thumbs up. Employing a throttle lock helps provide a stable perch for my palm heel so I can do this without taking my hand off the grip.

 

All of this, of course, is predicated upon my sense of safety and my need to control the bike. There may be times when I can't manage anything more than a nod of the head. Regardless, I want the people on the road to understand that there ARE motorcyclists out there who appreciate their generosity in sharing their space so that we can move on. And I'll tell you what else it does. I've seen cars 2-3 ahead of where I am, and I can tell they've seen me in their rearview mirrors. They don't look like they have any intentions of providing me any extra space (they're not going to pinch me off, but they're not moving over either). But as soon as they see me wave "thanks" to a previous car, suddenly they move over, too. It seems as though they want to get a courtesy wave as well. It's truly amazing.

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BereIsland

Biggest hazard for me filtering up to London on the M3 are other bikers behind me trying to get by. But it is proberly safer here just because there are alot of us doing it. The cars just accept us and will move out of the way. Well most of the time.

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beemerman2k
I would venture to guess that anyone who vilifies lanesplitting has not (a) legally been allowed to do it and (b) has not experienced LA traffic. My tune has changed with regards to the practice of lanesplitting. I used to be against it...

 

When I first moved to Los Angeles on my R1100RT, I thought lane splitting was the scariest thing possible on 2 wheels. Then I was riding south on the 101 approaching the 405 (a massive section of about 7 lanes going in the same direction) there was a pile up. I stopped behind the car in front of me and then checked my mirrors: a woman in a white Lexus ES300 (I still remember it like it was yesterday, yet this would have been in April 2004) on her cell phone suddenly realized she had to stop. I watched helpless and praying she could stop in time as I was the only thing between her and the rear bumper of the car in front of me.

 

From that point on, I lane split. I now feel it should be legal everywhere.

 

In the 60,000 miles I rode in LA, SF and SD over a 2 1/2 year period, I never ever had an accident while splitting traffic. Ever.

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I would venture to guess that anyone who vilifies lanesplitting has not (a) legally been allowed to do it and (b) has not experienced LA traffic. My tune has changed with regards to the practice of lanesplitting. I used to be against it...
+1

 

When I lived in NoCal, if I rode the bike I'd always split lanes - even with the wife on back. Never a problem, never an accident, and seldom would I have people try to impede my progress. Unfortunately it's illegal to split lanes in Colorado.

 

That said, the ONLY time I'd split lanes was when traffic was stopped or nearly stopped and I'd ease between the cars at a slow speed in 1st gear where simply rolling off the throttle would almost instantly bring the bike to a walking pace. Personally I couldn't imagine splitting lanes at 50++ mph, but I guess a "safe passing distance" is just a matter of opinion.lmao.gif

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.... I always try and wave thanks to those who visibly move over for me when I split. ...

 

Ditto. .... And often they will have some kind of motorcycle sticker in the window.

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Just wondering here..... the ONLY reason I see commuting on a bike would make sense would be because of the time gained BY lane splitting when traffic is stalled. If you can't/are not allowed to do that, where is the benefit !!?? eek.gif
Well it's still more fun to be on the bike than in the cage!

 

And even if we can't lane split to move through it all, if the traffic is moving even a little we can still find many more little lane change holes to work our way through because we are so much more maneuverable than the cages. So not all is lost without the ability to legally lane share (as it is officially called here).

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The other benefit is that you get to use the carpool lane. On some commutes, this is a major time saver even if you can't split lanes.

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