Jump to content

The beginning of the end for California Lane Splitting???


BerndM

Recommended Posts

Mister Tee

Wow. "We hope to prevent an accident before it happens."

 

Kids, the implication here goes far beyond California lane splitting. Any activity perceived to be dangerous may be outlawed. Which, is practically every activity.

Link to comment

There have been no problems on base driving 30 mph, but we want to prevent a problem from occurring so we are lowering the speed limit to 10 mph.

Link to comment

This reminds me of when Schwazenegger said he laid his bike down to avoid an accident.

 

Lane Sharing is a beautiful thing when drivers and riders are well trained and courteous. It's a disaster when they aren't.

Link to comment

The very definition of bad law. Usually there is at least some (usually speculative and unsupported) pretense for such limitations, but in this case they are admitting up front that there isn't even a problem! Asinine.

Link to comment

I don't see the concern - it is, after all a Federal location with it's own regulations, and is an isolated microcosm in the State of California.

 

i.e., in the 1970's I was stationed at McClellan AFB, California in the Air Force and it was mandatory that you wear a helmet when operating a motorcycle on base, even though it was not the law yet in the State of California.

 

Much ado about nuthin' at this point.

 

Link to comment
I don't see the concern - it is, after all a Federal location with it's own regulations, and is an isolated microcosm in the State of California.

 

i.e., in the 1970's I was stationed at McClellan AFB, California in the Air Force and it was mandatory that you wear a helmet when operating a motorcycle on base, even though it was not the law yet in the State of California.

 

Much ado about nuthin' at this point.

 

I think many of us are concerned about the "...even though it was not the law yet in the State of California" bit.

 

I am hoping that the Lane Sharing in CA will spread to other states.

It could instead go the other way, doing away with lane sharing in CA and likely removing it from any other states list of possible enhancements for riders of two wheels.

Link to comment

Hi. I am still waiting for the AMA to champion safe lane sharing in all 50 states and territories as vigorously as they work on the noise and helmet issues. Does anyone here have any clout with the AMA to light a fire under them on the lane sharing issue? TIA.

 

---John.

Link to comment
Hi. I am still waiting for the AMA to champion safe lane sharing in all 50 states and territories as vigorously as they work on the noise and helmet issues. Does anyone here have any clout with the AMA to light a fire under them on the lane sharing issue? TIA.

 

---John.

 

Contact Nick, "Deadboy".

Link to comment

The fire that needs to be lit is at the federal level. I think Nick works at the state level.

The state has no problem.

Where the fire should be lit is at the federal level to get lane sharing legal all throughout the usa.

Like using the car pool lane.

dc

Link to comment

Yes, but, isn't that, and hasn't that, been a great big Duh

for many years?

Would seem that anyone from a "success" state could lend expertise to other areas.

 

Data is needed.

Facts that can compared splitting/non and safety/accident rates etc.

 

It would seem that anyone who worked at the state level could provide this and most likely he has being a tireless advocate

but the message seems muted.

 

In most jurisdictions filtering to front at lights or splittting is considered dangerous despite most of the world allowing it.

Link to comment
beemerman2k
Respectfully the author of this ban is an idiot that doesn't ride a motorcycle.

 

Honestly, this was my conclusion as well.

 

Sadly, some of these idiots have the power to enforce their will upon everybody else.

Link to comment

Lane splitting not "legal" here in NY State. Given the very narrow lanes on our older highways, 4-wheel driver bad lane behaviors/habits I believe its a good policy. Doesn't mean lane splitting does not take place. However, all highway conditions and driving idiots considered I believe this law helps cut down on potential motorcycle deaths that could occur from widespread lane splitting.

Link to comment
Lane splitting not "legal" here in NY State. Given the very narrow lanes on our older highways, 4-wheel driver bad lane behaviors/habits I believe its a good policy. Doesn't mean lane splitting does not take place. However, all highway conditions and driving idiots considered I believe this law helps cut down on potential motorcycle deaths that could occur from widespread lane splitting.

 

I think where you and I differ on this, is I think the answer is better rider training and education, rather than legislating proper judgement. If the lane is too narrow and/or the drivers are acting badly, then don't split. We have the same issues in California. Not all of our roads are nice and wide, and not all of our drivers are nice.

 

Actually, very few of our drivers are nice.

Link to comment

I grew up in Northern California and have driven all over the west. The East Coast and some Mid-West cities are land-restricted because the cities were built in horse and carriage days and the highways are very narrow with little lane separation. Also, Eastern drivers seem to have gotten their licenses out of cereal boxes in the way they drive. It's really a significantly different driving environment here and I beleive the no-split law helps save people from their own bad judgments.

Link to comment

From the article. This is what has me REALLY pissed.

 

"For a motorcyclist, you need time and space around you,” said Robert Gladden with the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. “When you're lane splitting, you decrease your time and space cushion.”

 

This is idiotic. In heavy traffic, people travel nose-to-tail at 40, even 50mph. The cops could write a million tailgating tickets a day based on what I've seen. Therefore, to interject a motorcycle, which is a proven object of tailgating, into a lane denies that motorcycle the safety cushion they need for safe stopping.

 

Riding between the lanes provides a motorcycle an escape path to the front, and the assurance that he will not be tailgated from the rear. Lateral movements are temporarily restricted when passing between cars, but lateral mobility is not the issue in heavy traffic. Safe space to the front and rear are far more critical to survival.

 

I've heard it said that for years NHTSA has had data that shows motorcyclists are safer when allowed, within reason, to lane share. However, the government is keeping that under wraps because if they released pro-lane-sharing data, they feel they would lose more votes than they would gain.

 

It's not about our safety folks. It's about being able to brag to the great unwashed that they "did" something and therefore should keep their jobs.

Link to comment

The military has been anti-motorcycle since at least the early 1970's.

 

If a base commander can do anything that is remotely considered safe, and motorcyclists are an easy target, it's considered a positive on his fitness report.

 

How many clogged two lane roads are there on military bases, anyway?

 

A meaningless regulation.

Link to comment

The way I try to explain it to people is: Assume you are going to be hit. Would you prefer a glancing blow from the side at a likely low speed, or to be crushed between two vehicles, front and back?

Link to comment

New to these boards and happy to be here!

 

On a recent m/c trip to CA my wife and I were 2 up on our '11 RT. We were stuck in traffic and the bike was getting hot. I was considering pulling over and shutting it down to cool when another bike split the lane next to us. Then a bunch more. I told my wife I had forgotten splitting was legal here and off we went! Ahh airflow for the three of us! It was very exciting being my first time and my attention level was peaked! I was pleasantly surprised at how courteous the cage drivers were! Hats off!

 

I agree with others to nation wide splitting, but of course, just because it's legal doesn't always mean it's a good idea.

 

There would need to be a fairly significant driver education program of some type in other states before splitting could be allowed, that cost money that many don't have it at this point.

Link to comment
Lane splitting not "legal" here in NY State. Given the very narrow lanes on our older highways, 4-wheel driver bad lane behaviors/habits I believe its a good policy. Doesn't mean lane splitting does not take place. However, all highway conditions and driving idiots considered I believe this law helps cut down on potential motorcycle deaths that could occur from widespread lane splitting.

 

I think where you and I differ on this, is I think the answer is better rider training and education, rather than legislating proper judgement.

The proper judgement would come from the training (hopefully). But how would you get the better rider training and education without legislating it? Humans are only going to do the absolute minimum amount of training required (by law) to perform an activity. If you want better trained riders (or drivers or whatever) you will have to legislate it, its the only way it will happen. No American is going to spend time or $$ getting educated unless required.

Link to comment
Lane splitting not "legal" here in NY State. Given the very narrow lanes on our older highways, 4-wheel driver bad lane behaviors/habits I believe its a good policy. Doesn't mean lane splitting does not take place. However, all highway conditions and driving idiots considered I believe this law helps cut down on potential motorcycle deaths that could occur from widespread lane splitting.

 

I think where you and I differ on this, is I think the answer is better rider training and education, rather than legislating proper judgement.

The proper judgement would come from the training (hopefully). But how would you get the better rider training and education without legislating it? Humans are only going to do the absolute minimum amount of training required (by law) to perform an activity. If you want better trained riders (or drivers or whatever) you will have to legislate it, its the only way it will happen. No American is going to spend time or $$ getting educated unless required.

 

Good question, I'm not a fan of over legislation, but, I'd rather see training legislated over common sense judgement, if I had to make a choice.

Link to comment
  • 3 weeks later...
Hi. I am still waiting for the AMA to champion safe lane sharing in all 50 states and territories as vigorously as they work on the noise and helmet issues. Does anyone here have any clout with the AMA to light a fire under them on the lane sharing issue? TIA.

 

Contact Nick, "Deadboy".

 

The AMA's On-Highway Issue Survey 2012 is out and, once again, there are questions about helmet laws and excessive noise, but nothing about safe lane sharing. Hurrumph!

 

---John.

Link to comment

Well, the problem is the opinion of riders is divided on the issue of lane splitting.

There are actually quite a few riders who are against it, and think it should be banned, not only for themselves, but for the rest of us, too.

Believe it or not. And I do suppose that some of them are the same ones who are against the helmet law, for everyone.

And the AMA represents, or consists of those individuals.

Therefore ...

dc

Link to comment
  • 4 weeks later...
cali_beemer

I lane split everyday...I feel much safer doing that than to be sandwiched between some crazy drivers. On the flip side, I get pissed when someone drives purposely over the lane to prevent me from passing. I thought I remebered seeing a article (years ago) about a European study that showed lane splitting decreases traffic conjestion as well as is safer for motorcycle riders....maybe its an illusion in my head...

Link to comment

I lane split in Texas depending on Highway or loop conditions. I have no problem with splitting lanes in the right circumstances. I went to a school in California and rented a Duc and spent a lot of time splitting lanes while traversing the greater San Diego area.

 

Stopped traffic I'm splitting lanes. Traffic moving faster than 10 or 20 MPH I'll fall in line.

Link to comment
I lane split in Texas depending on Highway or loop conditions. I have no problem with splitting lanes in the right circumstances. I went to a school in California and rented a Duc and spent a lot of time splitting lanes while traversing the greater San Diego area.

 

Stopped traffic I'm splitting lanes. Traffic moving faster than 10 or 20 MPH I'll fall in line.

 

I'd be interested to hear from members here who have received a traffic citation for "lane-splitting" in states other than California. What exactly were you cited for and how is the law you were cited for applied to lane-splitting. It seems that some states cite for lane-splitting under some other law, like unsafe passing or such, not for "lane-splitting" per se. It also seems that there may be some interpretation available. A friend of mine was stopped for lane-splitting on a highway in Nevada. The officer told him that he was not allowed to lane-split on the highway, however, he stated it was acceptable in the City of Las Vegas. Any comments on this from LV residents?

 

As a long-time lane-splitter in the greater Los Angeles area, it is my personal opinion that lane-splitting is not an activity that significantly increases risk to motorcycle riders, when compared to having riders just sit in traffic. I would bet that the number of riders here who have been rear-ended, would greatly out-number the amount of riders who have been involved in a traffic collision that was directly related to lane-splitting.

 

As stated by several of the contributors in this thread, lane-splitting is a skill, both on the part of the motorcycle riders and on the part of the other drivers on the road, who have to react to riders who lane-split. There seems to be a national phobia of lane-splitting, which clearly is just that, when the state that holds about a fifth of our nations residents appears to be able to deal with lane-splitting just fine.

Link to comment

Never been written up for it. There is no law on the books in Texas specifically against splitting lanes. It's possible they could write you for failure to maintain your lane.

Link to comment

Sounds like every non-Californian on this board needs to take one for the team and start lane-splitting in their home state. Make sure you are followed by a friend who video tapes the entire incident and then go to court and fight whatever code it is the officer claimed you violated. When you win, get legal transcripts from the court and carry it around as "case law". Eventually you'll be able to turn things around on a nationwide scale.

 

Good luck everyone. Motorcycle riders acorss our nation will thank you for your selfless sacrifice...

 

:grin:

Link to comment

Just to add my 1.5 cents worth...in California "Lane Sharing" is legal. There's nothing in the books that says a motorcycle can split traffic. We can "Lane Share" as long as it's safe. On those hot days with 5 mph traffic, it's a godsend for a rider. Fortunately, IMHO, most California drivers are very experienced drivers and know how to drive with motorcycles. I've had many people yield to me or give me the right of way when they didn't have to. I always thank them for that. Unfortunately, it only takes one inattentive knucklehead to ruin things for everyone.

Link to comment

Why do we need it to be written in the vehicle code to make it ok? If it's not on the books and isn't morally wrong what's the big deal. You don't need govt permission to do everything.

 

Next thing you know someone is going to suffocate because they weren't legally allowed to breathe because there's not a law saying they can.

 

 

Link to comment

On the other hand, in 'fornia I have been surprized by lane splitters many times riding at high speeds between slow or stopped traffic. I do not feel that I should have to watch out for them when they are this irresponsible. Once I nearly opened my door in stopped traffic to stand up to see what was the hold up. I missed having a motorcycle take it off the hinges by less than a second. I think it would have killed the biker and left a lot of cars damaged as he tumbled end over end down the road. My bike is air cooled and I have passed up many chances to ride fast enough lane splitting to keep it cool simply because I don't think that I am that special.

Link to comment

There is a California law against opening your door in traffic.

Nobody says you have to lane split. But you do have to watch out for other vehicles. If you like to go slow, you can go slow, but there are also laws about going too slow.

dc

Link to comment

Well, I don't mean to be critical here, ... oh, you are Critical.

Ok, Critical, when you are on the motorcycle, the space between the cars is ... so you don't have to go slow.

I can tell you I don't lane split all the time. No one does. Sometimes the lanes are too narrow, like where there is construction, which is where they all drive slow, or other dangerous areas, or a very wide vehicle or where the traffic is moving fast enough so you don't need to.

But at other times when the traffic is dead stopped I should be able to. A whole lot of the cars move over.

dc

(Now I should look to see if your real name is in there somewhere)

 

Link to comment

A point may be that going fast between stopped (or slow) lanes of traffic is illegal even in California. If I had opened my truck door the bike going at speed would have been hurting because it could not have stopped. My fault? I hope not? Basically they were NOT in control of their destiny, I was. Riding like they were invisible, NO; riding like they were prudent, NO; riding like they were riding defensively, NO. If someone wants to move through the lanes prudently I don't think that would bother me. I don't do it myself because I have seen drivers deliberately or inadvertently cut off bikes that do and because I don't like to annoy others. I did not see any drivers moving out of the motorcyclists (my) way in California but I don't doubt that it happens. I did see drivers changing lanes quite often even in very slow traffic if a spot opened up sometimes causing lane splitting bikes to slow or stop abruptly. I also saw a car on the side of the road with its door messed up and an ambulance crew working on a motorcyclist laying on the road. My real name is Gary Frey, I have over 400,000 miles of motorcycling with no two party accidents (one solo accident at slow speed) on seven bikes in about 45 years of riding and one accident in automobiles in the same time period (over 1,000,000 miles) that was my fault. So what is a safe speed in lane splitting? In stopped traffic about 4 mph I would guess if you stayed on your toes, not worth it to me I guess. In College I worked in an ambulance crew and the motorcycle/car score was cars: no dead, one major and some minor injuries; and motorcycles had seven dead or permanently crippled in ONE YEAR. One of those involved a very good looking girl who lost part/most of her face on the windsheild/pavement riding on the back of her bfs bike. She lived, he didn't. Lane splitting was illegal in that state and the causes were, as I remember drunk left turn (girls face) guess who did not get their air splint for a broken arm filled up?, speeding, failure to stop, passing illegally, leaving road at high speed, and head on collision in broad daylight on straight road???

Link to comment

I'm going out there today. I can go in the car or on the bike.

I'll take the bike. I can go there and back in, maybe, 1/2 the time.

dc

Link to comment

Hey Gary. I've got nothing but respect for all of you long time riders. That's why I read this forum. I'm a new rider and know how potentially dangerous lane sharing is. Truthfully, I split traffic reluctantly. I know how dangerous it is. I'm always amazed at the kids on the street bikes flying between lanes like it's a game. I used to think that only the young do such things but recently I've seen old guys (like me) scooting along pretty fast on HD's. Usually I follow them because they make a lot of noise and people get out of their way. I've even seen a guy on a fairly new K bike flying between lanes. One thing they seemed to have in common was great handling skills. But I know that no amount of experience will make up for that inattentive idiot who impulsively decides to switch lanes without signaling. Lane splitting can be done with a minimum amount of additional risk but it requires folks to slow down. BTW some of the worst offenders in lane splitting are motor officers. Most of them aren't even geared up as they split lanes at 80+ mph. That gets my attention.

Link to comment
CoarsegoldKid

Well Gary

If you don't like to lane share then don't. I have ridden 46+ years in California. 40 years in Los Angeles county. Sometimes I lane share doing so slowly and sometimes I line up with the four wheels depending on where the traffic backs up, where I need to exit, air temp, weather conditions and so on. But I won't sit there waiting to become rear ended for very long. While on my bike I even pull into the lane for other motorcyclists traveling faster than I feel comfortable.

 

When at controlled intersections and conditions are comfortable I'll pull down to the front. When the light changes and there are cars in the cross traffic sides I let the cars on either side of me get through the intersection ahead of me making sure I don't get the red light runner and then I merge or pass everyone.

 

When I'm in a car I give riders a wide passing space because I appreciate the measure when done for me and wish to set a good example to other drivers like yourself. It makes you a better driver. I tell everyone I know to do this because it could be me so give space.

 

If you feel the need to open your vehicle's door while driving in slow traffic someone's going to take it off. It may not be from a motorcycle either.

 

It is legal to lane share? Apparently. However I think there's a grey area here because passing on the right is illegal if I remember correctly and certainly unsafe. Maybe it's an unsafe pass infraction to lane share if the citing LEO believes you did so in an unsafe manner. Like traveling at a much higher rate of speed than the traffic you are passing. Not very smart in my book but then it's my book.

Most often you will see lane sharing between the two fastest lanes. But it could be anywhere.

You were likely surprised by a motorcyclist riding between two lanes because that is unfamiliar to you. Long time residents of California know of this behavior and generally they pull to the right of the lane when they see a motorcyclists closing in. If it annoys you to pull to the right and would rather pull to the left you are asking for more trouble than it's worth. But I've seen a few do it over the years. Maybe they didn't see the rider. If I see eye contact with the offender through their mirror and they do this I think to myself what an ass and maneuver around them. Gas it and leave them behind.

I have lane shared on the freeway heading west toward Cal out of Las Vegas once in 111 degrees air temp. The Ca plated cars moved over. The Nevada plated cars seemed to not like it. But there was no way I was going to sit in 111 degrees for more than an hour waiting for California to come to me.

Link to comment

"I should be able to." WHY? Because you WANT to?

 

Why is the movement of your vehicle any more important than the vehicles that have stopped because they don't fit between other vehicles? It isn't. I don't get it?

Link to comment
CoarsegoldKid

If you rode in Cal you would. If they let you in your state you would. If you don't want to I could care less. Enjoy your ride.

Link to comment

Hi - my name's Tom and I'm a lane splitter.

 

I have my own rules - I don't split if traffic is moving at 25mph or more; I don't split going more than about 5mph over the speed of traffic; I move left for faster splitters; I make an effort to acknowledge and thank people who make room for me.

 

I travel I5 a lot. Right now there is construction on I5 just south of the 58; traffic lanes are reduced to one lane both south and north bound. Traffic backs up for a mile or so and essentially stops as everyone tries to zipper into one lane. As I split lanes there I find that even big rigs move over to give me room to move on.

 

I do find that people are more likely to afford me room when I'm on the RT; less so when riding the KLR.

 

About the only people that don't are the people driving Toyota Pious.

 

Yes, that's spelled correctly (and meant to be the secondary meaning)....

 

Tom

Link to comment

Very seldom is it someone that lives in CA, or is used to driving in CA, that has a problem with lane splitting. Of course going too fast for conditions is stupid, whether you are splitting or not. But if you split for a long enough to develop your own do's and don'ts, splitting makes sense and is a whole lot safer than sitting still in traffic, without control of your own fate. Studies have been done, and splitting is safer than sitting.

 

Try it......You might like it.

Link to comment

They could ride a motorcycle just as easily and take advantage of the capablities of a bike. I choose to operate a vehicle that has capabilities to operate in smaller spaces than a car. The roads were designed for cars and 18 wheelers not motorcycles so there's LOTS of wasted space on your typical gridlocked highway. Plenty to SAFELY operate a motorcycle between lanes.

 

If they get mad they can just as easily go down to the local bike shop and spend a few grand and ride away on something capable of doing it and saving themselves days or months of their lives sittign in log jams.

 

I lane split in Texas when the traffic is at a stand still or near stand still. I35W in Fort Worth is constantly in a flux of either grid locked traffic or very slow moving traffic.

 

I'd much rather take my chances moving though the threat than sitting there ending up like this guy

 

 

 

Link to comment
"I should be able to." WHY? Because you WANT to?

 

Why is the movement of your vehicle any more important than the vehicles that have stopped because they don't fit between other vehicles? It isn't. I don't get it?

 

Biometrics

I am totally missing what you are trying to say here. And I am only known to be a partial idiot.

Bernard did not say 'I should be able to.' Are you paraphrasing?

 

If so, what part of ordinary garden variety freedom don't you get?

Certainly there was nothing in his post that said his bike was more important than the cars. The idea is just that the bike can do things the car can't do.

So why shouldn't it be able to? Because you say so?

Are you saying that if you don't like lane splitting, then Bernard and all of us should not be able to do it? Isn't that like saying if person A doesn't like motorcycles then person B should not be able to have one?

They are dangerous, you know. We only minimize and mitigate the danger, we don't eliminate it.

dc

Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...