Victory Motorcycle Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Moderator
Joined
·
76 Posts
Discussion Starter #1


Here at MO, we are strong proponents of lane splitting. Not a day goes by in which we don’t filter between the lines of slower moving or stopped cars. In the process, we’re also easing congestion and protecting ourselves from being rear-ended by distracted drivers. So, naturally, we were excited last year when we heard of California bill AB 51 was making the rounds in an effort to codify the act of lane splitting by giving it a set of clear rules for riders to follow. One of the primary benefits of the rules would be that they would make it possible to educate the driving public about lane splitting.

Unfortunately, the bill was pulled last July at the request of its author, California Assemblyman Bill Quirk, because of fears that it would not pass. Since that time, Quirk has worked on changing the language of the bill to a form that will improve its chance of passing. According to LaneSplittingIsLegal.com, an organization devoted to promoting lane splitting, the wording has changed to a much less specific recipe for legal lane splitting to a more generalized one. The result is a bill that maintains lane splitting’s legality by virtue of not being explicitly illegal while giving the CHP the option of developing and distributing educational guidelines for riders and the driving public to better understand safe lane splitting.

In a mockup of the amended version of AB 51 produced by LaneSplittingIsLegal.com, the specifics of the top speed and the speed differential between the motorcycle and other traffic have been removed. In their place, the mandate for CHP to create guidelines to educate the public is inserted: 'The California Department of Highway Patrol may develop educational guidelines relating to lane splitting in a manner that would ensure the safety of the motorcyclist and the drivers and passengers of the surrounding vehicles.'

Additionally, the agencies that the CHP is to consult in developing the guidelines includes not only the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Department of Transportation, and the Office of Traffic Safety, but it also lists the requirement of consulting with a 'motorcycle organization focused on motorcyclist safety.' So, we assume the organization selected would be either the AMA or the MSF, giving actual motorcyclists an active say in the development of lane splitting guidelines – which is very good news!

These changes were scheduled to be submitted to committee yesterday, May 31, 2016, but at the time of publication, the bill’s page on the California Legislative Information website had not been updated. Interested parties can track the progress of the bill there. California residents who want to contact their representative can search here. Those who want to contact Assemblyman Quirk’s office can visit his web site.
Read more about the California Bill AB 51 Codifying Lane Splitting To Be Introduced To Committee at Motorcycle.com.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,648 Posts
While I don't get into CA much; I hope this passes. I wish it was legal in all 50 states. I think the only reason it isn't is because of the ego of drivers in cars hate that bikes can go ahead of them by simply slipping through. They don't seem to understand bikes relieve some of the congestion by doing what they do.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
5,977 Posts
While I don't get into CA much; I hope this passes. I wish it was legal in all 50 states. I think the only reason it isn't is because of the ego of drivers in cars hate that bikes can go ahead of them by simply slipping through. They don't seem to understand bikes relieve some of the congestion by doing what they do.
You can't win here. If you lane split, some idiots try to block you. If you don't lane split, other idiots (or maybe the same idiots) start driving close to you, wondering why you're not splitting. I have been in a car with others who forget I ride, and I hear their comments in the line of: "why can't this guy just go in between?" when they have a motorcycle riding in front of them, and not splitting.

Lane splitting did save me from one crash so far. 3 cars squashed themselves on an adjacent lane as I was stopped at a red light, and I was so happy I wasn't between their bumpers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
426 Posts
Don't know why lane splitting seems so dangerous to me. I hope it passes though.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,648 Posts
Don't know why lane splitting seems so dangerous to me. I hope it passes though.
I rode in Cali for 20 years. Some riders just don't like to do it. They never felt comfortable with it. I found it came kinda natural to me but I did have to kick my awareness senses into spiderman territory while doing it. A person needs to be able to read traffic on a higher than usual level. Some folks aren't born with that ability.

I think it's kinda like people who are good at art and drawing. They have to be born with a certain amount of natural talent then fine tune it with practice. Reading traffic and splitting lanes is kinda like that I think. Heck; some people don't even like to drive at all. They do it out of necessity. So far I've seen that mostly in women.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
632 Posts
I rode in Cali for 20 years. Some riders just don't like to do it. They never felt comfortable with it. I found it came kinda natural to me but I did have to kick my awareness senses into spiderman territory while doing it. A person needs to be able to read traffic on a higher than usual level. Some folks aren't born with that ability.

I think it's kinda like people who are good at art and drawing. They have to be born with a certain amount of natural talent then fine tune it with practice. Reading traffic and splitting lanes is kinda like that I think. Heck; some people don't even like to drive at all. They do it out of necessity. So far I've seen that mostly in women.
There you go pulling the Women card......:devil
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,684 Posts
I believe bikes should be able to lane split AND use break down lanes , especially in slow heavy traffic on super hot days . Never going to happen in Communist MA though ....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
632 Posts
When i was young and combat trained, I would split lanes with abandonment ... Now that i'm older'''I will sometimes split lanes with my Gunner' But only rare occasions , And very carefully..
And never will i do it with my Tri-Glide...:eek
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
13,183 Posts
wait till you have a car door open on you when you're between two cars doing 25 mph
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,684 Posts
wait till you have a car door open on you when you're between two cars doing 25 mph
Someone did that to me in a legal lane splitting situation , I would bash their head in , or shoot them , That would be considered "Attempted Murder" of a Motorcyclist .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
308 Posts
In places where driers aren't AHs lane splitting can be "safe" and effective. Sadly in the US we have the "how come you get to go and I don't , it's not FAIR attitude" or the "I'll show him/her I'll run them off the road" (See guy running into motorcycle in Texas) or the ever present "I'll open my door". We all need an attitude adjustment for lane splitting to work. A recent study indicated 75% of auto "operator" respondents "didn't like being passed". No real reason just "don't like it". Add that to the "I'm doing the speed limit(by my odometer) and by "george" I ain't moving outta the way!" nitwit left lane lemmings and you get the picture. I hope they pass it in California to codify it and "hope" attitudes change. Then again hope isn't really a plan. Ride safe bothers and sisters.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
I'd like for it to be legal here in Michigan. I've done it illegally before just to get around AH cages, but typically I try to stay somewhat legal when I ride. A lot of roads around here are too narrow imo to safely split traffic also, what I would really like to see is for motorcycles to have their own lane similar to the bicycle lanes that you occasionally see. That would probably never happen but it would be nice and I think more people would ride rather than drive if that was the case.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
790 Posts
With the long renewal dates on most licenses and the ability to renew by mail without a test doesn't educate people in states where it becomes legal, hence they get angry when they see it...

...or some just don't like it hence they make it dangerous... a game or pissing match for them... both a form of roadrage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
566 Posts
If the bill passes, it will alleviate some of the road rage because lane splitting will be seen as "legal". I split lanes everyday here in Silicon Valley (not easy when I'm on my big-ass Magnum) and generally speaking people will move over for bikes. What I find is that out-of-state drivers are the ones who crowd the most. When I'm in a car, I watch for lane splitters when traffic slows. It's probably because I ride and I'm more aware than most; however, I do notice that drivers with CA license plates are better at giving room than others.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top