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Old 08-22-2016, 02:12 PM
 
Location: San Diego, CA
70 posts, read 93,352 times
Reputation: 86

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California becomes first state to officially legalize motorcycle lane splitting - LA Times

It is finally official. Last week AB-51 was signed into law and California motorcycles have full legal authority to lanesplit. The CHP will be tasked with setting guidelines for safety. This is a topic that is bound to get some controversy, but I wanted to include it to inform people.

As a motorcyclist that lanesplits in San Diego on a daily basis, this is welcome news to me, though it wont have much impact on the day-to-day given the already accepted status of lanesplitting prior to this bill. Lanesplitting was allowed (and even practiced by motorcycle officers), but not explicitly legal.

I haven't had too many "incidents" while 'splitting, just angry expletives by ignorant folks every once in a while. These people were probably either tourists or just hot-heads in general. Most drivers seem to have accepted lanesplitting motorcycles as part of the California driving experience.

As a rider, I understand that drivers often get surprised/frightened by a lanesplitting rider, so I just wanted to share some info that may help you get more comfortable with it:

  • For the most part, we will split between the 1 and 2 lanes (farthest left 2 lanes). If we are heading toward an exit or recently merged on to the highway, other lanes could be utilized. But if you often drive in the fast lane, be extra vigilant.
  • Assume there is more than one motorcycle coming through. What often happens on the 805 is that one rider lanesplits more slowly and a "line" starts to develop behind them. Before changing lanes, until you can safely verify, assume that one rider has another just a few yards back.
  • If you would like to pull over and give us more room, that is welcome, but often not necessary. If you and the car next to you are both in the center of your lanes, we usually have a lot more room than it looks like. However, if we are lanesplitting and come to a stop on the lane line behind you, you can assume that either you or the car next to you is blocking the way through. Attempting to intentionally impede us from lanesplitting is illegal.
This list is limited and others can/should chime in. Hope this thread helps San Diegans/visitors stay informed on this.

P.S- I won't engage in back and forth about how stupid I am for lanesplitting. I will cite this study from Berkeley that actually has hard facts rather than anecdotes. Lane-splitting for motorcycles is safe, says landmark Berkeley study - LA Times
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Old 08-22-2016, 02:13 PM
 
762 posts, read 554,933 times
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I'm kind of surprised that they have made that legal.
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Old 08-22-2016, 02:26 PM
 
Location: Pacific 🌉 °N, 🌄°W
11,757 posts, read 6,552,446 times
Reputation: 7528
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jhox99 View Post
P.S- I won't engage in back and forth about how stupid I am for lanesplitting. I will cite this study from Berkeley that actually has hard facts rather than anecdotes. Lane-splitting for motorcycles is safe, says landmark Berkeley study - LA Times
I thinks it's stupid of people who have never ever personally ridden a motorcycle to even be commenting on motorcycles. Those are the ones with the most negative views and narrow minded opinions about something they have no understanding or experience with.

I'm a life long rider and I love that we are able to lane split here in CA.
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Old 08-22-2016, 02:35 PM
 
Location: Sugarmill Woods , FL
6,232 posts, read 7,674,302 times
Reputation: 13783
Organ donors are appreciated!
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Old 08-22-2016, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Pacific 🌉 °N, 🌄°W
11,757 posts, read 6,552,446 times
Reputation: 7528
Quote:
Originally Posted by froglipz View Post
Organ donors are appreciated!
Yes they are.

I worked in a Level 1 Trauma Hospital for many years. Out of all the trauma victims that passed away, only 2 were motorcyclists.

We had more car accident deaths than any other type of trauma that came in.

Quote:
A study on which new California legislation is based says lane-splitting is relatively safe for motorcyclists -- even safer than not lane-splitting.
Lane-splitting for motorcycles is safe, says landmark Berkeley study
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Old 08-22-2016, 03:02 PM
 
3,343 posts, read 2,435,848 times
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Bad law IMO, but it needs to be one way or another with no middle ground.

I don't worry about the motorcycle as much. I worry about the textor, the out of stater not used to law, or the guy or gal just going a little right or left of center that causes the accident and chain reaction of accidents.

A car going 80 another going 70 and a motorcycle splitting the two in two lanes. I don't know how that is promoting safety.
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Old 08-22-2016, 03:05 PM
 
Location: San Diego, CA
70 posts, read 93,352 times
Reputation: 86
Berkeley study not withstanding, it would be stupid to not acknowledge the risks associated with lanesplitting. But like other bike skills, it is a skill that can be developed and honed. A skilled rider learns to anticipate the movement of cars. I can often tell which drivers are on their phones while I'm splitting 50 yards back just based on the irregular movement of their vehicle within their lane. I recognize the instances where a driver will want to quickly change lanes to get ahead in traffic. I know to be extra careful around exits where people will be cutting across multiple lanes. These things are learned (hopefully the easy way) which helps mitigate some of the risks.

It is hard to fight the 18-year-old-on-a-crotch-rocket stereotype, but I would be as bold as to say that a serious rider is often one of the best DRIVERS on the road. Awareness of surroundings out of necessity translates to defensive and safe driving even while in cars.
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Old 08-22-2016, 03:08 PM
 
Location: San Diego
46,259 posts, read 41,274,480 times
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I have no problem with this at all. They would just add to the traffic if they were in line in front of me.
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Old 08-22-2016, 03:11 PM
 
Location: San Diego, CA
70 posts, read 93,352 times
Reputation: 86
Eastcoast, I can't speak for every rider, but I would say anybody splitting lanes when traffic is going 80 is insane. I pull back into the lane at about 45 mph usually. Occasionally, I might split at 50 if the gap is wide enough.

But I believe CHP will make 50 the limit. Anything faster than that will be illegal and subject to ticketing.

But you are definitely right about the other vehicles on the road. As I alluded to in my previous post, when you ride, your head is on a swivel, or at least it should be. "Ride like you are invisible."
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Old 08-22-2016, 03:14 PM
 
Location: San Diego CA>Tijuana, BC>San Antonio, TX
5,911 posts, read 6,225,753 times
Reputation: 5848
Quote:
Originally Posted by eastcoastbias View Post
A car going 80 another going 70 and a motorcycle splitting the two in two lanes. I don't know how that is promoting safety.
Most motorcyclist do not do this, we split lanes when the freeways jam up or at a stop light we filter to the front. For me personally, I fear being rear ended when the freeway jams up more than I do being side swiped by a car, at least with an auto veering into my lane I stand a chance.

Personally, I HAD NO IDEA I WAS "BREAKING THE LAW" ALL THESE YEARS, I always assumed it was legal.
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