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  #1  
Old 06-03-2015, 01:00 PM
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California Motorcycles May Get Legal "Lane Splitting"

"Lane splitting" on road to legalization in California after State Assembly bill passes - CBS News

or "white lining" as it used to be called.

Now, the State Assembly has passed a bill that would put strict limits on lane-splitting speeds.

Motorcycles could travel up to 15 mph faster than the flow of traffic, up to a maximum overall speed of 50 mph.

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Old 06-03-2015, 01:09 PM
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That sounds dangerous. It should be limited to when traffic is stopped or crawling. Coming through 15 mph faster is a recipe for disaster when the car you are passing decides to change lanes and you are suddenly there.
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Old 06-03-2015, 01:10 PM
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Uh, it's always BEEN legal here because it's not prohibited; rather the legislature is simply codifying what has always been to reduce any confusion about it.

A recent study supports the general safety of the practice, at least in most slow/stopped traffic circumstances: News of the world of motorcycling > UC Berkeley study shows lane-splitting motorcyclists are safer in traffic

This is a pretty thoughtful article about the practice. Lane Splitting

I didn't used to split lanes and it still unnerves me a bit to do so, but it can be done safely. Considering I've been rear-ended three times in top-and-go traffic (in a car each time, thankfully) lane splitting, if done intelligently, offers a better safety margin than just sitting in the line of cars and waiting for the girl doing her makeup or the idiot sending a text. Moving slowing between lines of cars you can actually watch for that and make accommodation for it.
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Old 06-03-2015, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by t walgamuth View Post
That sounds dangerous. It should be limited to when traffic is stopped or crawling. Coming through 15 mph faster is a recipe for disaster when the car you are passing decides to change lanes and you are suddenly there.
Time for cagers to actually LOOK before changing lanes, then. 15 mph faster isn't such a big deal when traffic is stopped and changing lanes is virtually impossible.

It also cuts down on rear-end collisions in slow/stopped traffic.
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Old 06-03-2015, 01:57 PM
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Fifteen MPH equates to 22 ft per sec. When moving from lane to lane I usually look in my rear view first then my side view. Side view mirror has a limited field of view. If I am in stop and go or slow moving traffic, that bike will have traveled 60 or 80 feet by the time I start moving over. I am looking for things that are there. I am making a judgement on the flow of traffic, not something moving 15mph faster than anything else on the road. I agree with Walgamuth, I think it's looking for trouble.
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Old 06-03-2015, 01:59 PM
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This practice has been ongoing in CA. for at least 30 years. You haven't lived until a motorcyclist passes your car at a higher rate of speed in your lane while driving 70 mph. I believe some would lose control of their car's it would scare them that badly.
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Old 06-03-2015, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Skid Row Joe View Post
This practice has been ongoing in CA. for at least 30 years. You haven't lived until a motorcyclist passes your car at a higher rate of speed in your lane while driving 70 mph. I believe some would lose control of their car's it would scare them that badly.
Well, if they run off the road and wrap around a phone pole (after the bike passes) there will be one less incompetent cager on the road! This being said, lane splitting shouldn't really happen at 70 mph, but it's fine in stop and go traffic.

Remember that there quite a few air-cooled bikes out there that NEED to keep moving not to overheat.
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Old 06-03-2015, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by davidmash View Post
Fifteen MPH equates to 22 ft per sec. When moving from lane to lane I usually look in my rear view first then my side view. Side view mirror has a limited field of view. If I am in stop and go or slow moving traffic, that bike will have traveled 60 or 80 feet by the time I start moving over. I am looking for things that are there. I am making a judgement on the flow of traffic, not something moving 15mph faster than anything else on the road. I agree with Walgamuth, I think it's looking for trouble.
Use your turn signal before changing lanes -- riders will see it and take care while passing.
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Old 06-03-2015, 02:24 PM
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It's an interesting "right of way" situation, since the proposed law will create a special lane between marked lanes and I'm not sure if the law restricts the lane splitting to just the far left lanes.
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Old 06-03-2015, 02:31 PM
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It's an interesting "right of way" situation, since the proposed law will create a special lane between marked lanes and I'm not sure if the law restricts the lane splitting to just the far left lanes.
You seem to be surprised by this concept. Did you read the articles I linked?

In any event, it's "between lanes;" no vehicle (other than an emergency vehicle) is permitted to travel beyond the marked boundaries for roadway (in other words onto the shoulder). So it's the lanes of travel in one direction.

Riders are permitted to ride between the lanes of travel, period, regardless of left, right, center, etc. So if there's five lanes of traffic, there are four legal potential split options.

Nor are riders permitted to ride between lanes when they are directional (i.e. a turning lane or, insane as it would be, between lanes of oncoming traffic).
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Old 06-03-2015, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Skid Row Joe View Post
This practice has been ongoing in CA. for at least 30 years. You haven't lived until a motorcyclist passes your car at a higher rate of speed in your lane while driving 70 mph. I believe some would lose control of their car's it would scare them that badly.
What you are describing is not lane splitting. It is reckless driving and is and always has been illegal.

That fools do it and get away with it (and by this I mean in both senses, they are not cited and they survive their own stupidity) doesn't mean it's permissible.

I'm pretty conservative when I split lanes. My own personal guideline is to never travel more than 10 mph faster than surrounding traffic and by the time traffic is moving steadily at about 30, that's when I tuck back into a regular lane.
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Old 06-03-2015, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by davidmash View Post
Fifteen MPH equates to 22 ft per sec. When moving from lane to lane I usually look in my rear view first then my side view. Side view mirror has a limited field of view. If I am in stop and go or slow moving traffic, that bike will have traveled 60 or 80 feet by the time I start moving over. I am looking for things that are there. I am making a judgement on the flow of traffic, not something moving 15mph faster than anything else on the road. I agree with Walgamuth, I think it's looking for trouble.
It's not "looking for trouble" because you're discounting the rider and only taking yourself into account. You're relying on mirrors, riders are looking ahead and scanning, constantly.

Moreover, you'll see them coming if you even glance in your side-view mirror, at least if you are someone who is actually aware that motorcycles share the public road and actively watch out for them (most drivers fail this part of the test, which accounts for the classic "I never saw him" after they have turned directly in front of a rider at an intersection).

May I suggest that you, too read the articles in the two links I posted? Knowledge is a good thing...
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Old 06-03-2015, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Can't Know View Post
You seem to be surprised by this concept. Did you read the articles I linked?
I will admit not reading your links, but my post was thinking out loud about the potential legal issues. The consequences of creating a "fictional" lane may cause serious liability issues in civil, as well as criminal venues. "Right of way" is somewhat easier to determine when all vehicles are obliged to stay in a lane and passing within the same lane is currently deemed as a violation. For instance, would the driver of a car be "at fault" if his car drifts within in a lane without actually changing lanes?

I am intrigued at how the speed differential is going to be "enforced."
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Old 06-03-2015, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by spdrun View Post
Time for cagers to actually LOOK before changing lanes, then. 15 mph faster isn't such a big deal when traffic is stopped and changing lanes is virtually impossible.

It also cuts down on rear-end collisions in slow/stopped traffic.
Cagers. Uh-huh.

I see lanesplitters around here going through 30 and 40 mph traffic all the time at some speed. It can be hard to see them coming. 15 mph more than the rest of traffic would be a large slow down for many of those folks. Will be unenforceable at any rate.
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Old 06-03-2015, 04:11 PM
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If bikes can ignore lane markers why not cars too?

Well that's how it is in Peru. It works for them since everybody does it and everybody is on high alert all the time.

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