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post #1 of 20 Old Feb 11th, 2013, 7:15 pm Thread Starter
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CHP Issues Lane Splitting Guidelines

Don't know whether this has been brought up yet, but last week the California Highway Patrol finally went on record regarding lane splitting by issuing guidelines. They're available on the CHP Website here, and I printed them out in a PDF. I think that for the most part they're pretty right on, at least they pretty much state the rules I've adopted based upon my comfort zone.

When I was commuting regularly in Bay Area traffic I was not hesitant to split lanes. I think if done carefully it provides a reasonable level of safety for a demonstrable gain. Idiots on crotch-rockets that feel that they need to be at 7,500 rpm + and treat the traffic as an obstacle course give the practice a bad name, but I found that if you don't make an AH out of yourself by approaching slowly then most experienced commuters will move over in their lane to make room for you. A friendly wave with the hand as you pass them reinforces that you appreciate their consideration. My personal limits for lane splitting are not quite as conservative as CHP's (they recommend 30 mph or less); I found that if traffic is moving much more than ~45 mph then it's probably better to just find a place and hang in it until traffic slows down. Or, in other words, reasonable rpm in first, second or third gear.

One thing to watch out for - the stock panniers on an RT are pretty wide. You need to have a pretty good spatial sense of where you are. One of the first times I tried lane splitting in the then-new RT I bounced off a bubba-truck tire, but when we stopped all we could find was a black mark on my pannier.

Ride safe.

JayJay
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File Type: pdf CHP Lane Splitting Guidelines.pdf (98.1 KB, 99 views)

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post #2 of 20 Old Feb 11th, 2013, 8:26 pm
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Re: CHP Issues Lane Splitting Guidelines

+1... Well said.

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post #3 of 20 Old Feb 11th, 2013, 10:04 pm
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California Lane Splitting Guidelines

California has apparently issued new "guidelines" for the practice of lane sharing. (and who the hell is the dude in the cover photo on the BMW?)

http://www.mydesert.com/viewart/2013...ing-guidelines

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post #4 of 20 Old Feb 11th, 2013, 10:21 pm
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Re: CHP Issues Lane Splitting Guidelines

Splitting lanes at any speed in Texas will get you a stiff fine. Many of our major freeways have HOV lanes that we are allowed to access at no fee, and without a passenger required. Texas DOT must think that is safer. On and off ramp locations are limited, though. Good luck with continued splitting there. tp dd50


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post #5 of 20 Old Feb 12th, 2013, 2:35 am
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Re: CHP Issues Lane Splitting Guidelines

I rarely split lanes her in San Diego County, even if the traffic is at a dead stop. I have split lanes up in the San Clemente and Dana Point area where the freeway goes up and down hills... when there's stop and go traffic, just to keep from burning up the clutch. I lane split going up hills and get back into traffic on the down hills. Also did some lane splitting up in Santa Cruz during rush hour because the traffic was at a standstill and the engine was getting too hot. Aiding the lane splitting up there was a set of Clearwater "Kristas" that are very noticeable even at half power. People see the lights coming and move over. I agree with an earlier post, a nice wave makes drivers feel good about their decision to move over a bit. Some though try to pinch you off and you have to be cognizant of that.

There's both risk and reward to lane splitting and in most cases I think the risk just isn't worth getting to a destination a little earlier.
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post #6 of 20 Old Feb 12th, 2013, 9:27 am
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Re: California Lane Splitting Guidelines

Story not found. The link is invalid...

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post #7 of 20 Old Feb 12th, 2013, 10:51 am
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Re: California Lane Splitting Guidelines

Quote:
Originally Posted by zippy_gg
Story not found. The link is invalid...
Odd, it worked yesterday. Here is the text of the story from the Sacramento Bee on 2/11:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The California Highway Patrol and other statewide traffic safety groups have created a set of written guidelines on motorcycle "lane-splitting," the at-times hair-splitting maneuver that allows riders to legally pass vehicles in adjacent lanes by driving between them.

While California is the only state in the country that allows lane-splitting, there had not been written guidelines on how to safely execute the polarizing practice that often pits motorcycles against cars and trucks, the Sacramento Bee reported (http://bit.ly/XWSwsV).

The guidelines set by the groups including the CHP, the Department of Motor Vehicles and Office of Traffic Safety, say motorcyclists can ride between two cars if there is room, but only at speeds no more than 10 miles-per-hour faster than the vehicles they're passing. The rules also say that motorcyclists should not attempt the move at full freeway speeds, or in any traffic going faster than 30 mph.

"There is a need to acknowledge lane-splitting is being done in California, and a need to help people understand what is reasonable," California Highway Patrol Sgt. Mark Pope said. "Until now, no one in authority has said how to do it safely."

The guidelines come as the number of motorcyclists in California have risen, as well as the number of motorcycle crashes. CHP numbers show that more than 9,600 people in California were injured in motorcycle crashes in 2010, the most recent statistics available - up 25 percent since 2000.

"We are trying to get people to slow down," Pope said. "A lot are traveling at 40 mph or faster. The faster you go, the harder it is to stop."

Pope said the guidelines do not reflect any changes in the policy. The CHP has long held that lane-splitting is a legal, common practice in California because nothing in the state Vehicle Code specifically prohibits it.

About 87 percent of California motorcycle riders reported they lane-split, a recent state Office of Traffic Safety survey reported. Some motorcyclists call it lane sharing. The survey also found that only 53 percent of California drivers knew lane-splitting is legal, and seven percent of drivers say they have attempted to block a lane-splitting motorcyclist from passing them.

Pete terHorst, spokesman for the American Motorcyclist Association, said the new California guidelines could be used by motorcycle advocates in other states to push legalizing lane-splitting elsewhere. But terHorst said advocates nationally typically focus on other motorcycling issues, including broader concerns about causes of crashes.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/02/11/518...#storylink=cpy

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post #8 of 20 Old Feb 12th, 2013, 11:04 am
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Re: CHP Issues Lane Splitting Guidelines

I've seen too many cars and truckers in Texas move over either onto a shoulder/median or into a lane that was being closed to prevent others from getting by, so I imagine the populace here would have a hard time accepting legal lane splitting.

I never realized there were so many owners of the roads. Must be a giant co-op.

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post #9 of 20 Old Feb 12th, 2013, 11:20 am Thread Starter
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Re: California Lane Splitting Guidelines

Quote:
Originally Posted by zippy_gg
Story not found. The link is invalid...
Try this link: http://www.chp.ca.gov/programs/lanesplitguide.html

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post #10 of 20 Old Feb 12th, 2013, 11:53 am
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Re: CHP Issues Lane Splitting Guidelines

That is about one of two things I miss about California. I have only done it down near the 5-405 split and many years ago.

Now here in Alabama it is illeagal for two vehicles to occupy the same lane at the same time. It is not against the law to open a car door to impead a MC trying to lane split.

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post #11 of 20 Old Feb 12th, 2013, 12:43 pm
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Re: California Lane Splitting Guidelines

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moot

Pope said the guidelines do not reflect any changes in the policy. The CHP has long held that lane-splitting is a legal, common practice in California because nothing in the state Vehicle Code specifically prohibits it.
The above is the basis of most laws. I wonder if any other state would look at it this way if someone was written up for it? Anyone ever written up for lane splitting? Any legal peps know?

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post #12 of 20 Old Feb 12th, 2013, 2:24 pm
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Re: CHP Issues Lane Splitting Guidelines

When I lived in Costa Mesa and worked in LA,
I split lanes everyday on the way to work,
when the traffic stopped or slowed to less than around 40 mph
it was an efficient way for a motorcycle to get through traffic.

One morning while splitting lanes a CHP motor officer ran right up on my rear,
I moved over for him, he passed and waved me "along"
his balls were bigger than mine, I couldn't keep up with him.

Another morning while going with the flow of traffic 10+ over the limit,
a Porche passed me in my lane, scared the crap out of me (I wasn't expecting it)
a few miles up the freeway everything stopped, I split lanes and my foot "accidently"
knocked his mirror of as we went by, the "schrill" sound of his horn was drowned out by my laughter.

I wouldn't do it here and I don't think it would work anywhere else,
drivers are way to "immature" and immediate road rage is usually the result,
even though in reality it doesn't affect their commute one way or the other.


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post #13 of 20 Old Feb 12th, 2013, 3:20 pm Thread Starter
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Re: CHP Issues Lane Splitting Guidelines

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverBuffalo
...Another morning while going with the flow of traffic 10+ over the limit,
a Porche passed me in my lane, scared the crap out of me (I wasn't expecting it)
a few miles up the freeway everything stopped, I split lanes and my foot "accidently"
knocked his mirror of as we went by, the "schrill" sound of his horn was drowned out by my laughter.
I try to ride in the #1 (far left) lane when feasible, that way knuckleheads can only merge into me from one side (presumably). But I've had folks figure that they can go ahead and pass me on the left when I'm in the left lane, I've had them full into the median strip to get around. If they're that far out of it they can have the lane in front of me. Sometimes you have to wonder just what they've been smoking.

Times like that I think it would be a good idea to mount a paintball gun under the fairing.

Too bad about that Porsche's mirror.

JayJay

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post #14 of 20 Old Feb 13th, 2013, 8:14 am
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Re: CHP Issues Lane Splitting Guidelines

I spent a week or so in Cali touring ... and a few other times during MotoGP, or when David Taylor hosts his Cambria run. Lane-splitting is a beautiful thing! I can't, for the life of me, understand why it's not legal in every State.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtdreamer50
Splitting lanes at any speed in Texas will get you a stiff fine.
ONLY if you get caught.

But seriously, I found Texas cagers to be VERY considerate of motorcyclists. I was amazed time and time again at the wide berth I was given in order to pass. Hats off to those drivers.

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post #15 of 20 Old Feb 14th, 2013, 10:40 am
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Re: CHP Issues Lane Splitting Guidelines

The rest of the world and California allow lane splitting. Only 49 states to go!

Allowing lane splitting in these 49 would require an information campaign for the public and a legislation to protect motorcyclists against motorists who would block motorcycle traffic on purpose, etc...

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post #16 of 20 Old Sep 15th, 2013, 5:45 pm
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Re: CHP Issues Lane Splitting Guidelines

I just got my RT earlier this year and have done just a bit of lane splitting. It's both scary and exhilarating at the same time. I'm conservative about doing it for sure.

One question I have about lane splitting in California that the CHP guideline didn't answer is in regards to a motorcycle splitting the HOV lane on freeways and accessing the HOV lane. For years I've seen bikes splitting the HOV lane and crossing back and forth over the double yellow lines as they do so.

Is crossing back and forth over the double yellow ok? Can a motorcycle enter into the HOV lane whenever they want instead of waiting for a "legal entrance area" like cagers must?
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post #17 of 20 Old Sep 15th, 2013, 8:30 pm
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Re: CHP Issues Lane Splitting Guidelines

No to both.

You have to enter at the same place as the cars. Also, weaving back and forth over the double yellow can get you a ticket. The idea is that you are sharing the lane with the car.

One of my personal rules is that I fall in line while transitioning that entry area. Too many cars going in and out there, many without signaling.

Have fun. Be safe.

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post #18 of 20 Old Sep 15th, 2013, 11:26 pm
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Re: CHP Issues Lane Splitting Guidelines

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayJay
Don't know whether this has been brought up yet, but last week the California Highway Patrol finally went on record regarding lane splitting by issuing guidelines. They're available on the CHP Website here, and I printed them out in a PDF. I think that for the most part they're pretty right on, at least they pretty much state the rules I've adopted based upon my comfort zone.

When I was commuting regularly in Bay Area traffic I was not hesitant to split lanes. I think if done carefully it provides a reasonable level of safety for a demonstrable gain. Idiots on crotch-rockets that feel that they need to be at 7,500 rpm + and treat the traffic as an obstacle course give the practice a bad name, but I found that if you don't make an AH out of yourself by approaching slowly then most experienced commuters will move over in their lane to make room for you. A friendly wave with the hand as you pass them reinforces that you appreciate their consideration. My personal limits for lane splitting are not quite as conservative as CHP's (they recommend 30 mph or less); I found that if traffic is moving much more than ~45 mph then it's probably better to just find a place and hang in it until traffic slows down. Or, in other words, reasonable rpm in first, second or third gear.

One thing to watch out for - the stock panniers on an RT are pretty wide. You need to have a pretty good spatial sense of where you are. One of the first times I tried lane splitting in the then-new RT I bounced off a bubba-truck tire, but when we stopped all we could find was a black mark on my pannier.

Ride safe.

JayJay
The CHP can only inforce the existing law. They cannot write new. They can issue guidelines as long as they are within the law. They can judge whether your lanesplitting us being done safely which gives them quite an advantage. Most of what is said in the guidelines is a reprint of what is in the DMV manual.
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post #19 of 20 Old Sep 16th, 2013, 4:50 pm
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Re: CHP Issues Lane Splitting Guidelines

Like what was said before. No on both. But within reason, in the years I have been doing it, even with a CHP "escort" at times, as long as you are doing it in a sane way. No excessive speed, and not weaving at every car. Not the crotch rocket style. Most of the time, they are looking at it as how safe is he doing this. But watch out for the triple paint for the carpool lane seperation, it can be a little slick.

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post #20 of 20 Old Sep 17th, 2013, 7:33 am
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Re: CHP Issues Lane Splitting Guidelines

Lane splitting is illegal in Texas, but motorcyclists do it somewhat regularly, myself included, especially when on the inside lane, and the idiot in front is poking along, even though they have plenty of room to either speed up and change lanes, or slow down to get over.
The HOV lanes in Dallas are done a little different from what I've read. They take away a lane on the opposite side of the median and run the traffic in opposite direction, following direction of rush hour traffic. They also have a stretch going into downtown Dallas along I30 from the East, which is done the same way, but they use a very large "zipper" vehicle that travels at an angle, picking up concrete barriers and relocating them, thereby partitioning a lane for just HOV traffic- this is also on the opposite side of the median in the direction of rush hour traffic. This technique is extremely expensive, due to the vehicles built specifically for this purpose, along with the man hours for the people operating/maintaining this HOV section, including transit police who's sole job during the hours the HOV lane is open is to ensure only eligible vehicles are getting on and off, and ticketing those that aren't eligible. Then there's some other sections w/ HOV that is on each side of the median, but partitioned off w/ these fiberglass/plastic poles that have been affixed to the pavement and space every so many feet, thereby preventing a vehicle from getting in and out of the HOV lane, except at entrances and exits. There's probably enough spacing that a m/c could go between the poles at a very slow speed, but no way at say 45 MPH +. There is another section w/ just the double painted lines, and I will go in and out of this HOV lane anytime some clown in front is poking along, especially when the traffic in the adjacent lanes are moving faster, but not if a LEO is watching.

Jeff
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