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post #1 of 20 Old Sep 15th, 2013, 12:04 pm Thread Starter
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Lane splitting

What is it with the USA not allowing lane splitting?
I couldn't do my daily commute on my LT without lane splitting here in the UK.
Surely if you've got to sit in a queue of traffic behind all the cars.....you'd be better off in a car?
Seems to me trike riders also have the worst of both worlds as well, soaked when it rains and no ability to get ahead of the traffic.........just saying.

Simon

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post #2 of 20 Old Sep 15th, 2013, 12:19 pm
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Re: Lane splitting

You can in California!

It's not a law but the cops don't seem to worry about it..

First time I did it on the LT I was amazed to see the cars ahead of me move over a little so I could pass.

Scary but much nicer than here in Phoenix Az..

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post #3 of 20 Old Sep 15th, 2013, 12:46 pm
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Re: Lane splitting

Last I checked it was legal by the law to lane split in California.
We also try not to look like we are abusing the right since the reason for it, more or less, no longer exists. The thinking back in the day was, if you are riding an air cooled bike, better that you split traffic instead of seizing up the engine and having to push your bike to the side of the freeway.

I'm editing the above typos as you read this.
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post #4 of 20 Old Sep 15th, 2013, 4:37 pm
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Re: Lane splitting

My bad, not what I read online but good to know.

Still scary the first time I did it....

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post #5 of 20 Old Sep 15th, 2013, 4:58 pm
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Re: Lane splitting

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevincaron
My bad, not what I read online but good to know.

Still scary the first time I did it....
Try coming back from Las Vegas to my halfway point in Apple Valley, at 5pm on a Sunday night, with everyone else. Semi trucks to my right, 4x4s towing boats to my left, and they aren't too happy you're getting home before them. One whole hour of lane splitting! I was shaking when I stopped for Gatorade half way home. That was the longest I've ever ridden that way.

I'm editing the above typos as you read this.
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post #6 of 20 Old Sep 15th, 2013, 5:23 pm
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Re: Lane splitting

The only time I split lanes was in Lisbon. I was following a couple that could find the hotel easily so we got lost. The husband refused to stop for directions for a long time. When they finally got directions we were so late that lane splitting was the way to go. I was a bit nervous but after a time some locals on bikes pulled ahead of us and showed how to make lane splitting work well. Done right it does come in handy.
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post #7 of 20 Old Sep 15th, 2013, 8:15 pm
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Re: Lane splitting

From what I remember from living in CA, and lane splitting every day for 5 years, it is not LEGAL, neither is it ILLEGAL, since there are no state laws or regulations regarding it. The CHP allows it, some municipalities do not. I have not lived there for 6 years now, so things may have changed.

It is extremely common, and mostly accepted by the public around the state, but do not try it in San Diego city limits for one.

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post #8 of 20 Old Sep 15th, 2013, 9:01 pm
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Re: Lane splitting

David is correct, IIRC.

There is no statute making lane splitting unlawful, therefore it is lawful. The catch is that one still needs to be prudent and safe. Stupid in a No Stupid Zone can get you hurt, or dead.

Antony (Tripod)
Dallas' Northern Suburbs
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post #9 of 20 Old Sep 15th, 2013, 9:23 pm
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Re: Lane splitting

Lane splitting is one of the greatest advantages of riding a bike on busy streets and freeways is indeed the ability to split lanes.
Unfortunately the AMA is mostly concerned about repealing helmet laws and has no interest for lobbying for lane splitting in the remaining 49 states so I no longer pay for membership.
Having learned to ride in Paris I could not even conceive not splitting lanes on a bike...

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post #10 of 20 Old Sep 15th, 2013, 10:38 pm
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Re: Lane splitting

Here are the guidelines from the CHP.
http://www.chp.ca.gov/programs/lanesplitguide.html

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post #11 of 20 Old Sep 15th, 2013, 11:22 pm
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Re: Lane splitting

I'm in North San Diego county and Lane Splitting is common here. I spoke to a cop about it who said it exists in California because most, not all people understand a lane split converts a two lane into a three lane and reduces traffic. We're all sick of traffic. The next reason is the Harley riders have a huge lobby in Ca. And they vote.

He added, the rule, written or non written is stay under 35 when you split or you'll get a ticket. Reckless Driving. Plus it's safer. Makes Sense.
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post #12 of 20 Old Sep 16th, 2013, 12:17 am
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Re: Lane splitting

Lane splitting in California is legal. Look it up in the 2013 Ca. DMV online. They even recommend it being done between the #1 and #2 lanes. Not recommended done over 30mph. Not at a speed 10mph faster than the flow of traffic. Lots of "recommended".
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post #13 of 20 Old Sep 16th, 2013, 8:45 am
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Re: Lane splitting

It's mostly because our car drivers are barely functional. Honestly is is highly dangerous to lane split in many places because you will get creamed as someone plows into you or changes lanes without even looking.

I noticed in the UK they actually look for and avoid motorcycles. Here in the USA they try to hit motorcycles.

I watched a foolish kid on a crotch rocket try to lane split at 80mph in Detroit almost stopped traffic, he flew almost 20 feet into the air when he hit the car that attempted to change lanes and closed up the gap. When he went past me inches from my door he was a blur, made it almost a 1/4 mile past me before physics caught up with him.

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post #14 of 20 Old Sep 16th, 2013, 12:54 pm
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Re: Lane splitting

I'm sure it's different in CA where it's lawful, done and accepted. But the only time I've lane split was when I was a motor officer and riding an HD FXRP with strobes, a pulsar headlight, hazard flashers and the occasional horn or siren. It was on a STOPPED interstate highway because of a wreck. Some people actually moved into my way it seemed. Scary too.

Chris Ehlbeck
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post #15 of 20 Old Sep 16th, 2013, 6:33 pm
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Re: Lane splitting

Quote:
Originally Posted by McWideglide
Lane splitting in California is legal. Look it up in the 2013 Ca. DMV online. They even recommend it being done between the #1 and #2 lanes. Not recommended done over 30mph. Not at a speed 10mph faster than the flow of traffic. Lots of "recommended".
It is a fine line between Legal, and Illegal.

Lane splitting is "ALLOWED" in CA, basically only because it is not illegal, since there are no laws, statutes, or regulations regarding it. Something is deemed Legal when there are laws, regulations, or statutes that have been passed regarding it.

This is the first line on the DMV web page regarding lane splitting:
Lane splitting in a safe and prudent manner is not illegal in the state of California.

If it was legal, the line would most likely read:
Lane splitting in a safe and prudent manner is legal in the state of California.

You can get a high cost ticket in San Diego by lane splitting, and probably on most "surface streets" within municipalities within the state. It is basically allowed by the CHP, on state highways. Anytwhere else is a roll of the dice.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying.

David Shealey
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EX: '01 Black LT, BAT BYKE (Totaled at 110,000 miles)
IBA SS, BB, BBG, 10/10ths.
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post #16 of 20 Old Sep 17th, 2013, 11:06 am
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Re: Lane splitting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xsubmariner
Try coming back from Las Vegas to my halfway point in Apple Valley, at 5pm on a Sunday night, with everyone else. Semi trucks to my right, 4x4s towing boats to my left, and they aren't too happy you're getting home before them. One whole hour of lane splitting! I was shaking when I stopped for Gatorade half way home. That was the longest I've ever ridden that way.

This describes Houston at rush hour. Nevermind plain careless lane changing, there are enough drivers who will actively try to block anyone attempting to pass either on the shoulder or on a 2 into 1 lane merge that I would never try lane splitting here regardless of the legality. All the driver's see is "someone is getting ahead of me - LIKE HELL THEY ARE!"

I mostly just sit in traffic like a good little boy.

Chris W

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post #17 of 20 Old Sep 17th, 2013, 2:11 pm
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Re: Lane splitting

Quote:
Originally Posted by blueknightga6
Some people actually moved into my way it seemed. Scary too.
"You can't fix stupid."

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Antony (Tripod)
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post #18 of 20 Old Sep 17th, 2013, 10:49 pm
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Re: Lane splitting

I lived in Japan for 4 years and not only lane splitting legal there, they have two stop lines at traffic lights. All motorcycles are expected to lane split and stop in front of the cars. If we would adopt rules like that there would be a lot more motorcycles on the roads and traffic would flow better.
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post #19 of 20 Old Sep 18th, 2013, 1:18 am
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Re: Lane splitting

When splitting lanes or more appropriately, sharing lanes, some basic rules to follow.
#1 I call the 10, 20, 30 rule: No more than a 10 mile pre hour speed differential, when speeds lower to 20 MPH begin splitting lanes and when they reach 30 MPH get back into the regular lane.
#2 Never split lanes in construction zones - often narrower lanes and minimal or no shoulders.
#3 always split lanes #1 and #2 (fast and next lanes)
#4 if someone else is splitting other lanes like lanes #2 anbd #3 get back into the regular lane until he is long gone.
#5 expect someone to make it difficult then you won't be suprised when it happens.

Be safe out there!

PS lane splitting is an accepted practice in CA and the suggested rules are included in the DMV motorcycle hand book.
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post #20 of 20 Old Sep 18th, 2013, 4:30 am Thread Starter
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Re: Lane splitting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Safetymatt
When splitting lanes or more appropriately, sharing lanes, some basic rules to follow.
#1 I call the 10, 20, 30 rule: No more than a 10 mile pre hour speed differential, when speeds lower to 20 MPH begin splitting lanes and when they reach 30 MPH get back into the regular lane.
#2 Never split lanes in construction zones - often narrower lanes and minimal or no shoulders.
#3 always split lanes #1 and #2 (fast and next lanes)
#4 if someone else is splitting other lanes like lanes #2 anbd #3 get back into the regular lane until he is long gone.
#5 expect someone to make it difficult then you won't be suprised when it happens.

Be safe out there!

PS lane splitting is an accepted practice in CA and the suggested rules are included in the DMV motorcycle hand book.
Damn fine advice, especially 5
I ride as if every car driver is trying to kill me ('cos some of them are) slow and steady is the way and ALWAYS looking for morons on their mobile phones

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