Friday, 29 May 2015

Lane splitting soon to be legal in California

Lane splitting soon to be legal in California

California is poised to become the first state to allow motorcycles to weave between cars 
that are slowed by traffic.


The Assembly on Thursday overwhelmingly approved Assembly Bill 51, permitting motorcyclists to split lanes so long as they do so at speeds no faster than 50 mph and no faster than 15 mph than traffic in adjacent lanes is moving. The bill heads to the Senate after passing, without debate, on a 53 to 11 vote.

All other states ban lane-splitting, although several are considering making it legal.
The sponsors of the bill -- Assemblymen Bill Quirk (D-Hayward), Kansen Chu (D-San Jose) and Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale) -- say the practice should be legal so the state can offer safety guidance.
 A UC Berkeley study "found that lane-splitting was safer, compared to being stopped in the traffic," Quirk said in a statement. "Oftentimes motorcyclists would get rear-ended. Motorists just don't see them." But the practice rankles many drivers who say they see far too many motorcyclists zipping between lanes at high speeds.
"They are bullies on the road, and they expect everyone to move over," said Cheryl Hale of Concord. "Most are lane-splitting when traffic is not only going very slow. This would be very bad legislation."

California law enforcement officers for decades have allowed lane-splitting when traffic is congested, but there's never been a law saying it's legal. The legislation is supported by law
enforcement groups, and the American Motorcyclist Association favors less strict rules.

Article originally written on Mercury News.

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