June 17, 2014 at 8:36 pm #64001
First thing you’ll probably have to do is convince your fellow Ohioan motorcyclists that it’s a good idea. From what I’ve seen in other fora, US motorcyclists in general believe that lane splitting is crazy.
I live in California, which is the only state that allows lane splitting, and as you know George, I’ve done a fair bit of riding in Europe, where if not always legal, is tacitly allowed. Watch this BMW Motorcycle Training film from the mid 70s, for example:
Anyway, lane splitting is very useful and, I believe, pretty safe, when done conservatively. You see some folks splitting traffic on the freeways at supra legal speeds around here, but that is not what I’m thinking of.June 17, 2014 at 8:36 pm #64003
Love the videos. Thanks Darryl.June 17, 2014 at 8:36 pm #64005
I’m all for safe lane splitting. The only concern I would have is with road rage. During long traffic back ups due to accidents, etc. we have taken to riding the shoulder to exit or because the bike was getting too hot. Some people get mad that we’re doing this.June 17, 2014 at 8:36 pm #64007
Road rage is an issue, to be sure, but the legality of lane splitting here in Cali is advertised in the driver’s handbook (not that anyone actually reads it) and the CHP has made several public pronouncements on it being legal. Also, drivers see bikers in general and the CHP and Police forces in particular, doing it regularly, so I think most of them realize it must be legal.
I occasionally encounter someone who tries to block me from passing, but I just wait a bit and eventually there will be an opportunity. Many drivers move over to allow me to go by.June 17, 2014 at 8:36 pm #64010
DUNCAN MCGREGOR 449Participant
Greetings from Melbourne, in the state of Victoria, Australia.
Recently, the state of New South Wales, to the north of us (they call us Mexicans, because we are south of the border) conducted a trial on lane filtering.
This has resulted in a proposal to legalise filtering, while lane splitting (ie at higher speeds) will remain illegal. This is an eminently sensible step. Much to our frustration and disappointment, the state of Victoria has said they will not follow suit.
Back to the question, how to promote this outcome, share the following link with your local congressman and get him onside; and get your friends across the state to do the same.June 17, 2014 at 8:36 pm #64011
That is very helpful information. Perhaps I shuld have called this thread “Lane Filtering” as that is what I am interested in. Riding at high speed between lanes is not my objective.
I will contact the riders I know in Ohio and see if we can generate some support for this.June 17, 2014 at 8:36 pm #64012
.Lane filtering sounds like a great solution for most cities. Here’s some info that was posted in the link provided:
What did the trial find?
Because of the complex nature of the trial and its subject matter, it was not always possible to draw precise conclusions about the benefits and risks of making motorcycle lane filtering legal. However, the trial did provide a range of useful information and observations about lane filtering and its possible effects.
As a result of the trial and TfNSW’s other work in this area, TfNSW has identified that:
June 17, 2014 at 8:36 pm #64013
- Despite being illegal, lane filtering is still often practised on NSW roads.
- Lane filtering is a relatively low-risk riding activity for motorcyclists when done in lower-risk/low-speed traffic situations (30km/h and under).
- However, when lane filtering is done at higher speeds (faster than 30km/h – ‘lane splitting’), crash risks increase for motorcycle riders and other road users, particularly pedestrians and cyclists.
- The trial showed that lane filtering improved travel times for motorcyclists over short sections of the Sydney CBD. However, while motorcycles are increasing in popularity, they still only make up a relatively small proportion of overall traffic. For this reason, the trial did not show a reduction in congestion for all traffic
- However, common sense says that removing some motorcycles from traffic queues may help to minimise queuing at busy intersections. As the number of motorcycles increases, it is more likely that overall congestion would be improved over time.
AMA on lane splitting.June 17, 2014 at 8:36 pm #64019
Just be forewarned that the AMA may not be your friend in your efforts. Attempts in Texas to get lane-splitted were spoiled by protests with a large group of Harley Davidson owners revving their engines outside the building while the bill was being considered. Seems there was going to be a helmet requirement if you wanted to take advantage of the new law. What legislator would bother voting for a controversial bill when the targeted beneficiary voter group is protesting its enactment?
Here is the applicable AMA caveat to their ‘support’.
“A straightforward lane splitting bill may easily be amended with provisions that the AMA and the motorcycling community would find unacceptable. Provisions such as mandatory helmet use in an adult-choice state or mandatory minimum medical insurance coverage provisions would quickly poison an otherwise well-intentioned effort”.June 17, 2014 at 8:36 pm #64037
May I suggest you look into “Lane Filtering”. I believe CA has some regulations around it. It makes a lot more sense safety wise, than “Lane Splitting”. Basically, Lane Filtering is for those times when traffic is stopped, or at a crawl, and you’re permitted to move ahead, albeit at a much reduced speed (maybe 25mph). It has other restrictions about speed, when it’s allowed; and the difference between the “traffic” speed and the motorcycle speed. With those caveats, (although many people probably wouldn’t read them), the chances of an accident being serious are dramatically reduced.
I would welcome that in the US. But you’d also have to educate drivers – some of whom want to squeeze a rider out, or open a car door (jealousy?). European drivers are more accustomed to lane splitting, and the motorcycle police help reinforce proper driver behavior.June 17, 2014 at 8:36 pm #64058
[quote=Michael Cook]May I suggest you look into “Lane Filtering”. I believe CA has some regulations around it. It makes a lot more sense safety wise, than “Lane Splitting”. Basically, Lane Filtering is for those times when traffic is stopped, or at a crawl, and you’re permitted to move ahead, albeit at a much reduced speed (maybe 25mph). It has other restrictions about speed, when it’s allowed; and the difference between the “traffic” speed and the motorcycle speed. With those caveats, (although many people probably wouldn’t read them), the chances of an accident being serious are dramatically reduced. I would welcome that in the US. But you’d also have to educate drivers – some of whom want to squeeze a rider out, or open a car door (jealousy?). European drivers are more accustomed to lane splitting, and the motorcycle police help reinforce proper driver behavior.[/quote]
Michael, there are no regulations in California specifically about lane filtering or splitting. The law merely does not make it illegal to share a lane. If an officer doesn’t like how a rider is riding, they can use other parts of the law, such as illegal lane change or reckless driving. The CHP has posted guidelines about what it thinks are reasonable ways to lane split. This doesn’t necessarily apply in other jurisdictions in the state.June 17, 2014 at 8:36 pm #59498
So how do we get our state legislators to adopt lane splitting. I am in Ohio and it makes me crazy to sit behind a line of cars (and trucks) and be unable to go around them when there is plenty of room. If I try it I will likely get cut off or run over.
Or I will get a citation!
We need to get this changed.
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