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Thread: New law on Lane Sharing / Splitting .. how do you read this?

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    Registered User K1600_gtl's Avatar
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    New law on Lane Sharing / Splitting .. how do you read this?

    How do you all interpret some of this with regards to splitting in the fast lane only, or splitting on a single lane (or single lane exit)?

    https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/f...=201520160AB51
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    There must be at least two lanes going in the direction you are going. You may split between those lanes. Between #1 and #2 lane is the recommended spot and may become the only legal one once the CHP weigh in again, as this is the only spot that cars are expecting it and there is more room for the cars to leave space as the #1 lane can hedge towards the center divider.

    You may not go to the left of the left most lane of traffic in the direction you are traveling (unless it is a legal pass in the oncoming lane) or to the right of the right most lane of traffic in the direction you are traveling (illegal pass on the shoulder). Same as it's always been.



    Last edited by 98lee; 02-16-2017 at 01:19 AM.
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    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Who's on first

    A visual helps some of us

    Lane-Splitting-Guidelines.jpg


    and then there is this one...not here of course

    Lane-Splitting-Traffic-Congestion.jpg
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    Registered User daveredman's Avatar
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    So... only between #1 and #2, and not between #2 & #3...... even if there is a #4 and/or a #5??.

    I have split a few times on previous visit.
    It got kinda loud (wife screaming at me).

    I will be on I-8, and I-15 and I-5 again in a few days... er, excuse me, THe 8 and the 15 and the 5.
    (San Diego, near Ocean Beach, and headed out on day rides.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by daveredman View Post
    So... only between #1 and #2, and not between #2 & #3...... even if there is a #4 and/or a #5??.
    .
    Dave,

    While it is not specifically outlawed (yet) between other lanes, it is HIGHLY adviseable to stick to between #1 and #2 because other drivers don't expect it between other lanes and, for someone that doesn't do it routinely, you need use all the precautions you can.

    If you split between #2 and #3, it causes the car in #2 to hedge to the left, right INTO the bike that is splitting between #1 and #2. It really makes it hard on the cars in the #2 lane to have to be looking at BOTH sides and weaving back and forth to make more room for the bikes. If everyone stays between #1 and #2, the cars in #1 stay to the left of their lane and the cars in #2 stay towards the right of their lane and Everybody's happy.

    The slower lanes have much less lane discipline as they are the ones that are contantly getting on and off the freeways or aren't going to be on the freeway long enough to get to the fast lane and back before their exit. Also, they are the drivers that don't feel comfortable (in their own abilities) in the fast lane. They don't notice that 18 wheeler when they blindly change lanes 100 ft. before their exit, why would they notice a motorcycle?

    The fast lanes in California generally have a higher percentage of people that are actually paying attention. It might only be 50%, but that's higher than the other lanes.

    Plan each pass with care even (especially) when splitting for long distances in stop and go traffic. It is safer to split when there are cars next to each other because the chance of one of them suddenly decideing that he just has to get in the other lane NOW is low. Watch out for the frustrated driver that thinks the other lane is moving faster and there is an open spot next to him. He might not see YOU. Be careful when cars have JUST slowed. They might be thinking more about getting in another lane than watching out for bikes. Once they have slowed and feel resigned to the slow traffic, the lane disipline gets better, especially after the first bike goes by.

    1st or second gear, cover the brakes and clutch, all conspicuity lights on. Modulators work great! Concentrate! It only takes a split second for things to go wrong.



    Last edited by 98lee; 02-12-2017 at 10:38 PM.
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    Registered User ExGMan's Avatar
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    I was riding south of LA on the 405 in September during a Friday afternoon rush hour. All the lanes were filled, and the far left lane was designated the HOV lane. All of the lane-splitting by we motorcyclists was done between the HOV lane and the #1 lane. Fortunately for this RT rider, the space was wider there with multiple lane markers. The motorcyclists were not following the 10 mph difference guideline (since the traffic was rolling along, stop and go, but otherwise about 20 mph). This neophyte from MA tried to move along smartly, but every few minutes I had to move into the HOV lane to let those behind get moving fast. The drivers were very helpful, moving to the left in the HOV lane and the right in the #1 lane to allow the motorcyclists through.

    It would be great if this could be the law of the land, but we all know that will never happen...
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    I think the trend towards legislation favoring self driving cars will eventually kill lane splitting altogether, as a motorcycle coming through the lanes from the rear is something that they can not recognize easily and the cars are programmed to stay in the center of the lane. They will get confused. It will be easier to ban lane splitting than have the cars recognize the situation.



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    Registered User daveredman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 98lee View Post
    ...........
    Thanks for the great explanation.

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    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 98lee View Post
    I think the trend towards legislation favoring self driving cars will eventually kill lane splitting altogether, as a motorcycle coming through the lanes from the rear is something that they can not recognize easily and the cars are programmed to stay in the center of the lane. They will get confused. It will be easier to ban lane splitting than have the cars recognize the situation.



    So true. Though CA waited so long for this to be legalized, I think the clock is already ticking on it's sunset.

    Visiting the San Fran area more frequently now (with my daughter in seminary in Berkeley), I mix it up with CA traffic there and on occasion, in the San Diego area (brother-in-law lives in Mira Mesa).

    I have to chuckle that some motorists actually believe that bikes are going follow this law, which states:

    [B]"Do not travel more than 10 MPH faster than the flow of traffic."

    "Do not split lanes when traffic is moving 30 MPH or faster"


    "Ride a motorcycle between lanes of stopped or slower (<30 MPH) traffic."

    I observed all of these tenants violated on a consistent basis - it's basically a free-for-all on the highways, albeit in the mantra of 'safety.'

    Good Luck.
    Kevin Greenwald - MSF Lead RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenwald View Post
    So true. Though CA waited so long for this to be legalized, I think the clock is already ticking on it's sunset.

    Visiting the San Fran area more frequently now (with my daughter in seminary in Berkeley), I mix it up with CA traffic there and on occasion, in the San Diego area (brother-in-law lives in Mira Mesa).

    I have to chuckle that some motorists actually believe that bikes are going follow this law, which states:

    [B]"Do not travel more than 10 MPH faster than the flow of traffic."

    "Do not split lanes when traffic is moving 30 MPH or faster"


    "Ride a motorcycle between lanes of stopped or slower (<30 MPH) traffic."

    I observed all of these tenants violated on a consistent basis - it's basically a free-for-all on the highways, albeit in the mantra of 'safety.'

    Good Luck.

    Kevin,

    While I'm sure you saw what you think are "violations", at this point they are only recommendations. No LAW exists specifying those speeds.
    The LAW codifies lane splitting/sharing as a legal practice and recommends that the CHP come out with recommendations.

    I would imagine that someone from a small town like Sheboygan, WI would see traffic in ANY large metropolitan area as a "free for all". But those that live in these areas are coping the best we can given the millions of cars on the roads all trying to get home and it actually works pretty well. Do we have some individuals who push the limits? Yes. Do we have some individuals who are just plain crazy? Yes. But we also have a huge majority of very good drivers managing a couple hours a day, in very heavy traffic, looking out for each other, making room for lane splitters, giving room for the 18 wheeler to make his lane change, alternating at lane mergers, etc. I would GUESS that California ranks Ok in the accidents PER MILES DRIVEN.

    It's a good thing that small town residents are ALL perfect law abiders. No speeders. No crime. It must have made your tenure as an LEO pretty boring. But that's a good thing. We all want to see people safe. I live in a very low crime area with a decent size police force and I see the officers just cruising around 99% of the time. I like it like that!



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    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by 98lee View Post
    Kevin,

    While I'm sure you saw what you think are "violations", at this point they are only recommendations. No LAW exists specifying those speeds.
    The LAW codifies lane splitting/sharing as a legal practice and recommends that the CHP come out with recommendations.

    I would imagine that someone from a small town like Sheboygan, WI would see traffic in ANY large metropolitan area as a "free for all". But those that live in these areas are coping the best we can given the millions of cars on the roads all trying to get home and it actually works pretty well. Do we have some individuals who push the limits? Yes. Do we have some individuals who are just plain crazy? Yes. But we also have a huge majority of very good drivers managing a couple hours a day, in very heavy traffic, looking out for each other, making room for lane splitters, giving room for the 18 wheeler to make his lane change, alternating at lane mergers, etc. I would GUESS that California ranks Ok in the accidents PER MILES DRIVEN.

    It's a good thing that small town residents are ALL perfect law abiders. No speeders. No crime. It must have made your tenure as an LEO pretty boring. But that's a good thing. We all want to see people safe. I live in a very low crime area with a decent size police force and I see the officers just cruising around 99% of the time. I like it like that!



    Hmmmmmmmmm......... ....... "no speeders, no crime..." "my tenure boring" and "no experience with big-city traffic?"

    Not even close to describing my 32+ years on the streets - nice try.

    And if all you have is 'guidelines' to regulate this law, then that explains the 'free for all' operation I observed in both San Diego and San Fran.
    Kevin Greenwald - MSF Lead RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
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  13. #13
    What is clear from this, and previous discussions is that Kevin detests the notion of lane sharing and many riders in California have been doing it for years and like it. The argument over whether it is legal, or just not illegal is over. But that didn't change Kevin's mind about its merits, nor the California rider's minds about its merits either.
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenwald View Post
    I have to chuckle that some motorists actually believe that bikes are going follow this law, which states:

    "Do not travel more than 10 MPH faster than the flow of traffic."

    "Do not split lanes when traffic is moving 30 MPH or faster"

    "Ride a motorcycle between lanes of stopped or slower (<30 MPH) traffic."

    I observed all of these tenants violated on a consistent basis
    I'm not sure how someone with a law enforcement career behind them, and your credentials with the MSF could get this so wrong. The law DOES NOT, as you claim, state these things. The law defines lane splitting, allows the CHP to look into 'best practices,' and codifies that it is not illegal. That's it. At one time there were guidelines on the DMV website, but when it was pointed out that there was no scientific support or consensus for those guidelines, they were deleted.

    In a CHP brochure written with input from the CMSP (California Motorcyclist Safety Program) they are termed "safety tips." They are not codified in the law, as you claimed. http://lanesplittingislegal.com/asse...g-Brochure.pdf

    They can also be found on a publication from the CMSP, called "Lane Splitting General Guidelines" http://lanesplittingislegal.com/asse...California.pdf

    Notice the use of the key words, "tips" and "guidelines."

    The bill that the law came from "permits the CHP to develop lane splitting educational safety guidelines in consultation with other state traffic safety agencies and at least one organization focused on motorcycle safety." http://patch.com/california/banning-...t-changes-lane

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    Quote Originally Posted by beemerdood View Post
    I'm not sure how someone with a law enforcement career behind them, and your credentials with the MSF could get this so wrong. The law DOES NOT, as you claim, state these things. The law defines lane splitting, allows the CHP to look into 'best practices,' and codifies that it is not illegal. That's it. At one time there were guidelines on the DMV website, but when it was pointed out that there was no scientific support or consensus for those guidelines, they were deleted.

    In a CHP brochure written with input from the CMSP (California Motorcyclist Safety Program) they are termed "safety tips." They are not codified in the law, as you claimed. http://lanesplittingislegal.com/asse...g-Brochure.pdf

    They can also be found on a publication from the CMSP, called "Lane Splitting General Guidelines" http://lanesplittingislegal.com/asse...California.pdf

    Notice the use of the key words, "tips" and "guidelines."

    The bill that the law came from "permits the CHP to develop lane splitting educational safety guidelines in consultation with other state traffic safety agencies and at least one organization focused on motorcycle safety." http://patch.com/california/banning-...t-changes-lane
    Actually, if you look, I already corrected myself in Post #12. You're late to the party.

    And like I commented - if all you have to work with is "guidelines" and "recommendations," that explains much.
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