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

  1. #31
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by henzilla View Post
    I'm not going to quote quotes as I mentioned this topic has been ying-yanged to the proverbial beating of a dead horse many times.

    My riding started in Houston, have travelled thru and played in heavy traffic across the lower 48 and realized how different drivers and riders are in every state. Had many drivers open doors, move over and self police the fast lane enough to get that as well.
    Have family in SoCal, been there enough times to understand the dynamics. Have many cruiser friends who do envision their chance to do what I stated in my filtering scenario...and witnessed a very large group doing just that on the PCH passing thru Malibu thru at least four signals so I'll believe some think it's cool to do that.

    The self driving car dynamic is fairly valid at this point and not everything that rolls in CA drives legislation elsewhere...Recreational pot just doesn't seem to be headed our way anytime soon from the rants of our current folks in charge

    Having been keeping up with most of the TX bill filings and chit chat for many years, I can assure you I understand the politics of motorcycle and bicycle related reasons and arguments. Freedom of choice sometimes needs a little help because the "It won't happen to me " are exactly who it happens to. For some reason, seat belts come to mind here

    I wore helmets, not worn helmets, worn helmets because of the back and forth of the laws years ago...now I am older and wiser and will ride accordingly. I wore a jean vest and hung with a different crowd in my twenties...I have heard it all.

    And on skill levels and experience, some folks do what peer pressure drives them to do and they should learn how their bikes and their brain reacts to traffic, twisty roads, and high speed traveling amongst bigger vehicles before jumping in full bore. Watching inexperienced riders denying countersteering in a curve and straddling the double yellow as they make a five point turn attempt is just friggin scary ...but it doesn't stop them as you mentioned.

    I was trying to lighten the tone with my Holiday Inn quip...as these threads go personal way too often and needing to put my moderator hat on and take me away from a chance to ride makes me sad to say the least.
    It's OK we disagree and share opinions...trying to herd or correct the rest of us is futile in spite of perceived good intentions

    Headed out for a long Airhead ride today...be cool
    Totally agree.

    Any motorcyclist is welcome to visit Wisconsin and after touring our state, is completely entitled to have an opinion on our traffic flow, traffic laws, guidelines, enforcement and so forth.

    No one has to live here to form cognitive thoughts about those issues, or hold firm to what they think.

    With that, I'll join Steve (figuratively - he's out on his '74/6 right now in far better weather than I enjoy) and head off to the race track (Road America) to perform some of my administrative duties as Lead RiderCoach of the motorcycle training program.

    Might not sound like fun to many, but I enjoy the challenges.

    Adios.
    Last edited by greenwald; 02-15-2017 at 09:36 PM.
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  2. #32
    I'm kinda saddened by the direction this thread turned.... at least California is acknowledging legal lane splitting with Police recommendations.

    Now related but off topic.. As for where I'm currently living... the rules are there are no rules... you see a gap you go for it.. if you make eye contact then you've given up your right of way.... first into the round about wins.. or the first to chicken out gives up the right of way... there is no que or merging, just rush to the front and jam your car in.



    I'm not saying it's right or wrong, but you have to adapt to local driving habits. Legal or not. Even if they are illegal local LE doesn't enforce it. Here, lane splitting is normal... for cars, motorcycles, bicycles and random pedestrians just walking out into traffic. It's a way of life, and everyone does it or has grown up around it. They expect it to happen, so at least cage drivers tend to be more aware of bikes and scooters splitting lanes.

    This collage pic is from my old bike, not the beemer (though you'd be amazed on what and how the locals do with big beasts), but an example of what it is like first hand navigating the crazy...
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  3. #33
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    Lane splitting/lane sharing is the rule rather than the exception in much of the world right now. In some countries it's relatively civilized, in some it's TRULY a free–for–all, much worse than the one described by another poster here, as evidenced by the video of "Traffic in Palermo" that jpl77 posted.

    But when this is discussed on these forums, people who should know better, get upset and lose the ability to have a polite, professional discussion about it.

    That doesn't change the fact that many times, most of us have seen cars pulled to the side of the road with drivers exchanging information because someone didn't stop in time to prevent them from running into the rear end of another car. Put a motorcycle in, as the struck vehicle, and there's a good chance we're talking about a trip to the hospital. Add in the fact that nowadays, we're seeing a much higher percentage of drivers distracted by their devices and staying in traffic, rather than lane sharing, becomes more problematic.

    I think that lane sharing, when done within intelligent guidelines is far safer than staying in traffic when it's moving slowly or is bumper to bumper.

    The most recent study that I've seen comes from the Safe Transportation Research & Education Center, University of California, Berkeley, and was done in 2015. They studied almost 6,000 motorcycle accidents. About 1,000 of there were LSM (lane splitting motorcyclists). Here's a comment from the Abstract.
    Lane-splitting appears to be a relatively safe motorcycle riding strategy if done in traffic moving at 50 MPH or less and if motorcyclists do not exceed the speed of other vehicles by more than 15 MPH. A significant number of motorcyclists lane-split in fast-moving traffic or at excessive speed differentials. These riders could lower their risk of injury by restricting the environments in which they lane-split and by reducing their speed differential when they do choose to lanesplit. [Emphasis is mine]
    http://www.ots.ca.gov/pdf/Publicatio...afety-2015.pdf
    For those opposed to lane sharing, I suggest a read of the study. It might open a few eyes. It's fairly short, the "Results" section takes only 4 pages.

    For those who don't like reading such things, highlights of the study were published in several of the popular motorcycle magazines. Here's a link to one of them. http://www.cycleworld.com/2015/06/02...s-rider-saftey

    All the expertise in the world, means nothing when the actual facts of the accidents are analyzed .

    In these discussions, I never think that I'm going to change the minds of those against whom I'm debating. Often they have their minds made up and don't want to be confused with the facts. But there are many on the fence, and it's for those folks that I spend my time.
    Last edited by beemerdood; 02-16-2017 at 01:56 AM. Reason: To tone down the rhetoric. Apologies to all.

  4. #34
    We have the lane splitting/sharing law currently working in California. Some more data will be collected over the next few years. We will get a chance to see what happens? For now, the fight is over for those that think it is great and for those that don't like it. I live in California and personally don't do a lot of lane splitting. It just depends on the situation. Mostly it is my lack of skill and good judgement while on two wheels that stops me. Where I think it is unsafe to pass others do safely. Were they good or just lucky? If I have to get into heavy traffic, I prefer more lug nuts. For me, motorcycle riding in stop and go traffic is not fun! I just avoid it when ever possible. My choice. I'm retired. I got more time than money..........
    Last edited by EvryDayRide; 02-16-2017 at 03:41 AM. Reason: No further rhetoric needed. lol

  5. #35
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  6. #36
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Man View Post
    First of all, a 'shout-out' to the Moderators. They put up with a lot, and now that certain rhetoric has been toned down (thank you), this thread survives, as it should. Perhaps it can still flourish.

    I'm sure many operators in CA are curious how to take this new law out for a spin, and yet abide by its parameters. Continue to comment or solicit other opinions - just remember, short of physics, nearly everything in life is an opinion - even mine.


    Beemerdood did all of us a great service by referencing the UC-Berkeley study, as it is a wealth of data. We who sit on MoSac here in WI (Motorcycle Safety Advisory Committee) report to our Governor and have copies of the study (from May 29th, 2015) to peruse its contents. Though 32 pages in length, it's really 19 pages of discussion followed by 19 tables of information. This information includes such a wide variety of variables, it wouldn't pay to list them all here - do as Beemerdood suggested and look at the study itself.

    While the authors (3 individuals from UC-Berkeley) lean to endorsing lane-splitting from a perspective of less severity of injury, the study does raise some red flags insomuch as of the collisions studied (5,969) involve 17% (997) lane-splitting accidents. In my little 'universe of motorcycle traffic safety,' that's too high.

    It also reported that among the driving public in CA, disapproval was significant, which PSA's will have to address in the future, if lane-splitting is to thrive there, sharing the roads with those same respondents. 61% strongly disapproved of the practice, with an additional 48% believing it illegal or unsure of its legality. Now that it is the 'law of the land' in CA, the "48%" could be considered essentially nullified.

    When looking at the data, I could not help but recall one of my favorite quotes from Mark Twain: "There are lies, there are damned lies, and then there are statistics!"

    Examine information at your disposal, recognize that data selectively used to support an opinion does not equal 'facts,' and keep the rest of us informed as to how this practice matures under the statutory requirements (and guidelines) of AB51.

    Ride safe, ride often, and if you dare, ride skinny between traffic.
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  7. #37
    The fact that Berkeley conducted the study kinda makes me laugh out loud .
    Gail Thorne
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  8. #38
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shortythorne View Post
    The fact that Berkeley conducted the study kinda makes me laugh out loud .
    I know what you mean.

    Spent a week out there a couple of months ago - strange place, strange people.

    But all kidding aside, the UC-Berkeley study was done by a gentleman with a PhD, and two research assistants, one of whom has a Masters Degree. They collected a voluminous amount of data to support their opinions.
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    FUKENGRUVEN SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    I spent seven years as faculty at two universities, four as a department chair and then 12 years as a Associate Vice Chancellor. PhD.s do not always mean as much as one would hope. Particularly in the humanities and social sciences.
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  10. #40
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akbeemer View Post
    I spent seven years as faculty at two universities, four as a department chair and then 12 years as a Associate Vice Chancellor. PhD.s do not always mean as much as one would hope. Particularly in the humanities and social sciences.
    Don't disagree. I was a Field Training Officer on my department for 4 years, and used to comment to my wife that I'd just spent another 8-hr. day with a "book-smart/street-stupid" college grad with a BA in Criminal Justice.

    Well aware that titles and prefix letters and rank don't always equate with competence, and how education and intelligence are not automatically synonymous.

    Just giving the paper's author the benefit of the doubt, until he gives me a compelling reason to downgrade my confidence in him.

    Thanks for all you did. Cops, firefighters and our military get that verbal 'pat on the back' all the time, but academics play a critical role in the success of our nation as well.
    Last edited by greenwald; 02-17-2017 at 01:55 PM.
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  11. #41
    Still Wondering mika'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.
    I am not certain I agree with your assessment. I believe as self driving cars become the norm and more sophisticated future MC riders will take more and more advantage of lane splitting. One of the difficulties with the current generation of these cars is the standardization and programming of the rules of the road, and how to apply them in the real world.

    Lane splitting will be one of the future selling points to MC travel becoming the motorized two wheeled version of bicycles and the advantages they have in various urban settings.In the present the rules of the road being developed are v1.0 and we are state law alpha or beta testers.

    I have split lanes in states and countries where it is acceptable. I did not feel comfortable doing it because of my Fly-Over-Land cycling roots. Heck we havenít figured out how to zipper merge. Even if it were legal in my corner of F-O-L cage pilots take great umbrage at riders doing it and you could quickly find yourself arguing with the mud flaps of a jacked up F150, Chevy, CMC or ominously named Ram 4X4, determined to use their plow mounting frame or bush bumper complete with winch, to teach you their rules of the road.

    I understand the passion these discussions generate for both sides of the argument. I donít get to cranked up either way. I do believe this is just the beginning of sorting out the rules of the future road.
    Pass the mustard and UP THE REVOLUTION!

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenwald View Post
    I'm sure many operators in CA are curious how to take this new law out for a spin, and yet abide by its parameters. Continue to comment or solicit other opinions - just remember, short of physics, nearly everything in life is an opinion - even mine.
    My guess is that those who have been lane sharing using their common sense will continue to do so. Those who have not been using their common sense, will continue in that vein. But soon, when the parameters become codified, some of the second group will probably slow down.

    Quote Originally Posted by greenwald View Post
    While the authors (3 individuals from UC-Berkeley)
    The fact that the study came from Berkeley (aka Bezerkeley Ė due to its high incidence of extreme POV's) makes it unattractive and less confidence inspiring to some. But the fact is that UC Berkeley is academically, one of the most highly regarded institutions of learning and teaching in the country.

    Quote Originally Posted by greenwald View Post
    lean to endorsing lane-splitting from a perspective of less severity of injury, the study does raise some red flags insomuch as of the collisions studied (5,969) involve 17% (997) lane-splitting accidents. In my little 'universe of motorcycle traffic safety,' that's too high.
    I agree that 17% is too high. I think that 1% is too high! But since motorcycling is by definition a dangerous avocation, there are going to be accidents anyplace that bikes are ridden. I've witnessed both sides of the coin and it's not hard to see where the accidents are occurring. Riders who have been obeying the suggestions to keep their differential speeds within 15 MPH of the cars they're passing and have been doing it only when traffic slows to below 50mph are far safer than those who are riding faster and who are doing it when traffic is moving 'normally.' I predict that the law will soon contain some sort of guidance as to differential speeds and maximum speed of traffic.

    When the data is broken down by speed differential, it shows that the higher the differential, the more likely the rider is to crash and the more likely he is to be injured. The study revealed that when lane sharing is done with a speed differential of 15 mph when traffic is moving at 50 mph or slower, that lane sharing "appears to be a relatively safe motorcycle riding strategy."

    There is no shortage of YouTube videos showing insanity on the topic of lane sharing. I remember seeing one, from Russia I think of a biker rolling at 120 mph (no, not kph) through fairly heavy traffic, probably moving at the legal maximum (whatever that happened to be). THAT GUY is the one that heavily represents the 17% of lane sharers who get into accidents. If traffic is moving at the maximum, legal speed (although it usually is about 5mph above that) there's not much reason for bikers to lane share. Yet, some will. THOSE people are also heavily represented in the 17%. As we know, speed not only increases the rate of accidents, but it adds to the likelihood and severity of injuries that may occur during them.

    Quote Originally Posted by greenwald View Post
    It also reported that among the driving public in CA, disapproval was significant,
    On the second goĖround, when speed differential and traffic speed limitations were removed (because they were not supported by science or consensus) the law passed without the slightest bit of opposition, in the Assembly 69-0. It was quickly signed by the Governor. The sponsor of the bill, Bill Quirk, said, "the proposed law had many positives, including reducing traffic congestion and promoting safety. No issue is more important to me than roadway safety," http://www.latimes.com/politics/esse...htmlstory.html

    The LA Times reported that it "sailed through the legislative process." (same link)

    That same news story says, "Other groups and individuals, who believe that lane splitting is dangerous regardless of the speed, objected to the proposal on principle." But it does not say that the opposition was, as you claim "significant."

    That same link has a video of a rider splitting lanes in heavy freeway traffic in Los Angeles that might interest some.

    This reporter, http://thedailybanter.com/2016/08/la...al-california/ sure thinks it's a bad idea but look at what I've emboldened in his writing as to what he thinks lane sharing is. "If this practice sounds dangerous, trust me, it sure as hell feels that way when a motorcycle comes barreling past you, inches away from your car or maybe your left arm, at three times your speed while you're moving slowly or are stopped altogether. ..."

    This reporter obviously has a problem discerning between reality and perception when he writes that lane sharing "sure as hells feels [dangerous]." He's talking about his FEELINGS, not reality. This has become standard for the snowflakes of today's politically correct world. FEELINGS, are more important to them than reality, it seems. Lots of people these days, start a sentence with "I feel like ..." when what they really mean is "I think that ..." I think it's cheap insurance because feelings aren't wrong, but opinions might be, but that's a whole 'nother discussion.

    But this reporter continues on to bash the new law with a rant about illegal behavior and trying to equate it to the new law. He's wrong when on both counts when he writes this, referring to the limiting of speed differential to 15 (as the earliest version of the law did) "... any driver in this state -- certainly in gridlocked Southern California -- will tell you that a prohibition on motorcycles traveling more than 15 miles-per-hour more than the traffic around it likely won't make a dent in the number of guys hauling ass through a space that's sometimes a mere three feet apart and is constantly fluctuating. What's more, the legal adoption of lane-splitting will shift the burden more to the car drivers when it comes to any potential accidents, since it will then be codified that drivers have to stay rigidly hyper-aware of people coming up along their sides, in their very lanes, much faster than they're traveling"

    Once the law (as passed it does not contain any speed differential or limiting speed for traffic Ė that's to be studied by the CHP in conjunction with motorcycle safety groups) does contain those restrictions, it means that no longer will an officer have to use his discretion and judgment as to whether a motorcyclist is unsafe, if he's over the speed differential, he can be cited. AND the "burden" for drivers who change lanes has ALWAYS been on them to do so safely. If the driver is continuing straight in his lane, there's no worries about what's going on in the split. A straw man argument if ever there was one. It's a shame, what passes for journalism these days. But thatís ANOTHER discussion too. LOL.

    Quote Originally Posted by greenwald View Post
    which PSA's will have to address in the future, if lane-splitting is to thrive there, sharing the roads with those same respondents.
    Since lane sharing has been legal here for decades, the CHP took the position that since it's not banned by law, it's not illegal (an example of how government is supposed to work), I don't know if there will be the same amount of PSA's as would be necessary in states that have taken the opposite viewpoint.

    Quote Originally Posted by greenwald View Post
    61% strongly disapproved of the practice, with an additional 48% believing it illegal or unsure of its legality. Now that it is the 'law of the land' in CA, the "48%" could be considered essentially nullified.
    Can you link us to a primary source for these figures? In almost the same number that you cite motorists who usually drive alone in their cars, "disapprove" of car pool lanes. Yet, there's no shortage of those lanes in CA. For awhile traffic engineers would convert existing fast lanes to car pool lanes, until that was stopped by a lawsuit. Now if they want such lanes, they have to be created anew or when the freeway is first built. It's thought by many that these lanes are just an excuse for social engineering, an effort to force people to ride with others, to reduce congestion.

    Quote Originally Posted by greenwald View Post
    When looking at the data, I could not help but recall one of my favorite quotes from Mark Twain: "There are lies, there are damned lies, and then there are statistics!"
    Mark Twain was one of the greatest authors and social commentators of his time. He also wrote about legislators, "... suppose you were an idiot... And suppose you were a member of Congress, but I repeat myself." But legislators, like scientific studies and the statistics they generate, are necessary if we are to understand the mechanics of our daily lives and why things happen as they do.

    If you can show us where those who prepared the study, were in error, lied or mislead, please do so. Absent any such showing, we should accept the stats and what they show. The results of the study were so clear that this statement appears in the abstract, "Lane-splitting appears to be a relatively safe motorcycle riding strategy if done in traffic moving at 50 MPH or less and if motorcyclists do not exceed the speed of other vehicles by more than 15 MPH." [Emphasis is mine]

    Quote Originally Posted by greenwald View Post
    Examine information at your disposal, recognize that data selectively used to support an opinion does not equal 'facts,'
    If you can show us that this data was used "selectively" please do. Absent that, we have nothing but the unsupported insinuation that somehow it's wrong or should not be considered, a typical debate tactic when one really has nothing of substance to present.

    So far I've only seen two objections to lane sharing. The first comes from the drivers that we ride past as they sit in traffic. Some of them are outraged that someone seems to be 'cutting in line' ahead of them. They think that they are stuck and so, everyone else be stuck too! This is stupidity and selfishness of the highest order. Every one of them, if traffic were to suddenly open up, would proceed forward. The fact is that for a narrower vehicle that a motorcycle is, traffic IS open. Some of them are 'afraid' that we might damage their mirrors or their arms that they let dangle outside their vehicles. Yet consider the car pool lanes. Often traffic to the right of them is completely stopped, yet the car pool lane is moving at 60+mph! These same folks exhibit no such 'fear' from vehicles only a paint stripe away from them in the car pool lane. Vehicle that are far heavier than any motorcycle, and would do far more damage than just to snap off a mirror, if they were to suddenly veer to the right. There's more to it than just a fear of having a mirror broken off. I think, the psychology of having someone move ahead of them, when they are trapped by traffic plays a much larger part. Time after time we see responses to queries asking about lane sharing laws that go something like "They should wait their turn." and "They should behave like everyone else." and "I don't think it's fair."

    The second objection is a FEELING, that it's wrong, that somehow gaining an advantage of a few feet or a few miles is somehow unfair. I've not seen anything real as an objection to it. The stats support it and say that it's safer than sitting in traffic. Laws should not be based on feelings, but on reality. Please realize that Iím not talking about idiots who blast past stop vehicles at very high speed differentials or those who do the same when traffic is flowing well and quickly. I'm ONLY talking about lane sharing as done within reasonable guidelines.

    Quote Originally Posted by greenwald View Post
    Ride safe, ride often, and if you dare, ride skinny between traffic.
    If I "dare?" Hey, I'm already a thrill seeker, I ride a motorcycle! I've been lane sharing for 50+ years LOL

    But it's kinda hard for me to "ride skinny." I'm a wideĖbody myself, and I ride an R1200RT with bags and sometimes the large top box. On another note, I recently saw a thread on another forum asking what was 'the best motorcycle to use for lane sharing?' My response, would have been, "the one you're riding."

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    Quote Originally Posted by shortythorne View Post
    The fact that Berkeley conducted the study kinda makes me laugh out loud .
    Do you have anything that contradicts or reveals issues with the study or the findings?

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    Quote Originally Posted by beemerdood View Post
    Do you have anything that contradicts or reveals issues with the study or the findings?
    HEY! Quit pickin' on Gail. You yourself mentioned the moniker of "Bezerkeley" in reference to UC-Berkeley's colorful history. LOL

    On a more serious note, for a moment I thought we might actually re-engage in discussion about an interesting development in the motorcycle traffic arena. You raised some interesting points and I enjoyed reading them.

    But then you drifted back to "...straw man" barbs or "...a typical debate tactic when one really has nothing of substance to present."

    I will refer to a few points you made, but refuse to get dragged into posturing.

    Despite UC-Berkeley's reputation (which, like it or not, includes the 'bad' with the 'good'), my daughter attends some classes there as part of her seminary studies, so I'm hardly on the offensive against them. I believe I was most complimentary of the authors of this study.

    I have little respect for most legislatures, so their unanimous passing of AB51 does not impress me. California is a very liberal state (except when it comes to emission standards!), so what they rally behind, I never accept carte blanche as "a good idea" without some serious reflection. The 61% 'objection' to lane-splitting didn't involve your state legislators - it came from the caged motorists you will be surrounded by on the freeways.

    I agree with your thoughts of "...what passes for journalism these days." I think the reporter's assessment of what he saw that day was biased by his feelings/fears. But keep in mind that while the UC-Berkeley report collected data (I never implied the data was faulty), the conclusions drawn did little to convince me this can flourish as a safe practice, even now codified - only that it's a 'safe' practice at very specific speed diferentials that I view as impossible to enforce in heavy traffic. Good luck to the CHP on that task.

    Essentially, most of the UC-Berkeley report hinges on a very specific 'speed differential.' I doubt that there can be effective compliance or enforcement of that 'window.'

    You've been lane-splitting your entire riding experience, believe in it, and will continue to do so. We all get that. Any criticism - any 'attack' on lane-splitting is directed at the practice - not the practitioners.

    Ride safe, ride often, and if (like me as well) it's too late to ride skinny, ride lucky.
    Last edited by greenwald; 02-17-2017 at 10:04 PM.
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  15. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by beemerdood View Post
    Do you have anything that contradicts or reveals issues with the study or the findings?
    Yea,dood...common sense. Lane splitting is completely safe until it isn't.
    Gail Thorne
    2017 F700GS

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