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Old 06-12-2013, 06:46 PM   #21
ze_Hornet
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Default Re: Your opinions (and tips) on lane-splitting

Some good advice on this thread.

As for CA I did some research about lane splitting a while ago and found that its not per say 'legal' (meaning they don't have a regulation that says lane splitting is allowed), but rather it's simply not 'illegal' with the current laws on the books. Other states have active laws that either target lane splitting, or laws that prohibit any motor vehicle from occupying the same space as another (which inadvertently targets motorcycles since we're motor vehicles).

I forget which state it was, but a story another rider told me once was that they got nailed for 7, yes seven, improper passing citations because they were allowed to receive one violation for each car they were observed to have lane split.

When I spent time overseas lane splitting (or traffic filtering) is expected and common, and drivers in general are more aware of bikes. From what I'm hearing its similar in CA. I've noticed though in NY that the number of bikes has increased over the past years and at least some drivers are paying more attention.

Last edited by ze_Hornet; 06-12-2013 at 06:49 PM. Reason: added ticket story.
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Old 06-12-2013, 08:13 PM   #22
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Default Re: Your opinions (and tips) on lane-splitting

This is something that I have thought about this off and on. Does anybody think that it would be possible to legalize or at least allow lane splitting under certain conditions in other states? I honestly believe that it may be possible to one day do this but that it would have to be slowly eased into use (i.e limit it to stopped traffic and max speed of ~15mph or something and only in good weather during the day). But the major hurdle would actually be informing people of the change and getting cagers to realize that it is legal and not react violently when they see it. That would be the real problem assuming you can get a law pass any state legislature.

Another interesting point is that while I am clearly pro-lane splitting, I have also talked to riders here that are against allowing it. They make the claim of safety issues but these are sometimes the same folks that don't even wear helmets so that argument sounds weak to me. Also, nobody would force you to lane split. Does anybody here feel strongly against allowing it? I have more important things to occupy myself with than struggling to change state laws but am curious the reasons why people are resistant to this.

NVP, I heard the same thing about the overheating so that means it must be true. Honestly, I could believe that. I know that sometimes I would be wringing the Hornet out in the Malibu canyons and the temp would still be right in the mid range with no fan on. Then as soon as I got back into the city and started hitting stoplights the temp would climb to near the red even though I was riding easy. I did blow the fuse for the fan once and not realize it until the temp needle was on the border of the red. That was scary.

Oh and SLC, I am also one of those bicyclists that keeps up with or passes traffic from time to time on my commute. That is definitely a time to be covering the brakes.
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Old 06-12-2013, 09:49 PM   #23
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Default Re: Your opinions (and tips) on lane-splitting

i've thought about talking to my local gooberment about specifically allowing it as well, i think the trick would be public awareness in the form of commercials, what holds me back is these days people are looking for any reason at all to get all super fired up about any thing and everything, i can only imagine the hate you have to struggle through to get it passed and the fall out of the public awareness campaign, (not to mention the cost) im not sure im up for that kind of fight.
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:47 AM   #24
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Default Re: Your opinions (and tips) on lane-splitting

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This is something that I have thought about this off and on. Does anybody think that it would be possible to legalize or at least allow lane splitting under certain conditions in other states?
Other states, such as Arizona and Texas, have had lawmakers attempt to pass legislation to legalize lane-splitting at stoplights when traffic is at a standstill. They were unsuccessful.

In AZ, Gov Jan Brewer vetoed the bill which would have allowed for lane-splitting at stop lights.
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:48 AM   #25
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Default Re: Your opinions (and tips) on lane-splitting

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Originally Posted by LedZep View Post
This is something that I have thought about this off and on. Does anybody think that it would be possible to legalize or at least allow lane splitting under certain conditions in other states? I honestly believe that it may be possible to one day do this but that it would have to be slowly eased into use (i.e limit it to stopped traffic and max speed of ~15mph or something and only in good weather during the day). But the major hurdle would actually be informing people of the change and getting cagers to realize that it is legal and not react violently when they see it. That would be the real problem assuming you can get a law pass any state legislature.
Agree with this. I see no problem lane splitting during bumper to bumper traffic. I don't agree with high speed lane splitting. The risk is high, and the reward is extremely low.
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:55 AM   #26
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Default Re: Your opinions (and tips) on lane-splitting

I've posted on this topic before, but I routinely lane split at 45 to 65 mph when cars are also moving at a similar, albeit slower, pace. I know that sounds ridiculous at first, but lane splitting at low speeds when traffic is really congested is not necessarily safer. In fact, I think a collision is more likely to occur*. When the freeways are jammed, that's when cagers get frustrated and that's when you see people jerking their cars into the next lane without warning as soon as a gap opens up.

That's when you have to be the most cautious. If all the cars you are lane splitting past are sitting or moving directly next to each other, you're mostly in the clear... mostly. However, if one lane is moving faster than the other, prepare for a car from the slower lane to immediately jump into the other lane suddenly without signaling as soon as a gap opens.

When cars are moving at a good pace, people don't often make these kinds of sudden moves, and it's typically not as dangerous to lane split at higher speeds than it may initially seem.

That's how I feel, anyways. I used to be a motorcycle courier here in LA. I have way more miles of lane splitting under my butt than I would have cared to have logged.



* I realize the potential for harm/injury is greater at higher speeds, but all things considered, I feel better about lane splitting when traffic is moving at 45 mph than I do when it's moving at 15 mph.
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Last edited by LeatherWings; 06-13-2013 at 03:37 PM. Reason: re-worded a few statements
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Old 06-13-2013, 12:10 PM   #27
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Default Re: Your opinions (and tips) on lane-splitting

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I've posted on this topic before, but I routinely lane split at 45 to 65 mph when cars are also moving at a similar, albeit slower, pace. I know that sounds ridiculous at first, but lane splitting at low speeds when traffic is really congested is not necessarily safer. In fact, I think it's more dangerous*. When the freeways are jammed, that's when cagers get frustrated and that's when you see people jerking their cars into the next lane without warning as soon as a gap opens up.
I think we are throwing the word "safe" around inaccurately. Low speed lane splitting is more prone to accidents due to what you described. I agree. But those accidents will result in relatively less in terms of damage. Where as for high speed it may be less prone to accidents. But the potential damage is much greater.

My point is that if the traffic is flowing smoothly, why even bother to lane split other than special situations where you need to get out of danger? There is no efficiency gains.
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Old 06-13-2013, 03:29 PM   #28
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Default Re: Your opinions (and tips) on lane-splitting

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My point is that if the traffic is flowing smoothly, why even bother to lane split other than special situations where you need to get out of danger? There is no efficiency gains.
Because I don't perceive the risk to be nearly as high as you do... and because it's fun.
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Old 06-17-2013, 12:08 PM   #29
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Default Re: Your opinions (and tips) on lane-splitting

I was stuck in traffic on the 405 over the weekend (between the 101 at 10), that was barely moving. I watched bikes filter through between the carpool and left lane. Most were probably only 10-15 mph faster than the rest of us, who were moving along about 10mph, but there were a small minority who flew through at high speeds that scared me just watching them. One guy on a Harley got squeezed right in front of me and almost lost a mirror.
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Old 06-29-2013, 08:16 PM   #30
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Default Re: Your opinions (and tips) on lane-splitting

I'll occasionally filter at traffic lights, usually in first gear. Things that I look for... getting doored, cars trying to squeeze into the front, and on coming traffic turning into driveways. Buses and trucks will also obscure your view of any jaywalking pedestrians, especially in NY.
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Old 06-29-2013, 10:40 PM   #31
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Default Re: Your opinions (and tips) on lane-splitting

the last time I was in SoCal on a bike I was lane spliting at 70+mph..I just simply didn't slow down when traffic was at a crawl or was doing 70. This was over 5yrs ago. The most dangerous times to lane split on the freeway is when traffic is slowing down from higher speeds, every one starts jockeying for position so you have all these lane changes going on. I usually let that calm down before I split. Also the most accident prone speed I thinks is around 30-45mph, at these speeds traffic opens up enough that cars can change lanes but it is still tight. At speed limit there is more room and cars don't change lanes as much. Below 30mph there isn't much room for cars to change lanes so the slower it gets I think it actually is pretty safe.
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:56 AM   #32
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Default Re: Your opinions (and tips) on lane-splitting

Lane splitting (called filtering over the pond) is the norm in the UK and it almost feels like a duty to do it. Here's some stuff what I done wrote elsewhere. Some of it might not make sense as it's for the UK, but it gives a flavour of how it is here -

If something doesn't feel right, don't filter. It's served me well so far. Make sure your lights are on. Knock it down a gear to make the exhaust a bit louder. Watch for indicators going on and front wheels being turned out ahead of you. Watch out for other bikes ahead of you, seeing you in their mirrors, deciding to have a filter themselves and pulling out into the gap in front of you. Likewise, when you are the one pulling into the gap, check your mirrors for any bike already there. When in the gap, look up it as far as you can, for vehicles hugging the white line and creating a 'squeeze' or for bends ahead that might create a squeeze. Basically, when filtering, think of the gap you're riding in as another lane and behave as you would in the proper lanes.

The 'good practice' line, from what I've picked up, is -

1. Filtering is not illegal. Riding without due care and attention is.

2. Don't go to the head of the queue at junctions/stops, leave one vehicle in front of you.

3. Don't make the differential between you and the rest of the traffic more than 20mph.

4. Don't filter at more than 40mph.

5. Don't filter coming up to pedestrian crossings.

The thinking behind 2 is to avoid t-boning a car that decides to turn right [that's left for you guys] across you at a junction as you're coming up to it. I've also heard that sitting alongside the car at the front can be seen as 'incitement to race' by plod in some situations. The problem with 2, in say the situation of crossroads is that you can end up hanging out on the wrong side of the road and the safer option is to go to the front. 'Decision call' time.



In the UK, if you follow the above, you should be out of trouble if there is an incident. I know lane splitting is illegal in some U.S states, but over here, that doesn't make sense, especially on our congested rush hour roads. Everyone (well, except those having a bad day) accepts that letting bikes filter makes the traffic flow easier for everyone. One of those rare 'win-wins'.
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Last edited by Creakinbones; 07-01-2013 at 05:14 AM.
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Old 07-21-2013, 12:28 PM   #33
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Default Re: Your opinions (and tips) on lane-splitting

So coming home from San Diego over the weekend, and I am stuck in stop and go traffic with bikes lane splitting to my left, when a Harley rider decides the Chevy pickup next to me is too close to the line for his liking. He makes a fist and punches the passenger mirror, bending it backwards. The pickup driver was furious as you can imagine, and now one more cager will probably hate motorcyclists due to this knuckle dragger. Point is, keep cool when lane splitting and take your time to filter through.
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Old 07-24-2013, 06:49 AM   #34
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Default Re: Your opinions (and tips) on lane-splitting

I actually don't do it when traffic is not moving. I know this sounds crazy but every time I have done it in stopped traffic people get mad and open doors or scoot there cars over. Here in Tennessee we have some great back roads but when your in a city there is traffic every where. So I opt for the 20 min interstate ride, vs the 1 hour back road ride. I split lanes when other cars are running between 50-60. I come upon them watch them for a minute. Then down shift and go by. The speed at which it happens the dirver has no time to react.
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Old 07-24-2013, 12:18 PM   #35
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Default Re: Your opinions (and tips) on lane-splitting

Has anyone ever used the "overheating / battery go dead / clutch hand killing me" excuse when pulled over for lane splitting in a traffic jam ?? I have not been pulled over.. yet but just in "excuses in training" mode for if or when it happens.
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Old 07-24-2013, 04:09 PM   #36
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Default Re: Your opinions (and tips) on lane-splitting

Just would not do it.
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Old 07-25-2013, 12:36 AM   #37
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Default Re: Your opinions (and tips) on lane-splitting

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Has anyone ever used the "overheating / battery go dead / clutch hand killing me" excuse when pulled over for lane splitting in a traffic jam ?? I have not been pulled over.. yet but just in "excuses in training" mode for if or when it happens.

Tell 'em you ended up in the middle after trying to change lanes and the gap you were intending to go into closed. You were simply trying to find another gap to get into. Lame, but worth a try, if you have nothing else.
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Old 07-26-2013, 04:28 PM   #38
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Just would not do it.
But I love it. It pumps my nads.
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Old 07-28-2013, 12:46 AM   #39
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Default Re: Your opinions (and tips) on lane-splitting

if couldn't lane split i wouldn't want to ride. that was one of my main reasons to riding a motorcycle.

i feel bad for everyone out of California who aren't allowed to lane split.
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Old 07-28-2013, 10:24 AM   #40
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Default Re: Your opinions (and tips) on lane-splitting

lol true... you got me there.
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