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Lane Splitting Motorcycles: Legal Or Illegal?

blackjack50

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What do you think? Should a motorcycle be allowed to "lane split" and pass between 2 cars while driving? If you think it should be allowed, what kind of rules or regulations should be on it?

Personally...I think it should be legal at stopped traffic lights. Get the motorcycle out of traffic quickly. And the person performing the maneuver should only be going a certain speed and should only be a certain number of car lengths back (maybe less than 10?).


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chuckiechan

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It's allowed in California below 25mph.

But no one pays attention until someone dies.

I give them extra room if I see them.
 

gdgyva

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dangerous....

especially with the road rage drivers around

saw a guy on a crotch rocket get waylaid by another dude opening his door on his F250 pickup

i guess he thought the cycle should have waited in traffic like everyone else

not sure if it is legal or not....but i see them doing it here all the time

traffic is horrendous, and they cut wherever they can
 

Bodi

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I give them room if i can just to get them outa my area but when i see one hit or get hit my first thought is... what the **** did the idiot expect?
 

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Dangerous and stupid. Every time I hear or read something about watching for motorcycles I get annoyed. Motorcycle riders are the most dangerous drivers I've ever seen.
 

MaggieD

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What do you think? Should a motorcycle be allowed to "lane split" and pass between 2 cars while driving? If you think it should be allowed, what kind of rules or regulations should be on it?

Personally...I think it should be legal at stopped traffic lights. Get the motorcycle out of traffic quickly. And the person performing the maneuver should only be going a certain speed and should only be a certain number of car lengths back (maybe less than 10?).


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I think it should be illegal. Here in Illinois, it infuriates drivers, is dangerous and encourages drivers not to give them their lane. If I'm in bumper to bumper traffic, cars on each side of me in stop and go traffic, i shouldn't have to give a THOUGHT that a motorcycle is in my blind spot between me and the car next to me. Very dangerous, IMO.
 

Aunt Spiker

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What do you think? Should a motorcycle be allowed to "lane split" and pass between 2 cars while driving? If you think it should be allowed, what kind of rules or regulations should be on it?

Personally...I think it should be legal at stopped traffic lights. Get the motorcycle out of traffic quickly. And the person performing the maneuver should only be going a certain speed and should only be a certain number of car lengths back (maybe less than 10?).


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Originally, motorcycles were allowed to lane split at slow speed because, otherwise, they'd overheat. But these days that's not a concern for the most part. Dangerous, of course, it always has been.

But California and other Western states also let bicyclists use the highways (signs to 'share the road' are everywhere on I 40, I 1 and so on). That's more dangerous than allowing lane splitting. And yet - the wrecks that happen routinely aren't from lane splitting.

motorcycles themselves are actually at MORE risk when they're in slow moving traffic - being rear-ended is quite common.

So though I think it's dangerous to split, and rude and annoying as a **** as a driver . . . I'd prefer they split than end up with broken legs and necks because some dumb**** was on their smartphone during the early morning commute.'
 

Skeptic Bob

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I'm fine with in traffic jams moving slower than 10 mph.
 

radcen

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I do not think it should be legal, period.

If it has to be allowed, only if traffic is moving at less than 15 mph.

Either way, strictly enforced.
 

Manc Skipper

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Here its called filtering and it's legal, so long as you're sensible. The UK has a "Highway Code" which is a set of rules, most of which have legal weight. This summary from a lawyer's website, who specialises in motorcycle personal injury claims.

" Filtering through traffic is one of the many advantages of riding a motorcycle, a scooter, or a moped. The downside is that it is one of the most dangerous things you can do. Drivers fail to see bikes at the best of times, let alone when you are approaching in a way they do not expect. Drivers who ride motorcycles understand, but drivers who only drive are constantly surprised by what riders can do, and they fail to take that into account. They do not think bike, or bicycle for that matter.Image shows motorcycle filtering through traffic

The Highway Code gives this advice to motorcyclists:

“Manoeuvring. You should be aware of what is behind and to the sides before manoeuvring. Look behind you; use mirrors if they are fitted. When in traffic queues look out for pedestrians crossing between vehicles and vehicles emerging from junctions or changing lanes. Position yourself so that drivers in front can see you in their mirrors. Additionally, when filtering in slow-moving traffic, take care and keep your speed low.” ..."

Motorcycle filtering through traffic | Mark Thompson Law

Basically, it's have your wits about you whether driving a car or a bike. I've never had an accident filtering, though I have occasionally had drivers see me coming in their mirror and move to block the lane. More often than not the alert drivers in the lanes I'm splitting each give a little space. Win win. I get home sooner, and don't occupy a car space in the queues, so they do too.
 

blackjack50

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dangerous....

especially with the road rage drivers around

saw a guy on a crotch rocket get waylaid by another dude opening his door on his F250 pickup

i guess he thought the cycle should have waited in traffic like everyone else

not sure if it is legal or not....but i see them doing it here all the time

traffic is horrendous, and they cut wherever they can

It is only legal in California. I do think it should be illegal because it would allow traffic to move faster. That guy in the truck should definitely be arrested.


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Gaius46

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Originally, motorcycles were allowed to lane split at slow speed because, otherwise, they'd overheat. But these days that's not a concern for the most part. Dangerous, of course, it always has been.

But California and other Western states also let bicyclists use the highways (signs to 'share the road' are everywhere on I 40, I 1 and so on). That's more dangerous than allowing lane splitting. And yet - the wrecks that happen routinely aren't from lane splitting.

motorcycles themselves are actually at MORE risk when they're in slow moving traffic - being rear-ended is quite common.

So though I think it's dangerous to split, and rude and annoying as a **** as a driver . . . I'd prefer they split than end up with broken legs and necks because some dumb**** was on their smartphone during the early morning commute.'


It's a still a concern with air cooled bikes - though I admit there aren't many of them left.
 

blackjack50

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Dangerous and stupid. Every time I hear or read something about watching for motorcycles I get annoyed. Motorcycle riders are the most dangerous drivers I've ever seen.

I completely disagree with that. Some motorcycle drivers are for sure. But I am way more scared of the overconfident 20 to 25-year-old texting and driving. I do deal frequently with this and I would say that in that age bracket they are by far the worst.


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Fledermaus

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What do you think? Should a motorcycle be allowed to "lane split" and pass between 2 cars while driving? If you think it should be allowed, what kind of rules or regulations should be on it?

Personally...I think it should be legal at stopped traffic lights. Get the motorcycle out of traffic quickly. And the person performing the maneuver should only be going a certain speed and should only be a certain number of car lengths back (maybe less than 10?).

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Legal in California... Actually recommended in some cases.
 

Gaius46

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I think it should be illegal. Here in Illinois, it infuriates drivers, is dangerous and encourages drivers not to give them their lane. If I'm in bumper to bumper traffic, cars on each side of me in stop and go traffic, i shouldn't have to give a THOUGHT that a motorcycle is in my blind spot between me and the car next to me. Very dangerous, IMO.

If the traffic is truly bumper and not moving - or not moving at much more than walking speed - you're not going to be changing lanes.

As long as traffic isn't really moving it can be done very safely.
 

Gaius46

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Dangerous and stupid. Every time I hear or read something about watching for motorcycles I get annoyed. Motorcycle riders are the most dangerous drivers I've ever seen.

Stereotype much?
 

blackjack50

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I think it should be illegal. Here in Illinois, it infuriates drivers, is dangerous and encourages drivers not to give them their lane. If I'm in bumper to bumper traffic, cars on each side of me in stop and go traffic, i shouldn't have to give a THOUGHT that a motorcycle is in my blind spot between me and the car next to me. Very dangerous, IMO.

That is my addendum. Low-speed's short distance from a traffic light get them out-of-the-way. I definitely think it should be a more localized thing. MyTown gets bad traffic occasionally and the motorcycles and scooters are more of a problem when we can't just get them out of the way because of traffic speeds. Scooters especially because of their low top speed


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Fledermaus

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dangerous....

especially with the road rage drivers around

saw a guy on a crotch rocket get waylaid by another dude opening his door on his F250 pickup

i guess he thought the cycle should have waited in traffic like everyone else

not sure if it is legal or not....but i see them doing it here all the time

traffic is horrendous, and they cut wherever they can

Some idiot out here in California opened his door in front of a rider.... He didn't pull his arm back quick enough and had his arm detached when the motorcycles struck him. Bled out.

I feel bad for the motorcyclist...
 

blackjack50

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Originally, motorcycles were allowed to lane split at slow speed because, otherwise, they'd overheat. But these days that's not a concern for the most part. Dangerous, of course, it always has been.

But California and other Western states also let bicyclists use the highways (signs to 'share the road' are everywhere on I 40, I 1 and so on). That's more dangerous than allowing lane splitting. And yet - the wrecks that happen routinely aren't from lane splitting.

motorcycles themselves are actually at MORE risk when they're in slow moving traffic - being rear-ended is quite common.

So though I think it's dangerous to split, and rude and annoying as a **** as a driver . . . I'd prefer they split than end up with broken legs and necks because some dumb**** was on their smartphone during the early morning commute.'

I think I will have to look that up. I don't think I have ever seen a lane splitting accident in my life. And my only thing about it being annoying to other drivers... They should kind of get over it. If you want to be able to lane split in a place where it is legal get a motorcycle.


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Fledermaus

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Dangerous and stupid. Every time I hear or read something about watching for motorcycles I get annoyed. Motorcycle riders are the most dangerous drivers I've ever seen.

And yet the majority of fatal motorcycle accidents are because the idiot in the car did something stupid, illegal or both.
 

Fledermaus

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I think I will have to look that up. I don't think I have ever seen a lane splitting accident in my life. And my only thing about it being annoying to other drivers... They should kind of get over it. If you want to be able to lane split in a place where it is legal get a motorcycle.

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I have ridden since I was 17 and am now nearing 60.

I have split lanes for all those years (except when out of country courtesy of the USMC) and have never been hit.

I have been hit by idiots changing lanes on top of me. Nearly been hit by idiots pulling out in front of me.

Just a couple of weeks ago I had to go to Orange County CA..... At 9AM the traffic was deadlocked for miles. I split lanes for at least ten miles of fifteen traveled on that freeway.

Some trips are almost 50% splitting traffic.

There used to be a sign on 405 that showed a motorcycle between two cars. The caption? "If you were on a bike you would be home now".

Lane-Splitting-Sign.jpg
 

radcen

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If the traffic is truly bumper and not moving - or not moving at much more than walking speed - you're not going to be changing lanes.

As long as traffic isn't really moving it can be done very safely.

But like anything that *can* be done safely there are aholes who screw it up for everyone else. I have been in traffic moving at 30-40 mph and been passed by a motorcyclist that was going at least 50 mph.
 

Mason66

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What do you think? Should a motorcycle be allowed to "lane split" and pass between 2 cars while driving? If you think it should be allowed, what kind of rules or regulations should be on it?

Personally...I think it should be legal at stopped traffic lights. Get the motorcycle out of traffic quickly. And the person performing the maneuver should only be going a certain speed and should only be a certain number of car lengths back (maybe less than 10?).


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When they do that to get in front and then go really slow on the take off I want to run them over.
 

Mason66

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I think I will have to look that up. I don't think I have ever seen a lane splitting accident in my life. And my only thing about it being annoying to other drivers... They should kind of get over it. If you want to be able to lane split in a place where it is legal get a motorcycle.


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Do you mean accident like the bike taking off somebody's mirror?

Yes it has happened.
 

Mason66

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The vehicle code is very clear in most laces that all motor vehicles must follow the same laws.
 
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