California Bill AB 51 Codifying Lane Splitting To Be Introduced To Committee - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-06-2016, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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California Bill AB 51 Codifying Lane Splitting To Be Introduced To Committee



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Here at MO, we are strong proponents of lane splitting. Not a day goes by in which we don’t filter between the lines of slower moving or stopped cars. In the process, we’re also easing congestion and protecting ourselves from being rear-ended by distracted drivers. So, naturally, we were excited last year when we heard of California bill AB 51 was making the rounds in an effort to codify the act of lane splitting by giving it a set of clear rules for riders to follow. One of the primary benefits of the rules would be that they would make it possible to educate the driving public about lane splitting.

Unfortunately, the bill was pulled last July at the request of its author, California Assemblyman Bill Quirk, because of fears that it would not pass. Since that time, Quirk has worked on changing the language of the bill to a form that will improve its chance of passing. According to LaneSplittingIsLegal.com, an organization devoted to promoting lane splitting, the wording has changed to a much less specific recipe for legal lane splitting to a more generalized one. The result is a bill that maintains lane splitting’s legality by virtue of not being explicitly illegal while giving the CHP the option of developing and distributing educational guidelines for riders and the driving public to better understand safe lane splitting.

In a mockup of the amended version of AB 51 produced by LaneSplittingIsLegal.com, the specifics of the top speed and the speed differential between the motorcycle and other traffic have been removed. In their place, the mandate for CHP to create guidelines to educate the public is inserted: 'The California Department of Highway Patrol may develop educational guidelines relating to lane splitting in a manner that would ensure the safety of the motorcyclist and the drivers and passengers of the surrounding vehicles.'

Additionally, the agencies that the CHP is to consult in developing the guidelines includes not only the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Department of Transportation, and the Office of Traffic Safety, but it also lists the requirement of consulting with a 'motorcycle organization focused on motorcyclist safety.' So, we assume the organization selected would be either the AMA or the MSF, giving actual motorcyclists an active say in the development of lane splitting guidelines – which is very good news!

These changes were scheduled to be submitted to committee yesterday, May 31, 2016, but at the time of publication, the bill’s page on the California Legislative Information website had not been updated. Interested parties can track the progress of the bill there. California residents who want to contact their representative can search here. Those who want to contact Assemblyman Quirk’s office can visit his web site.
Read more about the California Bill AB 51 Codifying Lane Splitting To Be Introduced To Committee at Motorcycle.com.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-06-2016, 05:18 PM
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I don't experience traffic like California, but once in a while I encounter a jam because of a previous wreck or unknown source. It would be nice to split stopped traffic legally.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-07-2016, 02:19 PM
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-07-2016, 02:58 PM
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Interesting. I'm looking forward to seeing what California does. Might help break the auto-centric bent of US laws. After all, the car makers took over the roads from the public, just to promote their products. Now pedestrians are subjected to abuse and extreme controls, and blamed when some moron hits one. The same with motorcyclists, being blamed for doing what they do well.

I have never seen lane splitting. I know that it's hard to see an overtaking bike from a car. Lots of blind spots, limited visibility. Plenty of bikes have a small frontal area and being between lines of traffic makes for a cluttered environment difficult to interpret with a quick glance. However, a relatively low differential speed would give more time to see.

Overall, lane splitting, passing on the right even on should with warning flash, those kinds of things do make sense. More than the law, educating many auto drivers to actually pay attention seems the real challenge.

Very curious about the updated accident study. Hope it partitions the riding population and circumstances appropriately. Based on minimal personal observation at the dragon, the squid sport biker and the newly minted heavy cruiser riders might well be major contributors. I would expect fringe groups, like Versys riders, to be very poorly represented, like dual sport tourists. Not the kind of thing to attract morons.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-07-2016, 03:23 PM
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Normal Stuff Around Lunch Time..Always a big debate. Most people against it have never done it. If done properly its beneficial to everyone on the road. You can't be timid and need to have good balance of your bike. Watch the front wheel or nose of the cars you want to get by that will let you know if they are coming over. Make sure you can judge the width of your bike on the move. Don't just ride along with the cars your splitting get on by them. Keep your clutch & brakes covered and a thumb close to the horn. Watch for cars crossing the double yellow to get into the car pool lane without checking to see if its clear. Treat it the same as if you were riding in an area at night that has a lot of deer.....https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6fEv8zZqb4

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-07-2016, 06:38 PM
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I'm sure the technique is fairly easy. Doesn't require cornering or high G handling. The actual process is not of interest, particularly. It's the legal and education aspects that present issues. Around here, some LEOs believe that two bikes in the same lane side by side are breaking the law, although that's how numerous local motor patrol teams ride!

Hope this working method develops without stupidity in lawmaking and spreads out of California.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-08-2016, 07:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weljo2001 View Post
Normal Stuff Around Lunch Time..Always a big debate. Most people against it have never done it. If done properly its beneficial to everyone on the road. You can't be timid and need to have good balance of your bike. Watch the front wheel or nose of the cars you want to get by that will let you know if they are coming over. Make sure you can judge the width of your bike on the move. Don't just ride along with the cars your splitting get on by them. Keep your clutch & brakes covered and a thumb close to the horn. Watch for cars crossing the double yellow to get into the car pool lane without checking to see if its clear. Treat it the same as if you were riding in an area at night that has a lot of deer.....https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6fEv8zZqb4
Sounds like high stress riding to me. I know a fair number of riders in California chose to ride because of traffic. That is definitely not why I ride. I ride because I am drawn to it by an undeniable source. I would probably go postal if I could no longer ride.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 08:08 PM
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California Officially Legalizes Motorcycle Lane Splitting

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