Legalize lane sharing - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-29-2017, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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Legalize lane sharing

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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-29-2017, 10:04 PM
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I do everyday....
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-30-2017, 07:42 AM
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There are many states where you would be hard pressed to find space between lanes for a motorcycle to squeeze through once you get off the interstates. In fact I've seen interstates with pretty narrow lanes up in the northeast.

There would have to be a massive campaign to educate car drivers because the entitlement attitude and passive aggressive driving is so prevalent on the roads across America.

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-30-2017, 10:37 AM
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Many in this society would rank that up with repealing helmet laws. Splitting in CA is fine, but most people (cagers) I knew in the Ventura County area "knew for sure" that splitting was illegal, and those that did it (including me) had a deathwish, and were putting other traffic at risk. In my experience, that attitude is prevalent in most cagers and unlikely any elected official is going to vote to repeal or re-regulate the practice.

As all the CA riders can attest to, splitting is a risky but 'safe' practice if you're careful - but unless you've done it and gotten comfortable with it, it can seem somewhat suicidal.

Are any laws based on common sense getting passed these days?
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-30-2017, 11:12 AM
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Great illustration by weljo2001 !

Kinda agree with twowheeladdict. We've been doing this in California for many years and the auto drivers have reluctantly (been forced) to accept it. I've personally had to show some of my non bike riding friends how much space actually exists between cars, especially on the freeway.

In reality, in my 50+ years of riding, I've had my share of road mishaps, including with cars, but never by splitting lanes.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-30-2017, 01:14 PM
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There's a push to "legalize" lane-splitting in various states, but it's already lawful in any state where it's not explicitly unlawful by statute. However, even where not unlawful, a rider is still at the mercy of any individual LEO's personal interpretation of what constitutes "reckless driving" or similar vague, catch-all statutes that all states have in their motor vehicle codes. So even though it seems un-necessary and a waste of time on one hand, on the other hand I'm all for making lane-splitting explicitly lawful. I commute regularly and have only done it a handful of times; around here, you're likely to get clothes-lined or something thrown at you by jealous dickheads.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-30-2017, 08:00 PM
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There's a push to "legalize" lane-splitting in various states, but it's already lawful in any state where it's not explicitly unlawful by statute. However, even where not unlawful, a rider is still at the mercy of any individual LEO's personal interpretation of what constitutes "reckless driving" or similar vague, catch-all statutes that all states have in their motor vehicle codes. So even though it seems un-necessary and a waste of time on one hand, on the other hand I'm all for making lane-splitting explicitly lawful. I commute regularly and have only done it a handful of times; around here, you're likely to get clothes-lined or something thrown at you by jealous dickheads.
In the states around me, the law says no lane sharing. Which also means no motorcycles side by side. If you are truly splitting lanes, you are lane sharing. If you are weaving from lane to lane because the cars are staggered, then you are reckless driving. When I was riding in Orlando back in the 80s I would filter to the front at a light once everyone was stopped. But back then drivers didn't have as many distractions as they have today.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-30-2017, 09:50 PM
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I probably wouldn't even ride, if filtering was illegal. Or ride only rural routes, for recreation.

The "Typical" video posted, above, is quite a bit slower than how most do it.

: )

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-30-2017, 10:24 PM
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I probably wouldn't even ride, if filtering was illegal. Or ride only rural routes, for recreation.

The "Typical" video posted, above, is quite a bit slower than how most do it.

: )


If i would have posted other videos i have. The peanut gallery gets upset

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-31-2017, 07:45 AM
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I probably wouldn't even ride, if filtering was illegal. Or ride only rural routes, for recreation.

The "Typical" video posted, above, is quite a bit slower than how most do it.

: )
If I lived where filtering was a requirement to get anywhere I probably wouldn't ride until I could find a job where I could ride without having to worry about filtering. Oh wait, I already did that! I also work odd hours so I am never in traffic.

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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-31-2017, 11:40 AM
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"Lane Sharing" by definition is two motorcycles sharing the same lane (legal in most states). Lane splitting is dangerous in my opinion. Make it legal if you want but I sure wouldn't do it.

Have you ever seen those trucks wander around in their lane? Doubles or triples and looking like a snake. Not to mention the women putting on make-up or the yahoo working on his laptop?

I'm not slamming any one who does it..........I've sat in as much traffic as anyone while driving a truck for 22 years in and around Seattle. I'll just wait since I'm not in a hurry to die.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-31-2017, 12:45 PM
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"Lane Sharing" by definition is two motorcycles sharing the same lane (legal in most states). Lane splitting is dangerous in my opinion. Make it legal if you want but I sure wouldn't do it.

Have you ever seen those trucks wander around in their lane? Doubles or triples and looking like a snake. Not to mention the women putting on make-up or the yahoo working on his laptop?

I'm not slamming any one who does it..........I've sat in as much traffic as anyone while driving a truck for 22 years in and around Seattle. I'll just wait since I'm not in a hurry to die.
Lane sharing is any two vehicles sharing a lane. That means motorcycle/motorcycle, car/motorcycle, motorcycle/tractor, car/bicycle, etc. Yes, you have to move to the other lane when passing a bicycle traveling the same direction if they are in the roadway. Some states have modified the bicycle law to state x number of feet from the bicycle.

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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-31-2017, 02:54 PM
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<snip>

There would have to be a massive campaign to educate car drivers because the entitlement attitude and passive aggressive driving is so prevalent on the roads across America.
That's why I gotta say thanks, ...but no thanks.

I've seen too many vids of lane splitter riders getting nailed by aggressive drivers. It's just as easy to take a back road (more fun too) than depend on the innate kindness of fellow stuck motorized lemmings.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-31-2017, 06:56 PM
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Just currious but are the road lanes abnormally wide in California.

I've seen lots of people do it here where it is not legal. Every time I see it kinda looks like the rider is risking their life or at least a serious crash, perhaps because the space between cars seems too narrow for a motorcycle most times. I prefer to ride conservatively in situations like a crowded divided highway, where if you get knocked off the bike, it will almost certainly mean death when the inattentive driver of the car or truck behind you drives over you. In a city of 1 million which mandatory helmet laws, we usually have ~5 rider fatalities a year, I would hate to hazard a guess what it would be if lane splitting was made legal.

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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-01-2017, 11:01 PM
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As all the CA riders can attest to, splitting is a risky but 'safe' practice if you're careful - but unless you've done it and gotten comfortable with it, it can seem somewhat suicidal.
Yep. I suspect CA's moto accident statistics would worsen, if splitting was outlawed. Also, most motorists here are aware of its legality.
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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-02-2017, 01:55 PM
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In CA, interstates are 12' wide, and maximum vehicle with is 9', most cars and trucks are much less than 8' wide. That leaves from zero to 4'+ between vehicles. California Department of Motor Vehicles: “California law does not allow or prohibit motorcycles from passing other vehicles proceeding in the same direction within the same lane.”

https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api...ication/812353 is a link to NHTSA crash stats for 2015 nationally. They don't break out splitting, but do helmets, bike size, rider age etc and state-by-state stats.

There was an extensive study of splitting in CA done by a Berkeley PHD here (and referenced in Motorcyclist mag):
http://www.ots.ca.gov/pdf/Publicatio...afety-2015.pdf - partially quoted here:

"Of the 5,969 collision-involved motorcyclists we studied, 997 were lane-splitting at the time of their collision (17%). Motorcyclists who were lane-splitting were notably different from those that were not lane-splitting. Compared with other motorcyclists, lane-splitting motorcyclists were more often riding on weekdays and during commute hours, were using better helmets, and were traveling at lower speeds. Lane-splitting riders were also less likely to have been using alcohol and less likely to have been carrying a passenger.

Lane-splitting motorcyclists were also injured much less frequently during their collisions. Lane-splitting riders were less likely to suffer head injury (9% vs 17%), torso injury (19% vs 29%), extremity injury (60% vs 66%), and fatal injury (1.2% vs 3.0%). Lane-splitting motorcyclists were equally likely to suffer neck injury, compared with non-lane-splitting motorcyclists.

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 lane-split."

Interesting stuff.
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-18-2017, 02:16 AM
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California Department of Motor Vehicles: “California law does not allow or prohibit motorcycles from passing other vehicles proceeding in the same direction within the same lane.”
I heard about this middle of last year and read up on it. A law regarding lane splitting in CA went into effect Jan 1 2017:
Motorcycle lane-splitting gets green light in California, but rules still unclear - The Orange County Register

I've been riding 20 years without incident but definitely took my time before starting to split lanes. There are so many little things you have to be paying attention to all at the same time but also some tricks you learn. E.g. (1) think twice before passing a vehicle in the lane to your right when there's a nice, inviting open space in the lane to your left just begging to be filled by a moron who thinks the best use of a turn signal is to hang a trash bag off of it. (2) Versys riding position is great for peering into driver side windows to see if stupidity is ensuing. (3) Not sure if others do the same, but I also like to watch wheels - the gap between a tire and a lane marker or to see if they start rolling at an intersection when I have the right of way.

What else? (4) The greater the differential between your speed and the cars around you, the less time you have to react when stupidity ensues. Also, (5) I don't care for "filtering" to the front of a stoplight in between lanes unless I'm darn sure I can get to a complete stop before the light turns green. That way cars on either side have a chance to see me, get pissy, and fail to beat me off the line when the light changes.

Ride safely mi amigos....
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-18-2017, 03:08 PM
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I heard about this middle of last year and read up on it. A law regarding lane splitting in CA went into effect Jan 1 2017:
Motorcycle lane-splitting gets green light in California, but rules still unclear - The Orange County Register

I've been riding 20 years without incident but definitely took my time before starting to split lanes. There are so many little things you have to be paying attention to all at the same time but also some tricks you learn. E.g. (1) think twice before passing a vehicle in the lane to your right when there's a nice, inviting open space in the lane to your left just begging to be filled by a moron who thinks the best use of a turn signal is to hang a trash bag off of it. (2) Versys riding position is great for peering into driver side windows to see if stupidity is ensuing. (3) Not sure if others do the same, but I also like to watch wheels - the gap between a tire and a lane marker or to see if they start rolling at an intersection when I have the right of way.

What else? (4) The greater the differential between your speed and the cars around you, the less time you have to react when stupidity ensues. Also, (5) I don't care for "filtering" to the front of a stoplight in between lanes unless I'm darn sure I can get to a complete stop before the light turns green. That way cars on either side have a chance to see me, get pissy, and fail to beat me off the line when the light changes.

Ride safely mi amigos....


I always watch the wheels of cars when splitting also..

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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-18-2017, 04:15 PM
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Really surprised to discover that lane splitting (called "filtering" in the uk) is illegal in most states! Nobody would buy a bike in the UK if we were unable to filter! Most car drivers accept that the plus side of riding a bike is "filtering" whilst the down side is getting wet in the rain. It always rains.
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-18-2017, 07:22 PM
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Really surprised to discover that lane splitting (called "filtering" in the uk) is illegal in most states! Nobody would buy a bike in the UK if we were unable to filter! Most car drivers accept that the plus side of riding a bike is "filtering" whilst the down side is getting wet in the rain. It always rains.
Pretty sure a lot of it has to do with a much lower concentration of riders in US vs. Europe so we're quite uptight about it here. I imagine some places in EU you may never get where you're going without splitting/filtering. (Also pretty sure they call it 'filtering' in EU because in a lot of places no one really pays any attention to LANES - there's nothing BUT lane splitting going on all around!) My wife and I remember getting momentarily stuck on a 4-lane roundabout in Florence, Italy on our rented scooters. I think we went around about 3-4 times. Good times...
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