I got stopped for lane splitting...was I wrong? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-20-2011, 01:23 AM Thread Starter
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I got stopped for lane splitting...was I wrong?

Today a CHP pulled me over on the 101 freeway 8 miles after I left town.

Here's what happened:

There was a red light with 2 wide lanes of stopped traffic for the freeway on-ramp. So, there was room on the right side of the right lane. I cruised at 5 mph up to the front of the light. I never entered the crosswalk and no part of my Versys ever was out of the lane.

I was never fast or reckless.
I never share a lane with cars when they are moving.

The CHP told me I broke two laws-- He said lane splitting was not legal in California. He also said it was illegal to pass on the right.

I looked him in the eye and let him rant and rave and just nodded and agreed with everything he said. He blew off steam and let me off with just a verbal warning. He never asked me for my Drivers License. Sometimes it pays to be a sincere kiss ass...

Okay...
1) I never left my right lane. So how was I lane splitting again?
2) I did cruise slowly up to the light on the right side and passed stopped cars waiting at the light.

In California, what are the laws for what I did?

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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-20-2011, 02:46 AM
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Yeah, I thought that was legal in Cali. Maybe its just something about the right side....do you have to be in the middle? It doesn't really make sense.
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-20-2011, 03:23 AM
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Maybe the slow passing of the cars on the right lane was what the CHP was not happy about but added in lane splitting to make you feel extra guilty. I don't see why he has to loose his cool when you were just cruising slowly up to the front and not being reckless in anyway. Maybe he forgot to take his chill pill.

I lane split all the time and it's not against the law from where I lived. That's the advantage of a motorcycle in heavy traffic jams. Imagined the world without motorcycles, there would be more cars on the roads and the jams would be even worse off, especially in a place where mopeds/bikes/scoots are a plenty.

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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-20-2011, 03:24 AM
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Unless you live in one of those countries that ride on the wrong side of the road, passing on the right side of vehicles is a no-no.

And even I know that lane splitting in California is legal.
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-20-2011, 07:08 AM
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Based on this website

http://www.laneshare.org/ca.htm

You did nothing wrong - however, it isn't that it is specifically legal - there is no law that says you can - it just not illiegal - there is no law that says you can't. This puts it up to the law enforcment officer's interpretation.... a double edge sword. If he is in a good mood, got lucky or whatever - you be fine.

Evidently, he was having a bad day.....

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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-20-2011, 07:26 AM
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Any time I do this, I put it in 1st and basically walk it past. That way no one gets startled and I am not roaring past them. Every once in awhile I will have a douchy trucker swerve over into the side lane as to not let me pass, to these guys i just feel sorry. I would be a huge A-hole too, if I had to sit up there and stair at guys like me having fun and experiencing their surroundings on bikes.

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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-20-2011, 07:32 AM
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What are the laws? He told you what the laws are. You can make up your own but the judge might not buy it.
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-20-2011, 08:58 AM
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California VC section 21754 seems to support the OP's action:

http://dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d11/vc21754.htm

Perhaps that's why the CHP didn't write a ticket.

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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-20-2011, 09:05 AM
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Passing on the right was illegal however he was wrong in saying lane splitting in Cali is illegal. I suspect he has a personal beef against lane splitting but he knows it isn't illegal, which is probably why he let you off.


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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-20-2011, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cagouillard06 View Post

You did nothing wrong - however, it isn't that it is specifically legal - there is no law that says you can - it just not illiegal - there is no law that says you can't. This puts it up to the law enforcment officer's interpretation....
Now there’s one disturbing set of facts!
.

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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-20-2011, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by BAMF View Post
Every once in awhile I will have a douchy trucker swerve over into the side lane as to not let me pass, to these guys i just feel sorry. I would be a huge A-hole too, if I had to sit up there and stair at guys like me having fun and experiencing their surroundings on bikes.
A few years ago, Two of us on bikes were on a trip south and the interstate came to a dead stop 30 miles north of Lexington KY. We were 1 mile from the next exit. Knowing the area, I said - lets ride the shoulder and exit off. We got within 2 tenths of a mile from the exit and an 18-wheeler saw us comming and pulled onto the shoulder to block us. Traffic was dead-stopped because the highway was closed due to an accident. So my friend was in the lead he swerved and made it around the truck. Then the truck pulls onto the grass to block me! I just took my 800 pound cruiser and went off-road. No problem. Please tell me how two motorcycles cause him any further delay?

Here's the KICKER: we got off at the exit. The Accident was under the underpass at this exit, so we just got right back on and continued on our trip. We heard later the road was closed for nearly 2 hours while they cleaned up the accident (3 18-wheelers were involved)
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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-20-2011, 10:22 AM
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Just be glad he let you off with a verbal. I got stopped about a year ago by a city policeman who said I didn't put my foot down at a stop sign. He claimed that you must put a foot down showing you came to a stop (it's not there in the code). He wrote me up and after it was said and done it was going to cost me $320. I went to court and beat it. He didn't look happy going out of the courtroom.
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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-20-2011, 10:41 AM
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Unhappy Can't split the space between the side of road

You cannot split the space, lane, between the side of the road and the vehicle ahead of you. This is passing on the right without a lane. And if there is a solid white line on the right outer side of the road, you cannot pass over that line to pass a vehicle ahead even if you are going o turn right. I see a lot of cyclists passing on the far right of the highway in the emergency parking lane during stalled traffic jams because they are frightened to actually lane split in the legal correct manner.

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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-20-2011, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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I plead guilty to passing on the right....I was not on a highway or one way street...so I busted that law.

I plead innocent to lane splitting....since I was always within the lines of my lane.

What's my fine your honor?

"If you compare Motorcycling to Skydiving: -Your riding ability is your main parachute and your protective gear is your reserve -but riding is much more convenient and gets more women." -Matt
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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-20-2011, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by LoneRanger View Post
A few years ago, Two of us on bikes were on a trip south and the interstate came to a dead stop 30 miles north of Lexington KY. We were 1 mile from the next exit. Knowing the area, I said - lets ride the shoulder and exit off. We got within 2 tenths of a mile from the exit and an 18-wheeler saw us comming and pulled onto the shoulder to block us. Traffic was dead-stopped because the highway was closed due to an accident. So my friend was in the lead he swerved and made it around the truck. Then the truck pulls onto the grass to block me! I just took my 800 pound cruiser and went off-road. No problem. Please tell me how two motorcycles cause him any further delay?

Here's the KICKER: we got off at the exit. The Accident was under the underpass at this exit, so we just got right back on and continued on our trip. We heard later the road was closed for nearly 2 hours while they cleaned up the accident (3 18-wheelers were involved)
I've driven over-the-road semi trucks for about seventeen consecutive years, and this type of conduct by drivers is extremely unprofessional, and also dangerous, particularly to a motorcycle rider.

Their frustration comes from cars that try to 'get to the front' and just further jam up the already stopped traffic. The average car driver is a complete idiot when it comes to understanding how to merge into one lane for road construction/accidents.

Having said all that, and truck driver that would intentionally cut off a biker as you described, could be considered a Douche-bag Deluxe.
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post #16 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-20-2011, 12:58 PM
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Having said all that, and truck driver that would intentionally cut off a biker as you described, could be considered a Douche-bag Deluxe.
I agree. We were driving on the shoulder @ 20-25 mph. We were trying to not 'spike' the football if you get my drift.

We got to our hotel that night and I had to remove the tall grass from my exhaust bracket. I was at least 2 yards into the grass on the shoulder.
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post #17 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-20-2011, 04:42 PM
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From the California DMV's 2011 California Motorcycle Handbook (page 16) :
Disclaimer
This handbook is only a summary of the laws and regulations. DMV, law enforcement, and courts follow the full and exact language of the law contained in the California Vehicle Code. You may buy a copy of the California Vehicle Code at any DMV office or visit our website at www.dmv.ca.gov.
Lane Sharing
Cars and motorcycles each need a full lane to operate safely. Lane sharing is not safe.
Riding between rows of stopped or moving cars in the same lane can leave you vulnerable. A car could turn suddenly or change lanes, a door could open, or a hand could come out of a window. Discourage lanesharingbyothers. Keep a center position whenever drivers might be tempted to squeeze by you. Drivers are most tempted to do this:
•
In heavy, bumper-to-bumper traffic.
•
When they want to pass you.
•
When you are preparing to turn at an intersection.
•
When you are moving into an exit lane or leaving a highway.
I'd be confused too..............


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post #18 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-20-2011, 05:12 PM
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I don't ride in bumped to bumper often enough to have been tempted by lane splitting but I tend to agree with the handbook. People get pissy sitting in traffic and seeing you moving on by tends to get blood boiling. It only takes one to swerve over or open their door to wreck your day. Then you'll have a hell of a time explaining you were in the right to the officer. Sitting here my brain says not worth the risk but I'm bound to need to go past the 480\90 split one of these days during rush hour and who knows?

As for the trucker I might have stopped to give him a sandwich to enjoy with the tall glass of douche he was already drinking. For another fine example of humanity read Paul "The Iceman" Mondor's story. Scroll down to the bottom, starts with the line. "Now the following is not really stuff you want the kids to read about!".

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post #19 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-20-2011, 06:32 PM
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Passing on the right was illegal however he was wrong in saying lane splitting in Cali is illegal. I suspect he has a personal beef against lane splitting but he knows it isn't illegal, which is probably why he let you off.
+1 here.
Split in the middle, not on the right shoulder, even if there's lane room.

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post #20 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-20-2011, 07:03 PM
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I think if you had been between/in the middle of the two lanes and not to on the right side of one of them you would have been fine.

About a week ago, as I was splitting lanes through traffic and came up on a CHP unit and "pulled up" for a second before I thought, "hey wait, you're not doing anything wrong," and went right by him--he didn't do a thing. I also see CHP motorcycles doing it all the time--love to get behind one...people really get out of your way then! The thing I do that I am pretty sure is illegal is to pass on the right in a diamond/carpool lane when they get bogged down too or somebody is going 50 mph there (got the idea from a CHP motor officer). I am always to the left of the double yellow, though. I only rarely do it, and if I get a ticket for it, I will take it. I refuse to be "sandwiched" between two cars in stop and go traffic...how many rear-ended fender benders do you see from people gawking at wrecks or just not paying attention in those situations? On a motorcycle that's not a fender bender, that is flesh and bones.

Glad you didn't get a ticket and impressed how you handled the situation. Foolishly, I probably would have argued with him when he told me lane splitting was illegal.

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