California Lane-Splitting Guidelines for Motorcyclists

California is getting ready to be the first state in the U.S. to formalize lane-splitting guidelines for motorcyclists. Lane splitting happens when a motorcyclist passes between two lanes of vehicles. They ride on the line between the two lanes, and the practice has been a somewhat contentious gray area for years. According to the L.A. Times, Assembly members recently passed a bill authorizing the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to establish safety guidelines for motorcyclists regarding lane splitting. At this time, the bill is waiting for Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature.

Lane Splitting in California

For too long, lane splitting has been a kind of gray area for motorcycle riders and law enforcement agencies. It’s not exactly legal, but it’s not exactly illegal either. In efforts to improve motorcyclist and roadway user safety in 2015, the CHP published information on safe lane splitting strategies that got pushback from a citizen who complained that the CHP should not be creating public policy. Initially, the bill clearly outlined when and at what speeds a motorcycle could split lanes. There were objections from several special interest groups, so the revised bill, which basically defined “lanes,” is going to leave the discretion up to the CHP for safe strategies and implementation.

Motorcycle Safety in California

Motorcyclists are at a much higher risk for sustaining severe, catastrophic and even fatal injuries when involved in car accidents. Although some people look at motorcycle riders as risk takers or danger seekers, in most cases, it’s quite the opposite. Very few roadway user groups understand the harsh reality and implications of dangerous and distracted driving. A motorcyclist doesn’t have a seat belt or airbags. He or she is truly at the mercy of other drivers on the road, and is continuously and vigilantly scanning to ensure personal safety so they can get to their destinations.

San Diego Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents can leave victims in the hospital and out of work, or worse. Whether you’re recovering from a left-hand turn accident or a vehicle on the highway struck you, the sooner you speak with a lawyer after your accident, the better.

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