Texas recently considered it, and so did Arizona... but as of late 2010, California is still the only state in the union where law enforcement tolerates lane splitting.
The practice is controversial here in the States, despite the fact that it's legal in many other parts of the world. Promoters say it cuts down on traffic and can even reduce greenhouse gases, while detractors argue that it's unsafe and exposes motorcyclists to more potential harm than good.
In Oregon, the state's Governor's Advisory Committee for Motorcycle Safety is weighing the possibility of legalizing the practice, and they'll be holding an open forum on Friday, November 19th*. If a public poll favors the idea, the Advisory Committee could recommend a change in traffic law, but they would face opposition from Oregon's official motorcycle education program, Team Oregon.
Who's right and who's wrong in this argument? I don't think the answer is clear cut, though I personally subscribe to the belief that lane-splitting, when performed responsibly, can not only make riding more efficient, it can also make it safer; if you choose to occupy the space between cars when there's little or no possibility of being cut off, it's a better alternative than exposing yourself to cars approaching from behind.
What do you think? Would you want to see legalized lane-splitting in your state, or is it best left to us crazy Californians? Share your thoughts in this Readers Respond feature.
- Arizona Considers Legalizing Lane-Splitting, Peanut Gallery Revolts
- Should Texas Legalize Lane Sharing for Motorcycles?
* The public forum will be held at 6:30 PM at the Kaiser Permanente Town Hall Ballroom: 3704 N. Interstate Ave, Portland
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