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Readers Respond: Should lane splitting be legalized?

Responses: 43


come to CA and try it out

A lot of those who have commented submitted that they have been in other countries where lane splitting is encouraged and now have a new perspective on this wonderful and necessaary manuver. It should be LEGAL everywhere in the US. For thoes riders who have been unable to try lane splitting come on out to CA. It won't cost ya as much as going to Europe AND we have AWESOME roads and AMAZING places to see! If you are opposed to lane splitting, try to ride I-5 or the 405 fwy in southern Cal during rush hour and NOT split lanes...believe me, you'll QUICKLY change your mind too.
—Guest alphatwin


Lane Splitting makes more sense than not. It's much safer -- in California where it's done regularly, people pay more attention for bikes, something that doesn't happen as much elsewhere. So not only are you saved from many rear-end collisions, more cars notice you because they watch for bikes passing between them. Anybody against it just can't stand people getting anywhere ahead of them. Motorcyclists are not all lawbreakers and the actions of a few shouldn't screw the rest of us. Let the police handle the lawbreakers. Live and let live.
—Guest RobG

No no no no

Mr. Harris, Your decision to be box pilot has nothing to do with lane splitting. The issue is safety not equality. More over if folks can move about quicker, I wonder if more motorcycles and less boxes would be clogging our motorways.
—Guest Brent

lane splitting

I say yes I ride to Manhattan and you will be sitting in traffic for no good reason. I split lanes.
—Guest catfish

Depending on the state

I would welcome lane splitting throughout the country but there is only one problem. States such as California, Arizona, Montanna and other western states have lanes that can handle it because they are 12 feet wide, states in the northeast are usally 9 feet wide. What has happened in the state of NJ, where I reside, is that they took the extra 3 feet from three lanes to make another lane...so, while I would love to see it, especially here where there is so much congestion I don't think it would be safe until they have a universal lane size which should be 12 feet. This is something that the federal goverment should mandate..........perhaps there would be less lane drifting and head-on accidents

Mr. Harris

1st. YES!!! Mr Harris do you ride a motorcycle, I don't think sooooo
—Guest Joe B

darn tootin'

The famous Hurt report, published around 1981 stated that it is safer to lane split because it saves the motorcycle from rear end crashes due to the car driver not paying attention, plus requires less skill to lane split that it does to stop and start constantly while waiting in a car line. In Japana there are two lines at stop signs, a fron one for bikes and another a few meters back for cars; you, as a rider, are expected to lane split, get to the front and go away as soon as the light turns green. Besides it is one of the four great riding advantages, together with no parking issues, great fuel economy and immunity from stop light window washers.
—Guest racing_spirits

Responsible lan splitting /w Let-It-Ring

I hope lawmakers would realize the significant risks a lane splitter takes on the road in the midst of cellphone abusers. Given the rampant use of cellphones and the number of drivers that still text and talk while driving. After talking to a local traffic cop about the number of people I see still driving while using their cellphone minus blue-tooth apparatus. He told me that will be the norm in spite of the fact it is illegal to drive while talking or texting. I think safety should be restored to the way it was before cellphones before adding to the mix lane splitting. First I would like to see cell abuse fixed or a law passed legalizing cellphone jammers. See http://www.methodshop.com/gadgets/reviews/celljammers/index.shtml Then and only then would I be open to discussing the addition to the already huge list of driver responsibilities.
—Guest Checkster

Don't be ridiculous

Here in California it is legal. It should be legal everywhere. I always did it in England (IAM member), and for nearly eight years as a m/c messenger in Los Angeles. My job would have been (even more) intolerable were it not for lane-splitting and car pool lane rules in CA. Dealing with unconscious box-pilots is bad enough without having to deal with their envy. Go get a bike..if you dare, Mr Angry Box Pilot!
—Guest McMessenger


Having ridden for 20 years I cringe seeing many new riders who ride their bikes like a car, right in the middle of the lane, slamming their brakes on in oil in gridlock. The chances of getting flattened by someone who doesn't stop is much greater than someone drifting over. Chances are you can stop or will be past even if they are aiming for you. Pretty rare for someone to swerve at a lateral velocity of 30 mph. It is usually more like 2-5 mph in gridlock so there is much more time to react as long as the splitters speeds are legal (within 10 mph). But if you are not splitting and the car behind you forgets to stop, you are in the same position a car would be in without the protection of the weight of a car or the bumpers. It is much safer to split lanes cagers or not and should be legalized everywhere.
—Guest Chris


NO LANE SPLITTING BE LEGALIZED!!!!!!!!! Motorcyclist are always breaking the LAW and think they are above the LAW. They should always obey the same laws as motorist . They should wait in line as we do!!!!
—Guest Gary Harris

Lane Splitting saves lives

Lane splitting significantly lessens the possibility of a motorcyclist being hit from behind by drivers who aren't paying attention in stop and go traffic.
—Guest John F

Lane splitting?

There is a risk involved in lane splitting. You're approaching on other drivers' blind sides and they may not be aware of your approach and suddenly jump lanes (as it frequently happens in slow traffic), open the car door inadvertently or dump something out of the window and this risk is likened to running a stop sign just because there are no cars approaching.... Percentage of accident risk is low, but no sense in pushing it!!!!!
—Guest Mauri Lampl

Lane splitting

YES !!!!! Without a doubt ....It's a lot more dangerous and more prone to rear end collisions sitting betweens cars.
—Guest Joe B

Lane Splitting

Lane splitting is just another safety hazard to look out for if you are driving something other than a motorcycle. It sounds good but really how many motorcyclists would abide by the rules.
—Guest Dave

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