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Readers Respond: Should lane splitting be legalized?

Responses: 75

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Lane splitting or "filtering" refers to the ability of a motorcycle to slip between traffic, and while some riders swear by it, others consider it too dangerous to consider. While it's legal in most of Europe and many parts of the world, the practice is Illegal in all states except California, where it's generally tolerated... that said, several states are considering legalizing it. Do you think they should? Sound off!

Of course

It should. Anyone that learns to ride a motorcycle after theyre comfortable wouldn't have it any other way.
—Guest Jojo

The real question is, why isn't it?

This is a no brainer, lane splitting should be legal EVERYWHERE. I don't understand why it isn't. I actually lane split the other day as this car was tailgating me. Where ever I went, he went, kept speeding up behind me. I split two cars at the next light, a cop came out of nowhere, and pulled me over here in NY. I told him about the tailgater but he obviously didn't see it and told me to tell it to the judge. I gave him my license, reg, and insurance, and he came back to me and handed everything back, and told me he has his motorcycle license, and he's happy to see I actually have it, and he saw I was absolutely clean with nothing on my record or license, and came back and told me he believes me, and told me to ride safe. This is a perfect example of why it should be allowed. I got two car lengths away from the tailgater which most likely saved my life from at some point he would of hit me. It's a shame I was pulled over it, but the truth set me free, and the cop knew I was honest.
—Guest Stephen

Hell NO!!

Lanesplitting is dangerous, stupid and indefensible. Physics prevails here, and the willingness of cyclists to try and share a lane with 4,000lbs of steel at any speed only speaks to the recklessness of most riders. Accidents are guaranteed. Engaging in this idiocy is simply evolution in action.
—Guest Fairsay Goodepointe

Hell NO!!

Lanesplitting is dangerous, stupid and indefensible. Physics prevails here, and the willingness of cyclists to try and share a lane with 4,000lbs of steel at any speed only speaks to the recklessness of most riders. Accidents are guaranteed. Engaging in this idiocy is simply evolution in action.
—Guest Fairsay Goodepointe

No

It's dangerous for obvious reasons to be an inch away from my car. I drive safely, always use my turn signal, follow the 2 second rule, and when behind a motorcycle I give them 3 seconds of space as a courtesy. I don't like having mr mohawk motorcycle helmet screaming past my car with an inch of distance between my car and him. Should one of us suffer a tire blowout, things can go from "safe" to deadly. It's a bad idea.
—Guest Gabriel

It can be dangerous not to!

Especially at red lights and bumper to bumper traffic. If a motorcycle is sitting at the back of traffic and somebody is texting, on their phone, or distracted, if that person hits another car then it's a bad day for the two drivers; if that person hits a motorcycle, it's a bad day for one driver and an entire family. Filtering (within reasonable speeds) keeps bikers out of dangers way in these types of situations.
—Guest Aaron

YES!

Lane splitting should be legalized it is far more safer for the rider to lab split then to just sit in traffic when its 100 degrees outside
—Guest kawi636

YES!

Yup it should be legal ! ... especially in big cities.
—Guest George

YES!

Yup it should be legal ! ... especially in big cities.
—Guest George

split lanes

I split lanes for many years in the San Francisco East Bay and South Bay. Forty years? The bike should never be 15mph over your slowest lane. Lanes moving at different speeds are great as neither lane can easily merge. Do not ‘checkerboard’ – split when two cars are keeping each other in their lanes. Commute lanes screw up splitting as duel-ass operators try to stay in the commute lane to the last second – then pull to the right lanes. But this is good for bikers, as all drivers hate it, thus giving us common enemies. Run from the backfield when you have linemen blocking? I’ve got an SUV to the right of me – do you think the marginal operator in the Toyota is going to pull into the SUV? It’s running interference, coverage. The only incidents were when drivers, soon to have their taillight and fender kicked in, mirror punched off the car or windshield smashed had tried purposely to squeeze me. Four or five times in ~40 years.
—Guest Milt

Absolutely Yes!!!

I've been riding for 42 years, most of that time in SoCal and worked as a motorcycle courier for a time. Lane splitting is far safer for motorcyclists than the alternative. That is to place yourself in bumper-to-bumper traffic between two 4000 pound SUV's driven by distracted soccer moms. Lane splitting adds a fore/aft option which allows you to avoid a collision. It's only unsafe when you split without using some common sense...
—ccrider77

No no no no

Saw the results on the 405 just outside of L A. Guy splitting lanes caught a saddle bag un the bumper of a car and down he went in crazy traffic.
—billyc5

should lane splitting be legalized?

Yes it should, BUT there needs to be rules. Such as speed of split, one side, which side, and WHEN it's allowed. Also the public would need to be informed CONSTANTLY that it IS legal and that there ARE consequences for obstruction of such maneuvers "THAT IT IS
—Guest Mark "Action" Jackson

Lane splitting is good

I live in CA where traffic is a daily neusance, the ability to slit slow moving or stationary traffic is a god send. That is one of two reasons why I may never move from SOCAL. the other reason is the year round riding weather.
—Guest Chris Manella

Definitely

Not only should they make lane splitting legal, they should also make it legal for motorcycles to ride the shoulder during traffic jams. Also to help keep riders safe, the penalty for hindering or obstructing the path of a rider while the rider is lane splitting very harsh.
—BigD234

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Should lane splitting be legalized?

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