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Is bill on motorcycle lane-splitting poised to clear all hurdles?

We visited the topic of motorcycle lane-splitting in California in a blog post earlier this spring, noting therein that riders are "allowed to ride between slowing and stopped lanes of traffic, as long as [they] do so responsibly." Our March 27 entry cited some statistics that strongly buttress the claims of advocates that the practice promotes safety on California's busy streets and highways.

Now is certainly the time to update the topic, given recent developments that are occurring in the California State Legislature. A bill described by the Los Angeles Times as having "momentum" seems reasonably poised to sail through the state Assembly en route to its due consideration in the California Senate, where proponents also expect it to pass.

Indeed, the "broad support" that is reportedly buoying the legislation seems clearly evidenced, with the bill being co-authored by Democratic and Republican legislators, respectively.

One benefit of the legislation that is centrally pointed to is the clarity that it provides. The would-be law on motorcycle lane-splitting would remove some of the ambiguity attached to the practice by establishing specific speed limits for riders. The parameters were arrived at following consideration of a university-authored safety study and input provided by the California Highway Patrol.

Although no other state in the country has passed a law sanctioning lane-splitting, California has singular and compelling reasons for straying from the crowd.

Riders across the state, especially in Southern California, as well as commentators on state transportation and infrastructure issues, know immediately what those are.

Most centrally, they relate to traffic flow. The above-cited Times article notes several flow-related factors, including the "traffic-choked freeways of Los Angeles," that are fueling support for lane-splitting and the salutary safety effects that legions of adherents say it yields.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "California could soon legalize motorcycle lane-splitting," Charles Fleming, May 28, 2015

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