• Mar 27, 2010
Picture this: It's ten minutes after five o'clock, you're heading north on the 405 freeway, leaving Los Angeles. You won't appreciate your favorite two-wheeled conveyance much more than at this moment. If you spend time traveling through California, you know the practice of lane-splitting can shave hours off of an otherwise grueling commute. The act of passing slowed or stopped cars between lanes, however, appeared to be limited to to the Golden State, with slim hopes of spreading east. Until now, that is.

Under House Bill 2475, Arizona lawmakers would allow lane-splitting during aone-year "trial period.". This would only encompass Maricopa County, home to the Phoenix metro area and its surrounding suburbs.

Local news reports indicate differing opinions over the plan's safety. That said, riders who lane-split in California (not to mention the millions who regularly do so every single day in Europe and Asia) will tell you the practice can indeed be performed safely. What's more, lane-splitting reduces fuel consumption, travel times and roadway congestion.

As traffic grows more intense each year, it's hard to view attempts to reduce congestion as anything but positive. If Arizonans need another excuse to enjoy their year-round riding conditions, it could soon come with the passing of Bill 2475.

[Source: ABC15.com | Image: akeg via CC-SA 2.0]


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  • 67 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      First they need to make wearing helmets mandatory.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Do at your own risk. I have been doing it for 4 years here in Socal.
      Allot of Dbags like to nerf you..
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ha ha ha....I am an old man who is half deaf, and wears glasses to go pee. Come up between lanes with me and you die. Sorry, never saw/heard you comming. I will send your parents a sympathy card.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I ride a 2007 Triumph Bonneville and one of the major reasons that I own a motorcycle is because of the traffic. I do lane split ( It's like flying through the trench on the Death Star) but I ride extremely cautiously. People cut me off all the time and the one's that do it most often are women driving SUVs or expensive German Cars (Benz mostly). The women in the SUVs are just too small for their vehicle so they practice the art of "My SUV is huge and I'm coming over so they'll see me and move". The women driving the Benzs, just don't give a f--k about anyone else on the road but themselves. They're usually talking on the phone, texting or putting on makeup and when you ride up beside them, they just look they other way and pretend like you don't exist. Been riding in Los Angeles for more than 20 years without a single accident until a few months back when a guy driving a Kia pulled in front of me. I was in the lane closest to the curb and I was lane splitting for about 20' but the lane opened up as we approached the light and I had 100% right of way. The insurance company found him 100% liable.
      • 4 Years Ago
      In France they're trying to ban it and 10-15,000 riders protested and stopped traffic for 6 hours obeying the 1 lane 1 vehicle law. They did the same for parking and government quickly changed their minds.
      The biggest problem with this is changing peoples attitudes about sharing. Car drivers need to be cool about allowing bike riders the space to get ahead and out of the way and bike riders need to be cool about not abusing the privilege of lane splitting. It has been proven that it can be done safely if drivers check and indicate a lane change riders at a slow speed can avoid being cut-off.
      The safest place according to the Hurt Report for riders to be is beside a vehicle in traffic jams compared to behind or in front of vehicles. Remember lane-splitting is only for congested traffic.
      Lane-splitting may even create incentive for car drivers to ride a motorcycle if daily commutes can be significantly reduced.
      Until motorcycling becomes a viable commuting alternative as in most of the rest of the world North American riders will have a hard time convincing drivers that lane-splitting is a worthwhile traffic congestion solution.
      Just like weaving in and out of lanes on a bike is illegal, so is opening a car door in the middle of a highway. Why anyone would deliberately want to injure another road user is just beyond comprehension.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think there should be a lane just for motorcycles. This would encourage people to ride and it would be much safer than lane splitting. You would have to put a hefty penalty for violators like $5000 fine and 10 days in jail just so car drivers wouldn't be tempted to drive in that lane.
      • 4 Years Ago
      As a motorcyclist, I can see the advantage. However, I would say this should only be legal if traffic is stopped or moving slowly. Personally, I would never do this as I have an inherent distrust of cagers. I recall being to California for MotoGP twice and cruising along the 101 in a rental car at about 70mph or so and the bikes were lane splitting even then. I was shocked, no way is that safe or necessary, one slight swerve by a cager and you are done. You might survive the fall, but you would surely be run over.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Oh god, please don't let this become legal in Florida!!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm not sure I would want to be lane splitting, people already have a hard enough time paying attention driving forward. I've already seen bikes/scooters get sandwiched between vehicles in real life, not a pleasant sight.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ TigerMil: Let me guess, you drive a suburban or an escalade, and regularly run into anyone who dares to drive something smaller. Darwinian selection at work after all...

        I look forward to the day when you run across a front-end loader or a tank with the same attitude.
        • 4 Years Ago
        People cut off lane splitters because 49 out of 50 states make it just as illegal as passing on the shoulder.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's not up to 'people' to pay attention to moronic squids splitting traffic.
        Darwinian selection.
      • 4 Years Ago
      As a California motorcyclist, I couldn't live without lane sharing; however, I have been knocked down while doing it (under 20 mph, so I got away with just scuffs on the bike). I see riders doing it while traffic is flowing and that's just insane and unnecessary.

      In terms of enforcement, I think California's got it right where it is up to the officer's discretion whether you're doing it safely or not.

      As for doing it without a helmet? That's nuts. Wearing a helmet should be a condition of being allowed to lane share. Though if you're stupid enough not to wear a helmet while riding....Darwinism?
      • 4 Years Ago
      People in Europe do this everyday and there doesnt seem to be any problems. Just another example of the better licensing program in place throughout Europe. There is more bikes on the road although, and less massive needless gas guzzling SUVs. So it may be safer in that regard alone.

      Lane splitting doesn't annoy me in the least. These people should be able to go to the front. Just one more advantage of commuting on a bike. Those talking about intentionally wrecking someone just because the bike is going ahead of you need to get a clue.
      • 4 Years Ago
      People need to know that there are guidelines to the splitting / sharing law in California.

      Generally, it can't be done at more than 5-10 miles per hour faster than the adjacent cars. So if Johnny Squid is white-lining it at 50 while traffic is stopped, he's probably going to get a citation. And technically, you're also supposed to signal whenever you cross the line between the lanes, though that's pretty impractical to both obey and to enforce.

      Most motorcycle safety experts here also recommend that riders use the space between lanes 1 and 2 since there tends to be less lane changing by cars on that part of the freeway, and cars in lane 1 have a little more space to their left and tend to leave a bigger gap. (It's actually illegal to ride between the two double-yellows that divide the HOV lane and the first regular lane, just as it's illegal to cross it. Bikes can ride in the carpool lane and safely pass while there, but there are often commuter buses in those lanes which makes it difficult.)

      Some years ago a "hand-wringer" in the California Assembly introduced a bill to ban lane-splitting. During committee testimony, guess who came out AGAINST the bill? The California Highway Patrol.
        • 4 Years Ago
        From the CHP website (http://www.chp.ca.gov/html/answers.html):
        Can motorcycle riders "split" lanes and ride between other vehicles?
        Lane splitting by motorcycles is permissible but must be done in a safe and prudent manner.

        Like I mentioned before, lane splitting is allowed here because it reduces traffic congestion. LA traffic is bad enough as it is. It's done very commonly in the rest of the world. Just because it isn't common here in the States doesn't make it a bad idea.
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