Lane-Splitting, California style!

California is the only state where lane-splitting is legal. Here is what lane-splitting looks like from a car on a busy Los Angeles highway.

This is lane-splitting, California-style. Also known as lane-sharing, filtering, or stripe-riding, lane-splitting allows motorcyclists to cut through slow-moving traffic by cutting between cars. It’s wild, it’s scary, it’s fascinating and – despite how crazy it looks – it’s legal in the Golden State. The big surprise is that, within limits, it’s also safe, at least according to one of the few studies that’s looked at the practice.

“There’s many opinions about it and very little data,” said Chris Cochran, a spokesman for the California Office of Traffic Safety, which conducted a study of lane-splitting. “Out of that study came the data that lane-splitting in and of itself — when done in what we refer to as in a safe and prudent manner — is no more dangerous than regular motorcycle-riding.”

Motorcyclists have long claimed that the practice is safer than remaining in a lane in stop-and-go traffic because it  lowers the risk of being rear-ended and allows them to maneuver to open road. It also saves time, obviously. But it also means riding much closer to other vehicles.

The subject comes up a lot in riders’ forums. Although it’s illegal in most jurisdictions, many motorcyclists admit to lane-splitting when highways become parking lots, even if it means risking a traffic ticket. They say law enforcement generally overlooks the practice,  unless the biker blazes through.

The most negative reaction usually comes from angry drivers in cars. Check out how lane-splitting looks from their perspective:

How do you feel about lane-splitting? Do you think it should be legal in other states too?


(Source: The Washington Post )