In California, motorcycles can engage in lane splitting, which involves riding on the white lines that divide lanes of traffic. Until recently, there were not many specific laws on the books that told riders how they were supposed to ride safely between cars
“Really, it has been limited anarchy out there,” said California Highway Patrol (CHP) Sgt. Mark Pope. “Nobody has provided any guidance, so we decided it was time to figure that out.” A new set of regulations establishes safety protocols for lane splitting in an attempt to reduce motorcycle accidents.
CHP introduced the regulations in January, and they consist of two major components: riders should not go more than 10 mph faster than traffic, and they should not lane split at all if traffic is moving at 30 mph or faster.
While there are certain traffic risks that accompany lane splitting – a passenger opening a door into a motorcycle’s path, for instance – police say that motorcyclists are overall safer when they ride between lanes when compared to riding behind cars in stop-and-go traffic.
“What we see more often than motorcyclists being involved in lane-splitting accidents is we see motorcyclists running into the backs of cars,” Pope said.
In the event of a motorcycle crash, it is important to have an experienced attorney and motorcycle rider who understands the law and can figure out who is responsible for serious injuries and wrongful death. As a motorcycle enthusiast himself, lead attorney Tom Metier can help injured victims and grieving family members recover from serious accidents. Call (866) 377-3800 to schedule a free consultation and learn more.
[Tom’s Tips: Unless you are in California, do not engage in lane splitting. It is illegal in 49 states.]
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