Not long ago we talked to you about a bill in California that would make lane-splitting legal. Unfortunately, that bill stalled out in the legislative process, though it showed much promise. Since then Colorado lawmaker Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt proposed a lane-splitting bill in our beautiful state, which would have kept many motorcyclists safer in dense traffic situations. However, the Colorado House Committee struck it down.
Why Won’t Colorado Make Lane-Splitting Legal?
The measure failed in an 8-5 vote despite support from the motorcycling community and scientific studies that proved lane-splitting to be a much safer alternative to motorcyclists sitting in traffic. The study performed by UC Berkley examined 6,000 motorcycle accidents and found that motorists commonly just missed motorcyclists sitting in traffic, which led to rear-end collisions. Despite this evidence and massive support from the motorcycling community, the bill was still voted down.
The Colorado State Patrol sent a legislative liaison, David Hall, to the session. He argued against the passing of the bill and cited Colorado drivers were not used to lane-splitting, which would make it unsafe. However, some motorcycle riders feel like their safety is being neglected for the sake of driver convenience.
The bill would have allowed motorcyclists stuck in traffic moving 5 mph or slower to move into the space between cars in order to keep moving forward—those motorcyclists were also limited to riding at 15 mph when moving between cars. This would have reduced traffic congestion, and removed motorcyclists from dangerous situations that could lead to rear-end accidents, but for now riders must wait for the next lane-splitting bill to be submitted to the legislature.
If the issue can pass in other states, then it can also pass in ours, so keep following our blog for more updates, and be sure to speak up to your representatives in Denver. Motorcyclists may not make up the majority of road users, but our safety is just as important as theirs.