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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in LA visiting my girlfriend, and while driving through traffic one day the subject of bikes came up. She mentioned that splitting lanes is legal as long as your going less then 30 MPH faster than the flow of traffic. Is there any truth to this? Just curious.

-Jeff
 

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I see people, including CHP's, split lanes over 30 all the time. One time a CHP was in a pack of people splitting over 30. Guess it's all about who you're riding with?
 

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i was sitting at a stoplight and a motorcyle split the lane. when the light turned green he went and got pulled over by a bike cop. i asked my friend who has been riding for a long time, he said its ok to split the lanes, you just cant cross the intersection from the center of a lane. i guess you have to fall back behind a car into a lane. anyone else heard this?
 

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I used to run a shop in Van Nuys in the late 70's and splitting lanes was legal then. We used to do it all the time, the only draw back was that if you crashed it was Your fault no matter what. We test rode a bike with a Fiberglass side car one time to listen for a rattle with a mechanics stethoscope. We left the shop and hopped up on the freeway with me on the bike and my mechanic in the side car and we swapped on the way back. So I'm looking at, and listening to the engine, when I feel the bike swerve a little, so I look up?? Traffic has slowed and my mechanic is lining the bike up to split lanes!! HOLY S**T!! so I start smacking his leg and he wakes up. A little brake lock up and some swerving and it's all better. We laughed about it later but at the time it was Scarry.
 

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Lane sharing in CA is legal
Riding on the whitle line is illegal
- per my MSF instructor

So I guess, just borrow that little unused portion of the lane and you are good.

I took the course just this august.
 

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Splitting lanes oughta be legal everywhere.

Traffic is caused by too many fuckin' cars jamming the roads, and 1/2 the drivers are yappin' on the cell phone.
 

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VA Rebel said:
Splitting lanes oughta be legal everywhere.

Traffic is caused by too many fuckin' cars jamming the roads, and 1/2 the drivers are yappin' on the cell phone.
I think the reason that lane splitting isn't legal some places is because legislators know that people are on their cell phones, not paying attention, and are likely to move over on you without looking.
 

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There was alot of talk over the last year about making it legal here in Texas. It didnt pass and I'm really glad it didnt. One of the big concerns was how would you get the word out to people that are'nt in the motorcycle community? It would be damn near impossible and I feel alot of people would have been killed here in Texas had it passed. At least thats what I think....
VA Rebel said:
Splitting lanes oughta be legal everywhere.

Traffic is caused by too many fuckin' cars jamming the roads, and 1/2 the drivers are yappin' on the cell phone.
 

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justjeff said:
and I feel alot of people would have been killed here in Texas had it passed. At least thats what I think....
it's funny you say that. I lived in Texas for a few years and one of the first mistakes I made was splitting a lane in Austin. I thought the people in the cars were going to lynch me, all shouting out of their windows, trying to block my path. I didn't even think that it might not be legal outside of CA.
 

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a while back (ahh yes, the sublime days) i lived in long beach and worked in irvine...i used to lane split the 405 like a mofo...if i recall the rule correctly you can lane split up to 20mph faster than trafic while staying under the posted speed limit. crazy cagers would get pissed and try to cut out and kill you so it was more like combat commuting...
 

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VA Rebel said:
Traffic is caused by too many fuckin' cars jamming the roads, and 1/2 the drivers are yappin' on the cell phone.
Amen. Out here in Silicon Valley, it's more like 75% of these idiots are on the phone. Windows up. Radio on. Chatting away.

Morons...all of them.

 

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I remember the first time I saw someone in california split lanes, I was thinkin "hey thats a good idea" I didnt know it was legal till a few days later.

I dont think it is legal here in Phoenix, but no one seems to mind.
 

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How to get the word out? Uh, that would be the easy part. Laws are enacted and ammended every year. Ignorance is a poor excuse & rarely works with the law. Use a car as a weapon, go directly to jail. Period.

The hard part would be changing the fucked up attitudes mentioned above. The "damned if your getting by me mofo" thought process is part of the problem. The only time I see motorcycles holding up traffic, it seems it's a large group of fringe wearing fat fucks on a toy run. 99.9% of the time, it's not bikers creating the jam.

Cell phone usage is totally out of control. Hang up and drive.
 

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Heya Bugman!

nice to meet ya this weekend - both times! Anyhoo...here's my 2cents;

There's the law, then there's "what's right/safe." Splitting falls in-between the two. Often, coming to a complete stop on my 30 yr old bike ain't safe, esp. on the freeway. I actually think 15 mph faster than traffic is the law, but I don't have a speedometer, and I wouldn't be looking at it, doing all that math while I was splitting, so that number don't mean anything to me at all.

I've never heard of that intersection thing...I've done that with cops around, and it's no problem... My experience has been that if whatever you are doing looks stupid/dangerous to a cop, they'll get you to the shoulder then figure out exactly what they can write the ticket for -- also, I've pulled some ILLEGAL shit in front of cops before, but made it look normal and safe, and they didn't look twice. Size-up the neighborhood yer in - if the cops see people get shot every day, they don't give a fuck about some *** biker. Long Beach is good this way (always look on the bright side).

I'm spitting the 710 and 405 almost every day, which is war zone style.
Here's my own stay-alive rules:
1.rude high beam ON, aimed at mirrors.
2. gear down to 3rd (at least) before splitting (this also makes you louder and snappier)
3.always remind yourself that using the brakes is OK sometimes (I'm bad at this)
4. wave to peeps that move for ya (it makes them feel cool)
5. Whenever you can, check behind you for other bikes on yer 6. My bike is fast, but everyone else's is faster, and my worst nightmare is hitting another biker. Don't let the Ducati racer push you through traffic, wave him past when it's safe.
6. Leave room behind your friend, the LAST thing you wanna do is rear-end him/her.....I came close once.
7. Kick that fuckin car if you need to. Did that once too. Not smart I guess, but felt good.

Jesus- too much typing
 

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jacked this from the ducatigirl website..

Here's the text (verbatim) from the CHP's site: "Lane splitting by motorcycles is permissible under California law but must done in a safe and prudent manner." The text used to also include "The motorcycle should be traveling no more than 10 mph faster than surrounding traffic (without exceeding the speed limit) and not come close enough to that traffic to cause a collision." but has since been removed. Perhaps they wanted to give cops more latitude to interpret what they thought was safe so they removed it.
Lane splitting on surface streets is probably not addressed in city or county laws so I would do this with caution, as individual cops will decide whether or not they like what they see. I split lanes on surface streets if I don't see any cops, but I stop immediately if I spot one.
You can also find more on lane-splitting in the DMV Motorcycle handbook (see page 20 in the handbook).
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for the info. Every time I see a biker doing that, I have a vision of some asshole purposly opening their door or swerving over to block him or some other stupid thing.
 

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You know, the other evening I was telling my lady about the day's "close call with cell phone douche" story and thought, "I should make a quick back patch that reads: GET OFF THE PHONE. I could safety pin it to the back of my jacket for the morning and evening commutes."

I wave at everyone that makes even the smallest attempt to give me some room. I have also kicked a few doors in my time as well.

 
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