California Bill AB 51 Codifying Lane Splitting To Be Introduced To Committee - Wrist Twisters
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post #1 of 10 Old 06-06-2016, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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California Bill AB 51 Codifying Lane Splitting To Be Introduced To Committee



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Here at MO, we are strong proponents of lane splitting. Not a day goes by in which we don’t filter between the lines of slower moving or stopped cars. In the process, we’re also easing congestion and protecting ourselves from being rear-ended by distracted drivers. So, naturally, we were excited last year when we heard of California bill AB 51 was making the rounds in an effort to codify the act of lane splitting by giving it a set of clear rules for riders to follow. One of the primary benefits of the rules would be that they would make it possible to educate the driving public about lane splitting.

Unfortunately, the bill was pulled last July at the request of its author, California Assemblyman Bill Quirk, because of fears that it would not pass. Since that time, Quirk has worked on changing the language of the bill to a form that will improve its chance of passing. According to LaneSplittingIsLegal.com, an organization devoted to promoting lane splitting, the wording has changed to a much less specific recipe for legal lane splitting to a more generalized one. The result is a bill that maintains lane splitting’s legality by virtue of not being explicitly illegal while giving the CHP the option of developing and distributing educational guidelines for riders and the driving public to better understand safe lane splitting.

In a mockup of the amended version of AB 51 produced by LaneSplittingIsLegal.com, the specifics of the top speed and the speed differential between the motorcycle and other traffic have been removed. In their place, the mandate for CHP to create guidelines to educate the public is inserted: 'The California Department of Highway Patrol may develop educational guidelines relating to lane splitting in a manner that would ensure the safety of the motorcyclist and the drivers and passengers of the surrounding vehicles.'

Additionally, the agencies that the CHP is to consult in developing the guidelines includes not only the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Department of Transportation, and the Office of Traffic Safety, but it also lists the requirement of consulting with a 'motorcycle organization focused on motorcyclist safety.' So, we assume the organization selected would be either the AMA or the MSF, giving actual motorcyclists an active say in the development of lane splitting guidelines – which is very good news!

These changes were scheduled to be submitted to committee yesterday, May 31, 2016, but at the time of publication, the bill’s page on the California Legislative Information website had not been updated. Interested parties can track the progress of the bill there. California residents who want to contact their representative can search here. Those who want to contact Assemblyman Quirk’s office can visit his web site.
Read more about the California Bill AB 51 Codifying Lane Splitting To Be Introduced To Committee at Motorcycle.com.

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post #2 of 10 Old 06-06-2016, 02:21 PM
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What will actually happen is the State of California will make it so that motorcycle riders that want to lane split will have to take a class that they have to pay for then pay for an annual permit to be allowed to lane split legally etc. Everything in this state is ultimately designed to generate revenue and this will be no different. They should have just left the decent law that says lane splitting is legal the hell alone because once the politicians get their hands the ability to re-write the law they will do it in a way that totally ruins the spirit of the law as it was intended.
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post #3 of 10 Old 06-06-2016, 05:15 PM
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Amen


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post #4 of 10 Old 06-06-2016, 05:30 PM
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Double amen.

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post #5 of 10 Old 06-06-2016, 05:36 PM
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You'll have to pay for the "privilege" of lane sharing? You have got to be kidding me. So motorcycle get hit twice compared to cars. If that holds, I don't see our surviving a legal challenge.

Next they'll charge for the privilege of using the hov lane. Oh wait, we already do that. It's called an "alternative fuel vehicle".

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post #6 of 10 Old 06-06-2016, 08:32 PM
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While cynically I agree with LDH, Im asking myself (as a CA resident again), what problem is going to be solved here? While I have seen a bunch of road rage in florida lately with completely wreckless lane sharing being involved, I dont see that much in California.

I have experienced over the 20 years I have lived in CA road rage from drivers maybe once or twice every 5 years while splitting lanes. I am not wreckless about how I do it, and I dont think its my RIGHT as a motorcycle rider to be able to. If I cant see the middle clear or if people are changing lanes like crazy due to construction or an accident or whatever I dont do it. That said some harley riders do think its their right and some cagers make an effort to get out of their way. Personally, I disagree. Under normal road conditions there is plenty of room between the lanes and drivers "moving over" to get out of the way of a harley is not really a safe thing to do since they may push into an adjacent lane or a concrete barrier. I think there needs to be merely some education (to cagers mostly) on how its supposed to work.

In the end codified or not, its US that are at the most risk, and while lane sharing is a nice *perk* of riding a motorcycle in CA, it comes with it disadvantages (namely more risk).

California has failed perpetually to legislate common sense. I would prefer it stop trying.

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post #7 of 10 Old 06-07-2016, 06:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LDH View Post
They should have just left the decent law that says lane splitting is legal the hell alone
Except right now there is no law saying that lane splitting is legal. It's only legal in the sense that there is no law stating that it is illegal. That's what they claim this is going to fix.

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post #8 of 10 Old 06-07-2016, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badmoon692008 View Post
Except right now there is no law saying that lane splitting is legal. It's only legal in the sense that there is no law stating that it is illegal. That's what they claim this is going to fix.
When will the politicians learn that "If it works don't fix it!!!" should be applied to every law being considered? Quasi legal lane sharing has been the norm in California for at least 50 years, and practically every driver is so used to it that it barely merits notice, much less ire.

There has always been a way to issue a ticket to any rider who is splitting unsafely, from unsafe speed for conditions up to reckless operation for the most egregious violations and regardless of how any law is worded that will not change, so why go through all the hassle of putting another law on the books that essentially does not change anything?

Ah well, it is what it is. I wonder if the state assembly in Colorado will ever listen to entreaties supporting repealing the law prohibiting lane sharing. Not holding my breath. But still hopeful.

Rob

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post #9 of 10 Old 06-07-2016, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badmoon692008 View Post
Except right now there is no law saying that lane splitting is legal. It's only legal in the sense that there is no law stating that it is illegal. That's what they claim this is going to fix.
I dont know the *actual* facts and I dont have time to google myself stupid on this. But I remember someone telling me that lane splitting being allowed was a decision by the CHP (they do it too).

If the CHP allows it, its legal.

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post #10 of 10 Old 06-08-2016, 06:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theboom View Post
I dont know the *actual* facts and I dont have time to google myself stupid on this. But I remember someone telling me that lane splitting being allowed was a decision by the CHP (they do it too).

If the CHP allows it, its legal.
The CHP released "guidelines" on how to safely lane split within the last couple years, but as of now, there is no law on the books explicitly stating that it's legal. But there's also no law saying that it's illegal, which I guess would make it legal by definition.

I would just like to clarify; I totally agree that the likelihood of them horking this up is very high, I'm just stating what they claim their reasoning is, not what I think they're actually going to accomplish.

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