Skip to comments.Arizona to Legalize Lane-Splitting, France to Ban it?
Posted on 03/31/2010 7:29:11 AM PDT by Dick Holmes
One barrier to widespread adoption of motorcycles as transportation in the USA is that of practical advantage. In most places, two-wheeled transport offers few advantages over the four-wheeled kind. That's partly because unlike almost every other country on Earth, the practice of "lane-splitting"-riding in between lanes of stopped or slow-moving vehicle traffic-is outlawed in what is allegedly the Home of the Free. That means that in every state but California, not only do motorcyclists have to endure the privations of motorcycle travel, they also have to bump along at the maddeningly slow pace of traffic-snarled trucks and automobiles, even though there is little evidence that the practice of lane-splitting (if done in a safe and reasonable fashion) is particularly dangerous.
So kudos to the Arizona legislature for honoring the Goldwater legacy of personal liberty tempered by individual responsibility with Arizona House Bill 2475. Introduced by Harley-Davidson-riding Representative Jerry Weiers (say "wires," R-District 12), the bill will legalize, for a one-year probationary period beginning January 1, 2011, lane-splitting in stopped traffic. It will only apply in counties with populations greater than 2 million (according to 2006 population estimates, this is just Maricopa county, with the Phoenix-Glendale-Scottsdale megalopolis). The bill sailed through the Transportation committee (which Weiers chairs) and the House Rules committee, and has been read to the State Senate as well. It's looking like there is little opposition to the bill so far, which makes sense: those who lean to the left should like the message of encouraging the lower environmental impact of motorcycle transportation, and those on the right should appreciate the individual-rights angle.
(Excerpt) Read more at motorcycledaily.com ...
This is a very dangerous maneuver, and I would not lane-split.
The masses of motorists are simply not smart enough, talented enough, focused enough or even awake enough to be around motorcycles. This is something I remember everytime I mount up - Stay AWAY FROM THOSE CARS.
Lane Splitting is a mind-bending risk that isn’t worth it. If you’re in traffic on a motorcycle, you chose the wrong route.
Rather than causing another person a lifetime of guilt, if a person wants to be an organ donor, they should just go to an emergency room, inform the staff that they are an organ donor and commit suicide.
“The masses of motorists are simply not smart enough, talented enough, focused enough or even awake enough to be around motorcycles”
I’d say the vast majority of motorcyclists are not smart enough to do this safely
I’m not in favor of “Lane Splitting”. It can be hard enough to switch lanes in heavy traffic without worrying about a motorcycle in between lanes. Any type of vehicle that rides on the road should follow the same laws.
“...The masses of motorists are simply not smart enough, talented enough, focused enough or even awake enough to be around motorcycles...”
....not to mention young enough...a Harley friend of mine just wrecked...I asked him “what happened”....he said “I’m 60 and I just don’t have the reflexes I had when I started riding at 19”
Someone lane-split in Atlanta traffic and knocked my mirror off of the passenger side of my car. Needless to say, I don’t like this idea because too many morons can’t judge the distance between cars.
And if some poor sap in a stopped car happens to stick his arm out the window? Whaaap! Boooom! Awwwwww!
I saw one of these organ donors first hand. Idiot popped a wheelie in heavy traffic. Car turned in front of him as they weren’t expecting him to be going 80 mph or that his headlight would be pointed up in the air.
He ended up under the front wheels of the car. Young lady got out to see him sticking out from under her car and completely lost it. I’d imagine she’s still in therapy.
Lane splitting will get you killed.
Years ago I was riding into Boston. Got stuck in bumper to bumper traffic just at the entrance to the old South Station tunnel. Guy on a rice burner flies by ‘tween lanes. Runs smack into the rear of a cab changing lanes and gets launched over 5-6 cars. Bike — wrecked; rider — wrecked.
I could not agree more, you have no room to maneuver or time to do so. Everything from people opening their car doors, pedestrians jaywalking or last moment lane changes would all be catastrophic.
I had two guys lane split between me and another truck on a Dallas freeway. We were doing 80 and these idiots musta been doing 120.
When you split lanes and die as a result, you can bet it will be the four wheeler’s fault.
I started riding in CA 40-some years ago, split lanes
constantly and never had a problem. I found getting rear-ended or being cut off a far more common experience.
In some states they would need to change more than the law though. In Texas for example, the car drivers take it personally when a motorcycle tries to slip by and will
often try to cut him off or even open a door. Once had
a pissed off cau-boi wannabe stalk me for 7 miles up I-35
for daring to pass him on the right while he was on the phone.
I like your screen name!
I ride, and I agree with you 100%. Even a 15mph wreck — say someone is lane splitting at that speed and a car in front of them edges over to change lanes or a driver sticks their arm out their window — can do REAL damage to both the rider and the car (and possibly the car driver).
I remember in CA, riders would split lanes at about 40 mph. When you are sitting stuck in traffic and a bike blows past you at that speed, it’s quite startling! Also, in the summer heat, people would stick their arms out their windows or even open their doors (happened all the time on LA freeways that got completely stuck for a while).
Saw that years ago on a highway in NH. Same speeds except 5 riceburners. The amazing result was a few a miles down the road a NH state trooper had them all pulled to the side.
Motorcyclists and bicyclists should make up their minds. Either ride on the road and follow the same rules as cars, or stay off the road altogether.
now that seems sensible
Talk about motor cyclists,, there are plenty of cyclists out there giving the rest of them a bad name. I have lost count of the times I had a cyclists fly by me at what seemed like a 100 mph in a no passing zone! I have seen cyclists weave in and out of traffic and ride bumpers. Going to Virginia once there was some guy in a little suzuki or something passing cars on the left and right (going on and off highway!) traveling at an incredible speed!) A few years ago in our community some guy on a large bike killed himself and an entire family in a min van that was turning into a fair. They clocked his speed at 100+. He was decapitated instantly but the mini van burst into flames killing father mother children and a grandfather! Sickening!
Then I see some guy with a bumper sticker (kill a biker-go to jail!) makes me freaking mad!
Next time you get a chance - Look up some video footage of traffic in India.
India is NUTS. These guys lane split at traffic lights too. It’s ridiculous and rude. I hope america NEVER gets to this point.
I’ll hand in my licence.
I did lane splitting, but only when the traffic was stop/go or at a crawl. And then I would stay focused on the cars, anticipating their actions for the asleep or hostile driver etc., and I did not go over 35 mph.
But when the freeway was jammed up it sure was nice to do.
No!You want to do your own thing.Lane splitting is stupid and dangerous ,as is passing on the right.
If the car driver had moved to the right while you were illegally passing you'd be crying-if you survived.
I'm fed up with all the special people thinking the great majority of drivers following the rules should give way to the speeding egotist who flashes his headlights or rides a motorcycle.
Some people work hard to earn the disdain of the average driver.
Your post is the key to the whole argument. Everyone should have ONE rule set to follow.
Hell, then why not allow EVERYONE to lane split. Cars, too. Those Smart cars could fit.
Sounds like another group requesting special privileges unavailable to others.
Maybe we could also allow mopeds and golfcarts on the highway system as well, while we’re, as was so nobly put, “honoring the Goldwater legacy of personal liberty tempered by individual responsibility “.
In my view, lane-splitters are daring me to not hit them. Since the eyes in the back of my head don’t work as well as they used to, it becomes their problem, not mine. I check out the lane next to me, not the line next to me.
BTW, my son, who rides a motorcycle, is not stupid enough to lane-split.
If some stupid cage driver is too focused on his telephone conversation to pay attention to the road, then he deserves to get passed, right or left. And if you dont like it, tough. I drive legally for the most part, but I won’t let the law stop me from necessary evasive action.
And getting mad and chasing me down the freeway is a race you won’t win.
Bikers DON'T have to split lanes so if you are a biker and don't like doing it ... don't.
Most of the squawking comes from cage (car) drivers that are just jealous that they have to sit in traffic while the bikers zip by. Oh and by the way ... there would be no traffic if the cage drivers would pick the "right" route
Not to change the topic, but I was born in the NE Texas/SE Arkansas area and now I’m back after so many lifetimes. The area is still full of rednecks & mental cases. Mental cases and rednecks seem to make up most of the same group, and you better get out fast if they take a disliking to you ;-)
When you split lanes and die as a result, you can bet it will be the four wheelers fault.
Given that the tactic is illegal in most states, your statement is false on its face.
When you perform illegal maneuvers in traffic and die, it’s your fault.
Monday on my way to the library ,a bicyclist completely ignored the stop signs at at 4-way intersection and shot through in front of me,looking neither right nor left.(Of course I've also seen the cellphone-using driver of an unmarked police car do a right turn without stopping at the same intersection.Before I made it safely to the library a large straight truck went through the stop sign at the very next intersection ,only slowing briefly,not stopping as required by law;and then two intersections further a young man pulled out in front of me from a side street.
Ironically there are signs warning that "rolling stops cost $134,complete stops are free;the police dept.".
I've been driving for 37 years and can't help but see the increased aggressiveness of drivers and riders.
Then you will be wearing a helmet while you drive your car.
Been doing that for years. I guess you and I are the only rocket scientists who ride? And yes, Doctor, I have had a contretemps or two while doing it. Occasionally it wasn't the bad car driver's fault, either.
OTOH, I almost hit a moose, too.
Rode for years, and I’ve seen relatively safe lane splitting, and absolutely idiotic lane splitting.
If traffic is at a standstill, splitting the lanes at a cautious and reasonable speed is relatively safe... If you decide to split between two cars who are both doing 60 MPH because you are doing 85, this is just tempting death.
I have split lanes, but only when traffic was at virtual standstill, and then at a very cautious pace, because you never know when a fool in a cage will cut you off even in these situations.
Drivers just don’t look or expect a bike in the middle, so its not something I have or would do in any other situation. I’ve seen it done, and I’ve also seen the same guy that whizzed between me and a semi who were going in the 60s, a pile of pudding not more than 5 miles further up the road.
I see, as always when the discussion turns to lane splitting, a lot of bike envy. “Whaaa, I’m stuck in traffic so you have to be stuck in traffic too”. Never mind that letting bikes filter opens up that section of road to another car and gets everybody through traffic faster. Maybe instead of whining about how unfair it is to let bikes share lanes you cage runners should go get a bike yourself.
When their bikes comply with noise regulations, I’ll consider some sympathy for granting them added privileges.
Drivers just dont look or expect a bike in the middle
That’s why they call them lanes.
i don’t understand how its rude. would you rather have me get out of the way, or be that one vehicle too many that makes you miss the next couple lights?
You will laugh......
Do you have any idea how many of you lane-splitters I have almost killed?
Traffic is moving at ten to twenty miles per hour and all off a sudden just as you are about to make a land change, here comes a guy at 30 miles an hour out of nowhere.
As hard as you try, it’s literally impossible to spot folks like this, especially if there’s a slight bend in the road.
As convenient as it may be for you and other bikers, it’s just not worth the risk to your life and limb IMO. And the drivers of cars shouldn’t be exposed to having to feel guilty for taking one of you out by accident for the rest of their lives either.
I did ;-)
Right on brother ....
Boy ,you deserve every bit of disdain anyone has for you and your elitist attitude.
Those stupid cage drivers pay through gas and vehicle taxes for the road you like to ride on.And would you want to guess the percentage of freight hauled by motorcycles?Or how many people are rushed to the hospital by motorcycle?Do you take the motorcycle grocery shopping?Carpool?Load it up for a trip to grandma's or the zoo with the kids?If it breaks down will it be towed to the shop by a motorcycle?
Cars are popular with "stupid cage drivers" because they allow travel in comparative comfort and safety with room for other people and stuff.Motorcyclists ought to be grateful they are allowed to use the same roads as everyone else.
Never ridden in Cali, but the 6 weeks (and 4000 miles) in Germany was a revelation. Drivers actually got out of your way if you were going fast, not like the USA where someone will purposely clog the left lane when they see you coming. A big bike got a lot of respect there, too. You couldn’t just hop on one at 16; you had to spend a couple years on smaller bikes first, and the license tests were no joke, either, also unlike here.
This seems reasonable AS LONG AS: Motorcyclists ALONE accept ALL FINANCIAL LIABILITY for any accidents resulting from a collision that occurs because a lane splitting motocyclist flies out of nowhere into a motorist who has the misfortune of trying to change lanes when the lane-splitter shoots through.
The reason why you “almost” killed them is probably that they saw you and got out of the way in time. You on the other hand need to pay a little more attention.
As for me, I don't trust most car drivers when we each have a full lane, much less splitting lanes with them.
Some of the comments on this thread indicate that distrust is well placed.
Most of the squawking comes from cage (car) drivers that are just jealous that they have to sit in traffic while the bikers zip by.
Yeah, and most of them have air conditioning. Go figure.