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Discussion Starter #1
I got this from another site....




Lane-splitting: Is it really OK to do that?

It's legal in California for motorcyclists to weave between traffic lanes to pass slower cars, but that doesn't make it safe.

By Jeanne Wright, Special to The Times

You're stuck on the freeway. All lanes have come to a dead stop, when suddenly a motorcycle roars past at high speed, inches away, scaring the wits out of you. It's called lane-splitting, a harrowing maneuver by motorcyclists to break through freeway traffic jams and bypass slow-moving vehicles. Although motorcyclists love it, motorists often find it annoying and dangerous. California is the only state that allows motorcyclists to drive between vehicle lanes if it is done in a safe manner. And as the number of motorcycle riders has increased, fatalities are up and lane-splitting also appears to be on the increase, says Sgt. Ron Burch of the California Highway Patrol. In 2003, there were 3,592 motorcycle fatalities nationwide, according to recent figures released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The death toll represents an 11% surge over the previous year in the number of cyclists killed. California led the nation in 2002 with 323 motorcycle fatalities. Though neither the CHP nor the NHTSA keeps statistics on the number of accidents involving motorcycles splitting lanes, anecdotal information indicates the practice has led to serious injuries and deaths. Of the five fatal motorcycle accidents Burch worked during his five years as a CHP motorcycle officer, two of them involved riders who were splitting lanes on the freeways. The other three involved excessive speed. "Motorcycling in general is inherently dangerous. It's startling that lane-splitting is even allowed," says Judy Stone, president of Advocates for Highway Safety, a national nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. "Drivers can't always see them coming, it surprises people." Stone, whose group advocates strong laws requiring all riders to wear helmets, says head injuries are the leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes. Stone argues that the rise in motorcycle deaths nationwide could be, in part, attributed to the fact that some states repealed helmet laws and others relaxed requirements on the protective gear. California, 18 other states and the District of Columbia require helmet use for all motorcycle drivers and passengers. In 28 other states, only those under a certain age, generally 18, are required to wear helmets. Three states — Colorado, Illinois and Iowa — have no helmet requirements, according to the group. ough motorcyclists often clash with safety advocates over issues such as helmet use, the lane-splitting issue has at least one rider organization concerned.

"We don't advocate high-speed lane-splitting. It's dangerous and stupid, not to mention illegal just about everywhere in the country," says Jeff Hennie of the influential Motorcycle Rider Foundation, also based in Washington. As vice president of the group's government affairs, Hennie says lane-splitting is certainly a way to reduce traffic congestion in California, but riders should drive responsibly, particularly "in this age of road rage."

"Many motorcycle drivers are very responsible and I try to make room for them," says Candysse Miller, of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. But motorcyclists who "speed and drive recklessly, racing between lanes … and driving in and out of carpool lanes are scary. I guess it's a 'live free or die' attitude."

Art Friedman, an avid California motorcycle rider and senior editor of Motorcycle Cruising and Motorcyclist magazine, says more research needs to be done in motorcycle safety, including a closer look at the advantages and risks of lane-splitting. Though it can alleviate traffic congestion, Friedman says, advocates of lane-splitting have to consider that "we have more people splitting lanes these days and cars are bigger and wider." Speeding between vehicles that are stopped or moving slowly "is not very smart. It just lessens your reaction time and most officers will write you a ticket for doing that," he says. If a motorcyclist is lane-splitting and either veers into one of the lanes or loses control and collides with another vehicle in a lane, the motorcyclist is at fault, says Burch of the Highway Patrol. To safely split lanes in slow or stopped traffic, Burch says, speeds should not be more than 10 mph faster than the flow of traffic. Even though lane-splitting is legal in the state, officers have the discretion to issue citations for unsafe speed or reckless behavior.

"If traffic is stopped and a motorcycle is splitting lanes at 60 mph, anything can happen. Someone could open a car door or make a lane change. There is no way you will be able to take an evasive maneuver to prevent a collision," Burch warns.

Jeanne Wright can be reached at [email protected]
 

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The article is clearly biased from the beginning. Perhaps Ms. Wright was having a bad morning, PMSing while being stuck in gridlock in her daily commute to the Times, and was jealous of a lanesplitter that passed her up.

So much for journalistic integrity.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm still waiting for the next article: :twisted:

SUV's : Is it really nessassary to drive them like tanks ? "

OR

CAR's : Do we really need to pay attention to surounding traffic ?
 

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LoL.. but some of us here do speed through when lane splitting and I always find that scary as hell!! I am always scared some cager will change lanes without even looking and I only split through if i know there is anothe car in the other lane blocking the person to enter that lane, then I make my way through. Otherwise I wait a bit and rev the **** outta my engine before I pass. I am sure a lot of us know this already. But there are new riders every day. And they have a tendency to act recklessly. But I have never seen one person go 60 mph lane splitting in heavy traffic or stopped traffic. Might be a bit of OVER EXAGGERATION (sp?).


Why don't we email that "****"..?
 

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When lane splitting, is it only legal between the first and second lane of the free way ? (between far left and second to far left)
 

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i was splitting on the 405 the other day, going probably 20 mph faster than traffic which was going about 10 mph, and i saw a moto coming up on me FAST. i pulled into traffic to let him by, and it was a SQUID on a GSX-R in a t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers riding (I sh*t you not) SUPERMAN-style going probably 40 mph faster than traffic.

i kept expecting to see his carcass as i rode.
 

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key words in her article are "high speed" and nothing else. yes, riding fast is more dangerous than not. same goes for a car. how many car deaths were there that year? how many died of cancer directly attributed to smoking?

*** /me walks out the door for a cig ***

:shock:
 

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I think they're jealous the lack the coordination to own a bike or to split lanes.

Ok but seriously, I can see their points and 3000+ death a year for motorcycles is a good chunk IMO for how many that ride. I can understand their concern for safety but how many people die in their bed each year? I suppose sleeping should be illegal too.
 

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"And as the number of motorcycle riders has increased, fatalities are up and lane-splitting also appears to be on the increase, "

She would be implying that lane-splitting is the cause of all the deaths. Its actually safer to lane-split than sit in traffic and get rear ended by the car that isnt paying attention to you but the car in front of you instead.

And lane-splitting ISN'T actually legal. Its not specifically prohibited so the CHP can cite you as they wish if they THINK you are riding dangerously.

Anecdotally, most would agree that splitting about 15 mph faster than traffic is considered riding safely. Most cars expect motorcycles (if they expect you at all!) between #1 and #2 lanes as stated above but there are no rules on any of this.
 

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He told me you'd poke your head up and say hello. Well, let me tell you I'm glad I learned on a gs500 as a first bike. I really cant understand how someone can REALLY learn to ride hard starting out on the rr. BUT I am GLAD to be done with it. It was great for what it was but the RR is such a refined machine. I am stunned by how much technology you get for your money. Its shocking really. The bike is amazing in the canyons too...

Glad to meet ya...
 

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Okay first question, When was this written? I would very much like to write to this lady.
Second question is DOES SHE RIDE???? No not on the back of a bike but actualy ride?I hope that for once they put a stop to this bike bashing BS.
Yeah it's scary to them cause cagers are in there own little world listening to Britney Spears pretending to themselfs that they can sing when they should be watching traffic and there ""MIRRORS"".
And really...come on who really rides in stopped traffic at 60 MPH....and no the movie Torque does not count. I say get some people who A. Live in California and B. Have riden a bike for a few years..because once your in traffic with a 400 lb bike and nothing between you and a 2000+ lb car it makes you think twice twice about checking your mirrors and make sure you look over your shoulder before a lane change. The way I see it bikers are by far the best drivers out there.
 
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