Lane Splitting Bill Postponed For Another Year
The latest edition of CityBike Magazine informs us, via lanesplittingislegal.com, that lane splitting bill SB350 has been tabled for at least another year.
As originally presented by Senator Jim Beall in early 2013, SB350 was seemingly proposing a state law version of the CHP’s newly released, and quite reasonable, Lane Splitting Guidelines. If passed into law, the bill would have codified the CHP guidelines and explicitly allowed lane splitting 1) during traffic congestion, and 2) at a safe speed. But the bill added a 3rd condition: that such lane splitting conditions would apply only to 3-lane highways, and that, in the absence of those 3 conditions, lane splitting would not be permitted.
Motorcyclists statewide panicked and saw SB350 as the beginning of the end of lane splitting in California. For the many riders not commuting on 3-lane highways, it would have been a sure and immediate end.
Late last month, Senator Beall’s office announced the bill would be put off for another year. SB350 probably isn’t over, and many people think some kind of lane splitting state statute is an inevitability. In the meantime, keep updated on the latest nation-wide lane splitting issues at lanesplittingislegal.com and keep riding safely and responsibly, in a manner that the CHP Guidelines would endorse.* And on that note, let’s give a round of applause to the California Highway Patrol for everything they do to raise public awareness and help us stay safe on the roads through their California Motorcyclist Safety Program.
And finally, lanesplittingislegal.com’s Serj Gish reminds us:
[This] also means—more than ever—that riders need to be good ambassadors for lane splitting and motorcycling in general. Pay attention to the CHP lane splitting guidelines: keep your speed differential reasonable, don’t split when traffic is moving too fast, maintain a consistently high awareness of your surroundings on the road. Those of you who split crazy-fast and regularly hit mirrors while crying about how the “damn cagers” are always cutting you off—cut it out. It’s up to us as riders to keep Senator Beall (or some other politician) from deciding (again) that banning lane splitting/sharing/filtering is a good way to score points with California drivers who are frustrated with “idiots on donor-cycles” that “come out of nowhere” and “weave in and out of traffic” and “cut in line.”
To keep up on all the latest local rider news, make sure to grab your free copy of CityBike Magazine every month in the box outside of Road Rider.
*Since this article was originally posted in November of 2013, the California Highway Patrol has removed theLane Splitting Guidelines from their website. We hope this isn’t in line with preparations for a follow-up attempt to pass a lane splitting law in California. Only time will tell.
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