You’ve probably seen it out on the road…you’re driving somewhere, when a motorcycle cruises between the lanes on your side of the road, maybe inches from your car. You may be in a traffic jam, watching as motorcycles leave you behind. In California, it’s perfectly legal. In every other state, it’s against the law.
Though the practice has been legal in the state for decades, there are some restrictions about to be placed on it. Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation earlier this month that makes lane-splitting legal throughout the state. The bill also requires that the Department of Motor Vehicles and the California Highway Patrol develop safety guidelines, including speed restrictions. That would be easier, if authorities had been gathering any data on lane-splitting injuries, but that has apparently not been done for decades, either.
Three years ago, the state highway patrol issued guidelines recommending that lane-splitters not travel more than 10 miles per hour faster than surrounding traffic. The guidelines were subsequently scrapped. Officials say that it will likely take up to a year to gather enough data to establish safety guidelines.
Opponents of lane-splitting say the maneuver creates increased risk of injury or death, but proponents argue that lane-splitting actually reduces the risk of injury, provided it’s done at a reasonable rate of speed. They contend that lane-splitting allows skilled bikers to avoid head-on or rear-end collisions with cars and similar motor vehicles.
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At Weber & Nierenberg, we bring almost 30 years of experience to people in and around Sacramento who have been injured in a motor vehicle accident. We built our practice on a strong commitment to personal service and attention. We’ll take the time to learn the unique aspects of your case, so that we can tailor our representation to get the outcome you want. When you hire us to help you pursue full and fair compensation for all your losses, either Joe Nierenberg or Steve Weber will work directly with you throughout the process.