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RideApart defends lane splitting on motorcycles [w/poll]

Posted Jan 16th 2013 12:44PM


Three devoted motorcyclists at RideApart have put together a video that goes soup-to-nuts through the practice of lane splitting (called "filtering" in the UK) – where motorcycles are ridden safely in between the cars in traffic. It's illegal in Canada and 49 States, California being the exception, and in numerous countries.

The riders say that lane splitting is safe, it aids the flow of traffic and having increased freedom of movement gives them more control of their own safety when being around cars in traffic. Car drivers often don't like it, but when it comes to the issue of actual safety versus perceived safety, the evidence appears to support lane splitting. One of the riders in the video cites a Belgian study that found that fatalities in which a motorcyclist was rear-ended by a car were 30 per cent lower in California than in Texas and Florida, the difference being that lane-splitting is illegal in those latter two states.

On top of that, the California highway patrol vouches for its legality and CHP officers do it, a study by the US Department of Transportation declared that "lane splitting is safer than sitting in stop-and-go traffic" and according to a lawyer who specializes in motorcycle accidents the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that "most accidents are the fault of motorists [car drivers]."

Have a watch of the video below, and then take the poll and let us know where you stand... or ride.

How do you feel about motorcycle lane splitting?
I think it makes sense260 (42.1%)
I think it's dangerous318 (51.5%)
I'm not really sure39 (6.3%)

Motorcyclist Crashes While Texting, FHP Says

News Source: Ride Apart via YouTube

Category: Videos, Safety, Motorcycle

Tags: drive, lane splitting, motorcycle, rideapart, safety, video, videos, youtube


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I am both a rider (10yrs) and driver (25yrs), lane splitting should be illegal everywhere. Not only is it dangerous for the rider but annoying for any driver, some riders will speed through in heavy traffic at ridiculous speeds without any consideration for other motorists on the road. Riders should be considerate and share the road not conquer it. In that video, the rider was in the bicycle lane passing traffic, how safe is that for any cyclist who may be listening to his tunes when a rider flies by him? Lane splitting poses potential problems, when a driver can't see a speeding rider in his blind spot when changing lanes. I've seen riders fly by me on roadways at ridiculous speeds cutting in and out of traffic, this type of behaviour only increases our insurance rates and creates that sterotype for all riders. NO to lane splitting!

January 17 2013 at 10:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Rider_10_yrs's comment

Rider, if I may say so, you are talking about/describing 'motorcyclists' ("MCs") who are BREAKING the law by their reckless and dangerous driving: as in supposedly breaking the legal speed limit, apparently cutting in and out of traffic with complete disregard for anyone else- you are NOT talking about MCs who are obeying the laws and respecting others-thus, in my opinion, you are comparing apples to oranges. As well, I am pretty sure that when one compares the number of MC caused accidents vs car driver caused accidents, you will find that MCs are involved in, and/or have caused far FEWER accidents, especially in places where 'lane splitting' is legal. As well, IF a driver has a blind spot, it is inherent upon him/her to drive accordingly, and if s/he causes an accident BECAUSE OF this shortcoming, I am quite sure the legal process, in most jurisdictions, would find such person negligent. In closing, I would note that "any cyclist who may be listening to his tunes' rather than paying 100% attention to his DRIVING, could well find himself in dire circumstances.... of his own making. "Lane splitting" is like any other rule/law/etc; IF properly/prudently practised by those for whom it is intended, THEY will be the winners!

January 26 2013 at 2:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply