Lane Splitting

lane-splitting-share-the-lane-road-signLane splitting is the procedure employed by motorcyclists when they pass cars by riding on the dividing lines. It is illegal in BC and most, if not all, states in the USA. A legal and popular maneuver in California however, it is often criticized by law makers and lobby groups. In 2013, the California Highway Patrol posted guidelines for lane splitting on its website in an attempt to provide motorcycle riders with the tools to lane split safely. The guidelines were removed recently after suggestion they could be construed as law. The American Motorcycle Association felt the guidelines were beneficial and was disappointed they were removed. See

Lane splitting advocates captured the guidelines and post as follows:

Lane splitting in a safe and prudent manner is not illegal in the state of California. The term lane splitting, sometimes known as lane sharing, filtering or white-lining, refers to the process of a motorcyclist riding between lanes of stopped or slower moving traffic or moving between lanes to the front of traffic stopped at a traffic light.

Motorcyclists who are competent enough riders to lane split, should follow these general guidelines if choosing to lane split.

1. Travel at a speed that is no more than 10 MPH faster than other traffic – danger increases at higher speed differentials.

2. It is not advisable to lane split when traffic flow is at 30 mph or faster – danger increases as overall speed increases.

3. Typically, it is more desirable to split between the #1 and #2 lanes than between other lanes.

4. Consider the total environment in which you are splitting, including the width of the lanes, size of surrounding vehicles, as well as roadway, weather, and lighting conditions.

5. Be alert and anticipate possible movements by other road users.

The Four R’s or “Be-Attitudes” of Lane Splitting:

Be Reasonable, be Responsible, be Respectful, be aware of all Roadway and traffic conditions.

Daryl Brown
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