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What is ‘separation’? California allows motorcyclists to do it, but the rest of the country doesn’t

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(KTLA/NEXSTAR) – If you’ve ever been startled by a feeling of boredom on your afternoon commute by a Harley Davidson thundering, splitting lanes, and cursing anyone responsible, you’re not alone. .

You’d also be right to think that the cyclist just broke the traffic laws – unless you live in California.

Before you blow up the California Highway Patrol with emails listing all the reasons why cyclists crossing that congested road should be issued a ticket and told to stay in their lane. , CHP has some information to share.

First, not only is lane sharing or lane separation legal in California, but the CHP has written safety guidelines as directed in AB51, which was approved by Governor Jerry Brown in 2016.

Of course, lane sharing occurs in other states, although California is the only place where it is legal. But why?

Well, one reason is that lane-sharing has been going on in California since motorbikes hit the freeways, so it’s important to set some ground rules, said Brian O’Toole, Director CHP Motorcycle CEO said. The second, and possibly more interesting, reason is that it makes the time on the highway shorter, not only for motorcyclists but also for motorcyclists.

“When motorbikes move through, separate lanes… it’s a few more vehicles occupying that lane,” said CHP Motorcycle Officer Brian O’Toole.

“This saves time in the car for the average driver,” he added. “If we… don’t allow lanes anymore, it’s a motorcycle sitting in the lane ahead of them,” said O’Toole.

But just because motorcyclists have a CHP with them when they want to split lanes, that doesn’t mean they can recklessly pass you.

“It’s still a privilege,” said O’Toole. “We are the only state left, so we have a privilege to do this.”

California’s guidelines say cyclists should only separate lanes when traffic is 40 mph or less and not travel 10 mph faster than surrounding vehicles. The officer also decides whether the motorcyclist’s actions are considered unsafe.

According to O’Toole, California four-wheelers can also help by moving to the side of the lane to create “gap” for motorcyclists to pass. “It’s a win-win situation,” he said.

However, motorists across the country are likely already familiar with the concept of lane separation – whether it’s legal or not. In fact, Utah is the only state outside of California to legalize any form of lane sharing, although Utah’s law only applies in very specific circumstances. Specifically, a motorcyclist in Utah can navigate between stopped lanes to the front, and usually only at the intersection, to reduce the possibility of a rear-end collision when vehicles are approaching. . The practice, called “Land Filtering” was made legally in 2019.

Legislative officials in several other states have proposed similar legislation, though none have been formally passed. Many advocates also point to a 2015 study by UC Berkeley that showed that lane separation does not increase the risk of injury to motorcyclists is moving less than 15 mph faster than surrounding traffic, if that traffic is not faster than 50 mph. California law, as stated earlier, only allows lane separation when vehicles are traveling at 40 mph or less and prohibits cyclists from traveling faster than 10 mph.

Lead author Thomas Rice said: “It is important to note that from the data in our study, we were not able to estimate the risk of a collision in the first place. “What we can do is look at motorcycle crashes that have occurred and determine if lane separation poses a higher risk of injury to riders and if the way riders can predictive for specific types of injury.”

https://www.yourbasin.com/news/what-is-lane-splitting-california-allows-motorcyclists-to-do-it-but-the-rest-of-the-country-does-not/ | What is ‘separation’? California allows motorcyclists to do it, but the rest of the country doesn’t

PaulLeBlanc

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