Schedule Your Free Consultation
Toll-free: 866-456-6423
Local: 916-677-4979
Rosenthal & Kreeger LLP
  • More Than 25 Years Experience
  • Excellence
  • Compassion
  • Integrity
Practice Areas

Motorcycle lane splitting isn't already legal in California?

At the beginning of the month, we wrote that May is Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month across California. With all the traffic congestion and year-round warm weather we experience here in the Golden State, motorcycle safety needs to be an even higher priority here than in other parts of the country.

California also takes a unique approach to motorcycling. No other state in America allows motorcyclists to engage in "lane splitting," which is when motorcycles drive between lanes of traffic in times of congestion. This practice has been going on for decades, which is why you may be surprised to learn that it isn't technically legal. There is not yet a statute that specifically permits lane splitting, but that could soon be changing.

The California Assembly recently passed a lane-splitting bill with strong support. While it would codify a practice that is already permitted most of the time, it would also allow lawmakers to place some safety restrictions on it (rather than just recommended safety practices).

If passed, the bill will limit motorcyclists' speed during times of traffic congestion. They will be able to travel up to 15 mph faster than the traffic around them.

The CHP recommends that lane splitting be limited to the two innermost lanes on the highway. The agency also urges riders to wear highly visible safety gear and to avoid lane splitting after dark or in low-visibility conditions. It is unclear if these two recommendations will be written into the law in some form.

To most drivers who have been startled by a motorcycle whizzing by in rush-hour traffic, lane splitting seems dangerous. But a UC Berkeley study found that it actually reduces the risk of motorcycle accidents caused by drivers of cars, particularly rear-end crashes. Hopefully, that argument alone will be strong enough to pass the bill and get in signed into law.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Success Stories

EnvelopFind Out How we can help you

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Roseville
2251 Douglas Blvd., Suite 120
Roseville, CA 95661

Toll Free: 866-456-6423
Phone: 916-677-4979
Fax: 916-774-7203
Roseville Law Office Map

Sacramento
1903 21st Street
Sacramento, CA 95811

Toll Free: 866-456-6423
Phone: 916-677-4979
Phone: 916-229-6744
Fax: 916-774-7203
Sacramento Law Office Map