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Old 07-22-2014, 08:52 AM   #32
Studly Adventurer
Joined: May 2010
Location: Star Tannery, VA
Oddometer: 716
Originally Posted by daveinva View Post
I'm actually pretty familiar with the concept of "hidden law," and I agree with the posters here who criticize it. Laws must be fair, universal and knowable in order to be just.

That said, if it's not illegal, it *is* legal-- or it ought to be, at least.

I believe the problem with lane splitting not being specified in law is that when the CHP puts regulations on how to do safe lane splitting, the question then turns to, what recourse do they have to counter unsafe lane splitting? Since there's no legal definition of safe lane splitting, how can there be a legal definition of unsafe lane splitting to justify traffic enforcement? When CHP tries to write you a ticket, it could be contestable because it's a judgment area, not a question of written law. And there should be no judgment areas in understanding of the law.

It's not so much that lane splitting is unclear, it's the fact that you could-- or perhaps could not, it's police whim, so who knows?-- get in trouble for doing something wrong when you are not told in the law how you can do it right.

Bottom line? This guy was a twit who I would like to slap in the head, but the twit had a larger philosophical point I happen to agree with. Personally, I see no harm in CA crafting an actual, written lane-splitting law. If anything, it's probably a *very good* thing for riders nationwide, as having a law on the books then gives other states something concrete to emulate and pass. No other U.S. state is going to eliminate laws against lane splitting and leave it in legal limbo like California does today, but if there's an actual, enforceable written law in place, we riders might be able to get more states to move on this, someday.
So you're saying you are in favor of following the letter of the law versus the intent of law?

I disagree.

Life and circumstances are far to complex to put into print an absolute law for every possible scenario life can throw at us. As legislators continue to strive to cover every possible scenario in print the laws become hopelessly complex and often conflict one another. Any law has intent as it's basis. It is the intent, not our rather poor ability to express that intent into the written word that matters.

There are times when one might break the letter of the law law in order to save someone from harm. Should that person be even be charged much less convicted?

Let's say I'm walking down the street and see a house on fire and hear a baby crying inside. The front door is locked and a break it down and enter the home to get the kid out. By the letter of the law I'm guilty of breaking and entering, hell, maybe even kidnapping. We will always need at apply judgement to any written law in order to be a just society.
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