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View Results: Should Lane Splitting be legal in all 50 States?
YES it should be made legal 1,545 77.06%
YES but ONLY on the Hwy 96 4.79%
YES but only for filtering at controlled intersections 222 11.07%
NO It is dangerous and should not be made legal 192 9.58%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 2005. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-17-2013, 03:41 AM   #541
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Originally Posted by Ceri JC View Post
To those who don't do it and think it shouldn't be legal: I think the single greatest factor is your fear based on your perception (put bluntly; your uninformed opinion) of the risk associated with doing it.

Most here have never even seen it, much less attempted it.

Even then, comparing California to Pusan, Soel, Manilla, Tokyo, London, Paris, Rome etc etc makes the ONE state where we can get away with it look like child's play.

Remember the vast majority of US citizens never leave our borders, much less our hemisphere
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:02 AM   #542
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Originally Posted by Tripped1 View Post
Even then, comparing California to Pusan, Soel, Manilla, Tokyo, London, Paris, Rome etc etc makes the ONE state where we can get away with it look like child's play.
When I ride in the states, I filter and am amazed by how easy/safe it is there, even factoring in that your drivers are expecting it much less. What cracks me up is that as a country as a whole, you have far less jams than Europe which tends to make filtering necessary less often, where you do need to do it, it's so much easier/safer. So the resistance to it is even harder to understand. Generally speaking, even adjusting for the larger widths of your cars, your lanes are so wide that you could literally filter in a small car there! What this means on a bike is that you have a much larger margin for error.

It's not uncommon when filtering through stationary traffic here to have about an inch clearance on both sides at your bike's widest point, if you know what you're doing. I don't think I've ever had less than a foot on either side in the states, even when on a Goldwing! If you were reluctant to filter in gaps that wide in London, you'd:
A) Fail your advanced test, if you were on one, for "failure to make progress".
B) Have other motorcyclists behind you beeping their horns and gesturing for you to pull over and let them pass as they would want to get through that gap.

I should also point out, that video would be considered sensible and responsible filtering; not Ghost Rider nutter behaviour. I have done far worse/faster than that in front of police on multiple occasions. Riding like that, as crazy as it might seem, you'll probably have about 50% of the other bikes (of which there will be a lot) coming past you.

24hrs after riding and driving in the states for a few thousand miles, being back in the UK, the main thing I have difficulty adjusting to isn't the riding on the left, or the higher speed limit, but rather, how close together our vehicles pass one another. It's completely normal to feel the suspension of a small car unsettled by the rush of wind when you're overtaken by a van or even a large car, going past at high speeds on our motorways (freeways). Perhaps it's being used to having our space "invaded" this way so often that makes our drivers more tolerant of filtering bikes?
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:22 AM   #543
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Originally Posted by Ceri JC View Post
When I ride in the states, I filter and am amazed by how easy/safe it is there, even factoring in that your drivers are expecting it much less. What cracks me up is that as a country as a whole, you have far less jams than Europe which tends to make filtering necessary less often, where you do need to do it, it's so much easier/safer. So the resistance to it is even harder to understand. Generally speaking, even adjusting for the larger widths of your cars, your lanes are so wide that you could literally filter in a small car there! What this means on a bike is that you have a much larger margin for error.
That varies wildly by where you drive I can name a number of US area that have traffic jams if its like ...well daylight. However, for the most part Cali does have lots of room to fit through. Have you been to the upper East Coast? Our roads aren't quite Europe thin, but they aren't west coast wide either.

...and we have no "advanced license" every time I get pulled over the officer is surprised that I HAVE a license at all.


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Originally Posted by Ceri JC View Post
24hrs after riding and driving in the states for a few thousand miles, being back in the UK, the main thing I have difficulty adjusting to isn't the riding on the left, or the higher speed limit, but rather, how close together our vehicles pass one another. It's completely normal to feel the suspension of a small car unsettled by the rush of wind when you're overtaken by a van or even a large car, going past at high speeds on our motorways (freeways). Perhaps it's being used to having our space "invaded" this way so often that makes our drivers more tolerant of filtering bikes?
Its not that we are worried about the cagers being more tolerant, lane splitting is flat out illegal and will get you tickets for a variety of moving violations in 49 of 50 states. Top that off with plain out violet reactions from cages toward riders that are doing (god help you get somewhere faster than me) and stupid as it is its simply not worth the trouble a lot of the time. Neither in potential fighting at stoplights or tickets.
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:00 AM   #544
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Originally Posted by Ceri JC View Post
Perhaps it's being used to having our space "invaded" this way so often that makes our drivers more tolerant of filtering bikes?
That's actually a great observation. Over here, I can zip in and out of traffic in ma Golf without anyone caring. Put my indicator on and switch lanes, no big deal. In the US, if there is not 10 car lengths of space open, people think you are cutting them off and flip out on you. And that is with a car!
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:24 AM   #545
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Originally Posted by Tripped1 View Post
That varies wildly by where you drive I can name a number of US area that have traffic jams if its like ...well daylight. However, for the most part Cali does have lots of room to fit through. Have you been to the upper East Coast? Our roads aren't quite Europe thin, but they aren't west coast wide either.
I've spent most time in the South; Detroit is probably the furthest North-East I've been, if my memory/geography serves me. Now that place had a perfect storm of heavy traffic, spectacularly poor standards of driving ability and a generally aggressive attitude. Every third car seemed to have some form of unrepaired crash damage and the way they drove, it didn't seem at all surprising. No disrespect to anyone native to it here, but it honestly made me feel like I was driving in a third world country.

I think the most telling thing is the prevalence of journey times on your maps. IE City X to City Y has 2h50m marked on the route between them. I had never seen that on a map before going to the states for the first time. Here, it's not just the city when you reach your destination that crawls, it's not uncommon to find the supposed "freeway" jammed and near stationary on the part of your journey which should be fastest and most predictable.

I agree, of course, not everywhere stateside has ultra-wide roads and I did run into jams occasionally (hence the filtering).
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:08 AM   #546
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My experience is still limited being that I live in NC. However, a few weeks ago, it was evening and there was a crash on the interstate. Traffic was a standstill for 3 miles. It was 7pm and it had been a long day at work and I wasn't in the mood. There were no exits I could get off either. I felt it was a better time to try than any and took my chances. Just crawled along in first gear. If traffic started moving I would just merge in. It was great. No horns, no shouts, no one cutting me off. One guy actually moved over for me. But I won't lie, I was very nervous. There were cops around on the shoulder but I had merged back way before then. So, no problems this time. But that was this time. I know the more you do it, you get better at it. I do hope more states legalize it though.
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:23 AM   #547
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You do get better at it. And you quickly learn where you want to be in traffic to get good looks in and so forth. I was shocked at how fast I picked it up. You can see the cops better, too.

For me, I stay to the left (1/2 lanes) and split to the right. For some reason, I am more comfortable moving to the right to split than to the left. I will actually change lanes, then go back into the middle. Hey, it works. And you get home!
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:58 AM   #548
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You do get better at it. And you quickly learn where you want to be in traffic to get good looks in and so forth. I was shocked at how fast I picked it up. You can see the cops better, too.
Filtering is like all aspects of riding in this respect.

I remember, as a wobbly n00b, seeing 4 lads on sportsbikes go filtering way faster than I was prepared to at the time. I thought that, "it doesn't matter how good you are, you can't filter safely that fast". Lots of city riding later, I do that same section of road about 5mph faster than they were that day, if I'm in any sort of hurry.

I learnt to ride in a city and took my test in cities. Hell, this monstrosity was part of my test (no these aren't 'normal' in England)

Nonetheless, I did initally find riding in cities in really heavy traffic particularly tiring. The level of concentration required to filter with small margins for error at low speeds is a lot higher than that necessary riding empty roads quickly. You do get used to it and get better over time though. You also find that the split second "that car is going to move that way" spider-sense you simply have to develop to filter properly comes in handy on more open roads too.

EDIT: Oh yeah, bear in mind those are Finns in that video struggling with that town planner's wet dream and the Finns as a nation are some of the best drivers on earth (WRC results, how hard their driving test is, the fact they grow up racing bangers around farms). Filtering the magic roundabout when it's nearly static during rush hour can be particularly challenging. ;)
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:21 AM   #549
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There was legislation introduced a few years ago in New Jersey that would "study" whether lane splitting for motorcycles should be legal. As far as I know it didn't get past the introduction stage.

I'd like to see it legal here. Or at a minimum allow filtering when traffic stops or comes to a crawl due to a cash and rubbernecking. It's particularly frustrating to sit in tied up traffic when a perfectly good and safe line of travel is present.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:55 PM   #550
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As a San Francisco Bay Area denizen for the last 52yrs I've observed and participated in my fair share of "lane sharing". Unfortunately, I can say with the utmost confidence that 7 out of 10 lane-splitters I witness 5days a week, treat their commute as if it were a club race: cars are simply "mobile chicanes" to be passed as closely as possible at roughly twice the speed of traffic.

As well, more than a few times I've had two bikes "sharing" my lane on both sides at the same time. Not cool.

/Yeah, yeah, I know, they're in complete control and know what their doing....

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Old 01-17-2013, 07:20 PM   #551
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:54 PM   #552
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Originally Posted by Ceri JC View Post
As mentioned before, I'm from the UK, have always done it and in fact, was trained to. I even needed to do it, in order to get to the test centre in time for my motorcycle test, due to a traffic jam we encountered on the way there! To me, it seems hilarious that any motorcyclist of any sort of reasonable level of competence would be against legally being able to choose to do it, when conditions permit doing it safely.

This video pretty much demonstrates my own attitude/approach to filtering, when in a large city like London, where filtering is commonplace.


I was riding there, not ATGATT (as I was only riding 2 miles), in below freezing conditions earlier this week. I was still filtering, albeit more cautiously than normal.

To those who don't do it and think it shouldn't be legal: I think the single greatest factor is your fear based on your perception (put bluntly; your uninformed opinion) of the risk associated with doing it.
My observations, you squeeze thru some pretty tight spaces. Our lanes are a lot wider here in Texas. I notice the look left, and look right painted on the streets at the crosswalks, are those there for the American's? It would take some getting used to not only driving on the wrong side of the road, but having to look the opposite way when I cross the street. Hope to make it over there for a visit someday.
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:39 AM   #553
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My observations, you squeeze thru some pretty tight spaces. Our lanes are a lot wider here in Texas. I notice the look left, and look right painted on the streets at the crosswalks, are those there for the American's? It would take some getting used to not only driving on the wrong side of the road, but having to look the opposite way when I cross the street. Hope to make it over there for a visit someday.
Yes, there are lots of countries that drive on the right, so you get these signs in lots of our big cities.

It's funny; the pedestrian thing catches people out a lot. Our (pedestrian) school road safety we're taught in school always drums it into you to always look both ways; don't even consider whether it's a one way street/which way the traffic flows; just get used to checking both ways. Looking one way only is crazy; you never know what might be overtaking, a foreigner driving on the wrong side of the road etc. I'm presuming other places don't do this (by our need for these signs).
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:16 AM   #554
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Yes, there are lots of countries that drive on the right, so you get these signs in lots of our big cities.

It's funny; the pedestrian thing catches people out a lot. Our (pedestrian) school road safety we're taught in school always drums it into you to always look both ways; don't even consider whether it's a one way street/which way the traffic flows; just get used to checking both ways. Looking one way only is crazy; you never know what might be overtaking, a foreigner driving on the wrong side of the road etc. I'm presuming other places don't do this (by our need for these signs).
We do not have signs here in Texas saying to look both ways, but like you said it is just a good thing to do. You never know what might be coming other than a vehicle. Could be a bike, some guy on a morning jog, whatever. Lots of other things to hit who may not be going the same direction as vehicular traffic.
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Old 01-18-2013, 02:21 PM   #555
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As well, more than a few times I've had two bikes "sharing" my lane on both sides at the same time. Not cool.
That really narks me. When bikes are doing that at least one (usually both) bikes are doing something wrong.

Often, it's because the bike in front is holding people up (either a wide bike, n00b, cautious/whatever) and someone will get frustrated and switch to another gap (IE a seperate "lane between the lanes") to get clear of them. Firstly, most people have a pretty good idea of how fast their filtering is an should be checking their mirrors. Convention is, if you're holding another bike up, GTFO the way. It slows you literally 2 seconds to pull into the space in front of a car, let the other rider pass, then move back into the gap and continue. Riding an F8, when I have hard panniers on, I have to do this regularly. It's my fault/penalty for having a wide bike, so I don't consider the other riders impatient. I consider me a PITA to them. 90% wave a 'thanks' as they go by.

The reason it's so bad is that often, the driver will clock one bike and move over to give them space, but in doing so, may well close the gap for, for even drive into, the other bike. Even when traffic does spot both, it has no option but to stay exactly where it is in the lane or risk getting scraped and the hassle of an insurance claim. NB: Avoiding this is what really leads a lot of our car drivers to be so 'courteous'.

This scenario arose earlier this week, when me (on a GS), a commuter on a GSX-R, a courier (CB500 with top box) and an ST1300 taxi (passenger bike) were tailing a learner rider on some sort of small scooter. He wasn't riding cripplingly slowly, but he was certainly holding us up. After about 4 minutes of him not pulling in to let the rest of us pass, it started to grate. I was at the back of the queue, having caught them all up. The lad on the GSX-R decides he has had enough and filters sidewards so he is running down the gap between the 1st and 2nd lane (we were in between 2nd and 3rd). During the window of time he was alongside, this'd get more dangerous (not to mention, slower) for all of us as cars in lane 2 could no longer move over as he was alongside. This resulted in the equivalent of a truck "1/4 mph overtake" whereby the GSX-R essentially matched our speed for about 2 minutes, all the while I was having to pay extra attention to 2nd lane traffic veering into us to avoid him. At that point, I got fed up, and I move right over to between lane 1 and the kerb (where a cyclist would be) and filter hard for about 20 seconds to get clear of the lot of them, then move back over into the 'proper' gap of between lanes 2 and 3 (where cars expect you most, hence it is safest in most instances on that stretch of road).
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