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Old 04-22-2004, 08:18 PM   #1
lost1 OP
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Lane Splitting in Ontario

Ok, so I have moved to Toronto from BC and can't believe the traffic, so in my wisdom I thought that maybe there is an easier way. Remembering my good rides throughout the rest of the world I thought I would ask the police if it is ok to share lanes with other traffic. Commonly known (everywhere else) as lane splitting. I looked in the Riders Handbook and it was mentioned that they don't recommend it or something like that. I wanted to know if it was legal, so I contacted the Ontario Police Traffic Patrol by phone and was told that it was not illegal, as long as there are 2 clearly defined lanes. He also mentioned that if I caused an accident doing so, I would be held responsible.
I wanted this in writing, so I wrote to Traffic Safety Programs OPP:

I hope that this can answer your questions, for information purchase a Highway Traffic Act so you can read in detail the sections and the regulations that applies.

1. Can a Motorcycle ride between two traffic lanes?
- section 130 HTA Careless Driving, without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other drivers.
- section 154(1)(a) HTA Fail to Drive in Marked Lane. a vehicle shall be driven as nearly as may be practicable entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from the lane until the driver has first ascertained that the movement can be made with safety.

2- Is there a minimum space between vehicles?
-section 158(1) HTA Follow Too Closely, not follow more closely than is reasonable and prudent for having due regard for the speed of the vehicle and the traffic on and the conditions of the highway.
- Have you seen the painted chevrons on the 401 in Pickering? That is designed to give you a minimum 2 second following distance at the set speed limit.

3. Speed limit?
- section 128 HTA sets out the speed limits. driver training can tell you that a safe passing speed of another motor vehicle is about 20km/h and a parked vehicle is 40km/h.

4. Danger zones?
- section 148 HTA, numerous subsections discuss passing meeting vehicles and overtaking vehicles.
- unsafe areas, curves, uphill, railway crossing, bridges.

Another good source of info would be to go the MTO and get the new drivers hand book. The rules of the road are clearly outlined. Also try Young Drivers of Canada or any other driving school they might have more information

I hope this has been useful, any other questions please contact me.

MR J Bloggs
Traffic Safety Programs


SO I AM STILL WONDERING, CAN I LANE SPLIT? DOES ANYONE KNOW ANYMORE ABOUT THIS? TRAFFIC IN TORONTO IS RIDICULOUS
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Old 04-23-2004, 06:27 AM   #2
Shazam*
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I have asked a few cops, and the answer has always been no.
So I think the best you can hope for is pissed off cops.
Where do you live and where are you riding? (I assume you are talking commutes?)
I live down on King West and ride to Unionville/Markham daily for work.
Spend a lot of time on the Don Valley Parkway.
Personally, I would not trust the drivers around here enough to split.
Too many random lane changes.

p.s. What sort of bike are you on?
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Old 04-23-2004, 08:58 AM   #3
lost1 OP
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splitting peas

Funny, I did contact the Officer Resp for Traffic safety and he clearly stated that it was not illegal. I even gave him specific examples and he said it was ok. I live downtown, but find myself on occasion on the Don Valley Parkinglot. Really, I just don't want to boilover during the summer months when I am trying to get out of this city for a ride in the country. Getting stuck in the Cottage Country traffic is painful. I have been experimenting with lane splitting downtown, and haven't been stopped yet...
I should try and get my hands on the Motor Vehicle Act or whatever that legal gibberish is.
I think the police are trying to protect us from other idiot drivers, and that is why the said no to you, as the potential for an accident or altercation (think road rage) is there.
BTW I ride a 2001 KTM Adventure 640
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Old 04-23-2004, 11:15 AM   #4
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When I moved to Toronto, this was the first thing I checked and the answer I got was its illegal to lane-split. I commute from Oakville to Markham twice a week - lane spliting would save me a lot of time! I believe the motorcycle riders handbook clearly states its illegal.
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Old 04-23-2004, 02:13 PM   #5
lost1 OP
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Funny, I really don't remember reading anywhere in the MC handbook suggesting that Lane Splitting was illegal. I am telling you contact the OPP and lets do a survey. I need to know.

Lost 1
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Old 04-24-2004, 07:38 AM   #6
Rusty_H
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simple, just dont do it in front of a cop,
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Old 04-24-2004, 12:11 PM   #7
Shazam*
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oddly, I just found a copy of the Ont Motorcycle Handbook
Page 48 goes on for some length as to why it is a bad idea.
Doesn't specifically say it is illegal, but then it doesn't specifically say running reds is illegal either.
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Old 04-26-2004, 11:33 PM   #8
Commuter Boy
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He said it's not illegal, because there's no one has bothered to put
a law in the book that says "motorcycles can't lane split."

This thoughful civil servant, however, has provided you with a list of
several of the many ways "the Man" can use his discretion to
charge you with.

Given that his discretion can include the fact he didn't get laid last
night or that he feels you need to be taught a lesson for your
own safety, I'd be damn careful about choosing where and when.

I've never got a ticket for lane splitting in BC, but I've got lots of
warnings. Every time, once the officer ascertained I was a
sensible sort of person, and experienced in doing it in Cali and
Europe they told me "Ok, it's not you I'm worried about, it's the
Canadian driver who either doesn't expect you there or gets
pissed and decides to take you out."
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Old 10-28-2014, 10:57 AM   #9
Rockwell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Commuter Boy View Post
..."Ok, it's not you I'm worried about, it's the
Canadian driver who either doesn't expect you there or gets
pissed and decides to take you out."
While driving at low speeds in traffic jams on the highway, it never fails that at least one jerk-wad gives me the finger, the f-bomb or tries to cut me off while I lane-split. Meanwhile, they're driving solo in a car that could fit five, taking up road space and causing the congestion. See ya ass-hole!

Quote:
"A study commissioned by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and done by the University of California at Berkeley has now found evidence to support what riders have been saying all along: When done prudently, lane-splitting does not increase motorcyclists' risk."
http://www.revzilla.com/common-tread...lane-splitting
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Old 10-30-2014, 08:09 AM   #10
Perthite
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screw the law jus do it!
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Old 10-30-2014, 12:32 PM   #11
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I do. It's just that people get really angry, and almost violent when I do. Maybe they feel that I should have to wait in the traffic jam that they helped create. I have two people on a motorcycle, and a single driver is taking up 8x the road space.
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Old 11-12-2014, 11:05 AM   #12
GasDepot
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I live near San Francisco and split all the time.
#1 I pretend I am invisible, the cager will say they did not see you
#2 A cage usualy won't merge into another cage but watch out for gaps that open as cage will suddenly switch lanes to get ahead
#3 When someone else splitting pulls up behind me I move over to let them pass and don't follow to close as you are extra invisible behind another bike
#4 Have not been pulled over by the "Man" but the reason I would give is it is safer and easyer to avoid a side swipe than being rear ended
#5 Aggression is needed but don't be stupid

It is fun to get by the idiots in there cages
GD
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Old 12-01-2014, 03:11 PM   #13
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I wait my turn. I figure if I want the cage drivers respect I should give them the same.

I have seen guys lane splitting and have also seen cars try to hit the guy. If you want to take your chances good luck if it winds up in court .
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Old 12-01-2014, 08:04 PM   #14
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Except I don't see it as waiting my turn. Due to the largely reduced size of a motorcycle, a rider can safely split lanes and not have to wait in traffic that has been caused by a large volume of drivers who ride solo in a vehicle that takes up the lane space of 4 motorcycle riders. When I ride with my girlfriend on the back and lane-split, my road-space per person ratio is 8 times less than a person driving home in his car or truck. These are usually the people who try to cut us off, give us the bird or scream at us.

There are special driving privileges for high-occupancy-vehicles (the HOV lane). I see lane-splitting as my HOV lane for taking up much less space. The Europeans seem to see it this way, but that is a place where people on two wheels are generally respected. Ontario is not.
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Old 12-14-2014, 05:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockwell View Post
Except I don't see it as waiting my turn. Due to the largely reduced size of a motorcycle, a rider can safely split lanes and not have to wait in traffic that has been caused by a large volume of drivers who ride solo in a vehicle that takes up the lane space of 4 motorcycle riders. When I ride with my girlfriend on the back and lane-split, my road-space per person ratio is 8 times less than a person driving home in his car or truck. These are usually the people who try to cut us off, give us the bird or scream at us.

There are special driving privileges for high-occupancy-vehicles (the HOV lane). I see lane-splitting as my HOV lane for taking up much less space. The Europeans seem to see it this way, but that is a place where people on two wheels are generally respected. Ontario is not.
So using your thought process a car can say you don't need the whole lane and come up beside you or run you into the curb, I mean the bike does not need a whole lane to them self. All it takes is one car to see it as you cutting in and you can argue from the hospital. I just don't trust cars that much.
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