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Thursday, March 10, 2016

CA - California lane-splitting may be debated again in Legislature

By Gary Richards,
Hopefully, Assemblyman Bill Quirk, gets AB51 back into committee before the deadline once he gets through his re-election priorities.
Already allowed. We don't need another law simply for control and revenue collection. No compromise.
    HomeMr RoadshowStory

Roadshow: California lane-splitting may be debated again in Legislature
By Gary Richards,
Posted:   03/08/2016 12:00:00 AM PST | Updated:   a day ago

Q Are there any statistics as to who is at fault when there is a motorcycle/car/truck accident? Seems as though we are hearing about more motorcycle accidents these day.

George Takahashi

A There sure are. The state Office of Traffic Safety reports that in 2013 (the last year this was monitored and which is pretty consistent with prior years) showed:

65.7 percent of fatal crashes involving a motorcycle were the fault of the motorcycle rider.

45 percent of those fatal crashes involved only the motorcycle rider; no other vehicle was involved.

Of the remaining 65 percent of crashes which involve both a motorcycle and other vehicles, 36 percent were the fault of the motorcyclist and 64 percent the vehicle driver.

(Bay Area News Group archives)

Where the motorcyclist was at fault, speed accounted for 40 percent of collisions, followed by DUI (20 percent) and improper turning (18 percent).

Q Does lane splitting cause more bike accidents?

John Page


A Two years ago a UC Berkeley study concluded that lane splitting is no more dangerous than motorcycling in general, if the rider is going at speeds similar to or only slightly faster than surrounding traffic. The maneuver becomes more dangerous when a motorcyclist is speeding or riding more than 10 mph faster than the traffic being passed.

Advocates believe the practice increases safety by reducing the number of accidents involving motorcycles hit from behind while stuck in traffic -- the type that accounts for more than a quarter of all motorcycle accidents.

The UC Berkeley report looked at 5,969 motorcycle accidents in California over a year. Of those, 997 involved lane-splitting. The study concluded that motorcyclists splitting lanes at 50 mph or slower were far less likely to suffer serious injury than motorcyclists not lane-splitting or doing it at high speeds:

Q Is there a new law on lane splitting? I remember reading last year that one was in the works.

Carlos Fuentes

A Not yet; a bill last year failed but the Legislature may take up the issue again. If it passes, California would become the first state to make the practice legal. It would permit motorcyclists to split lanes so long as they do so at speeds no more than 15 mph faster than nearby traffic and no faster than 50 mph overall.

Q Please settle a bet. I say that those piles of wood chips on the side of Bay Area roads are put there by Caltrans after trimming trees to spread as ground cover. My wife says they are dumped there in "midnight raids" by unscrupulous tree-trimming companies who want to dump their waste. Who's right? Cooking a favorite dinner is riding on this!

Michael Foster

San Jose

A Caltrans is not to blame. Your wife wins, so you're cooking her favorite -- Indian food.

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