Proposed Lane Splitting Law Would Increase Risks for Motorists
Motorcyclists are making up a larger share of the vehicles on California’s roads. The state’s unique weather patterns have made it a stunning place to ride. Both residents and visitors love traveling the US 1 or many of the premier roads across the Golden State. With cycling increasingly popular, is it any wonder that the state legislature wants to regulate everything to which it relates?
A proposed bill that looks poised to become law would change how motorcyclists ride the road. A state do-gooder assembly bill will affect the practice known as lane splitting. As CBS News reported, the bill would significantly change how the state’s roads operate.
The practice has been legal but not regulated for years. California would be the first state in the union to create guidelines on lane splitting formally. The proposed bill would allow motorcycles to travel up to 15 mph above the speed of traffic up to 50 mph.
Are Car Drivers Usually the Problem?
Much of the problem is not with lane splitting itself. Motorcyclists often take extra care to avoid accidents, especially considering the sharply increased risk of serious injury in case of a crash. Increased experience and practice on the road make motorcycle riders some of the best on the road.
For Now, Lane Splitting Remains Legal in California
However, with many other drivers unaware lane splitting is legal, the chances of a severe accident spike. Furthermore, the proliferation of cell phones and distracted driving also put the rider at serious risks. These factors are significant enough for the State Legislature to take a serious look at before passing such a measure. As the LA Times reported, the number of motorcycle fatalities is significantly higher than it was two decades ago, even as it is falling from a recent peak.
Talk to the Rider’s Lawyer?
Los Angeles personal injury expert Michael Ehline has been riding for years and understood the rewards and risks of bikes. His expertise in motorcycle accidents leaves him especially attuned to the needs of bikers, especially with the lack of attention in Sacramento.
There are many factors left unturned in the recent legislation. In particular, with the advent of self-driving cars, we may be unable to determine how to avoid lane-splitting bikes. Until more research comes about, politicians should put on the brakes.