What is Lane Splitting?

California just passed a new bill that makes "lane splitting" legal. Lane splitting (or filtering) is when motorcycles can legally ride in-between lanes. This is a contentious issue, here, in North America. It is widely viewed as a safety risk, and it is strongly frowned upon by both the Canadian and U.S. government with the exception of California. Elsewhere in the world, as in every other country, lane splitting is not only legal but encouraged.

Cars VS Motorcycles

There are really two sides of the argument: cars vs. motorcycles. A quick peruse of your local social media comment section will quickly demonstrate that most drivers think motorcyclists are entitled, dangerous, speed freaks - whereas motorcyclists believe that all cars are out to murder them.

These arguments tend to be heavily biased in favor of cars, for the simple reason that only 2% of the American population rides motorcycles. That is such a small number that transportation officials literally don't have time for such an insignificant portion of the population, hence why this Californian bill is so shockingly bold.

The first time a motorcycle flys past your car on the centerline, you will think that they are clinically insane. Trust me. From the comfort of a car, it is impossible to comprehend that lane splitting is safe, but from a motorcycles standpoint, the opposite is true. Standing still in a traffic jam is dangerous. A motorcycles' biggest safety advantage is its maneuverability, and a motorcycle is not maneuverable at a standstill.  Yes, they can now jump the line, but that is just safer for them, and for you. They can get to the front and accelerate away faster leaving you space to drive and the Californian government has set rules to keep everyone as happy as possible. Lane splitting can only occur at a speed of 15mph over the traffic flow, and never over 50mph. This way it isn't occurring on high-speed sections of road, but rather in high congestion areas. Not only does this allow motorcycles to get out of people's way, but it also allows for cars to be driving with cars, and bikes to be riding with bikes! Check out this video, and let us know if you think Alberta should take up lane splitting!

 

 

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