News CA Lawmaker Withdraws Restricted Motorcycle Lane-Splitting Bill

CA Lawmaker Withdraws Restricted Motorcycle Lane-Splitting Bill

CA Lawmaker Withdraws Restricted Motorcycle Lane-Splitting BillMotorcycle Legislation

The sponsor of a California Senate bill that would have restricted the current practice of lane-splitting by motorcyclists will withdraw the bill from consideration, the American Motorcyclist Association reports.

Lane-splitting by motorcyclists in California is recognized by the California Highway Patrol and helps ease traffic flow.

An aide to state Sen. Jim Beall (D-San Jose), who sponsored S.B. 350, confirmed in an email to the AMA Tuesday afternoon that the bill would be withdrawn, pending the results of a University of California-Berkeley safety study expected later this year. The bill, introduced Feb. 20, would have allowed lane-splitting only in certain instances: on divided highways with three or more lanes of travel in the same direction, only when traffic is congested and only at “a safe” speed.

Nick Haris, AMA western states representative, noted that lane-splitting has been an accepted custom and necessary strategy to ease traffic congestion in California for years. He noted that Beall’s bill proposed a sudden and significant shift in traffic management strategies in the state with respect to motorcycles, which could have had a serious impact on traffic flow.

Nick Haris says: “We are pleased that Sen. Beall’s office is withdrawing the bill, but we remain watchful of any legislative action on lane-splitting that could penalize motorcyclists.

“Lane-splitting has been done safely in California for decades, so there is really no need to impose new restrictions, especially given the guidelines just released by the California Highway Patrol that make no mention of a three-lane minimum.”

According to the California Highway Patrol, lane-splitting occurs when a motorcyclist rides between lanes of stopped or slower-moving traffic or moves between lanes to the front of stopped traffic. The convention is recognized as a benefit to urban traffic flow because it allows motorcycles to make maximum use of roadways when traffic is stopped or significantly slowed. The controlled flow of motorcyclists through stopped traffic also permits more space for other road users.

Nick Haris says: “Lane-splitting by motorcyclists, when done correctly, helps improve traffic flow for everyone on the road. That helps everybody save time, gas and hassles, and promotes safer roads by mitigating traffic backups. It’s important that we work to preserve lane-splitting for the benefit of everyone on the road.”

Harley-Davidson Gift of Riding H-D Riding Academy Contest

There is no better gift in the world than turning a non-rider into a motorcyclist. Of course, it takes more than best wishes to...

2021 Suzuki 650 V-Twins: New Colors Sneak Peek First Look

It’s always interesting to check into Europe’s latest to see what might appear on dealer showroom floors in the United States. We look at...

2021 Honda Rebel 500 ABS SE First Look (5 Fast Facts)

After an upgrade last year, Honda has more plans for the now-midsize Rebel. There is now a 2021 Honda Rebel 500 ABS—an accessorized version...

Sena SRL2 Review: Bluetooth Communications for Select Shoei Helmets

The Shoei Neotec II is a sweet upgrade from the original Neotec, and it incorporates many improvements. Nic de Sena reviewed the Shoei Neotec...

2021 Ducati Diavel 1260 Lamborghini First Look (12 Fast Facts)

It is virtually impossible to go wrong when combining two iconic brands, such as Ducati and Lamborghini. With the two marques owned by the...

Classic Superbikes by Frank Melling Book Review: Motorcycle History

Frank Melling is an old-school moto journalist and former factory racer. He lives with his wife Carol on a beautiful farm in northwest England....