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giuliom 12-16-2002 05:01 AM

Re: Lane Splitting Ticket :-(
Yep, I checked the DMV web site and it says "Lane sharing is not illegal." THat's a pretty wishy-washy statement, really. It actually goes on to say it is discouraged and it gives suggestions to avoid lane sharing, for example by moving to the center of your lane so that a car cannot use the lane at the same time. I split lanes all the time when I commute, and it's not really dangerous if done right. I think the point is that your differential speed (how much faster you go than the traffic) cannot be too high, otherwise the first time someone changes lanes ahead of you without warning you really are dead meat. I usually stop splitting when traffic goes up to 35/40 mph. I sort of assume that in any accident I will not be able to claim any rights... Cops are strange, though. Last May I got stopped on Sunset Blvd in Pacific Palisades (that's in LA for non-Californians out there), doing about 55 in a 35, in an area with big sweeping curves, as I was passing another bike. Pulled over by a motorcycle cop: I thought I was dead meat. He looks at my license, compliments me on the fact that I have a motorcycle endorsement, and lets me go, after admitting to me that my speed was not really dangerous and I seemed in good control of the bike. Go figure!

imported_g_k 12-16-2002 05:07 AM

Re: Yep, me too.
I agree with the comments about traffic school - I live in Colorado now, and I really miss being able to get rid of a ticket by attending one, although as I recall you could only attend once every 2 years (although several years ago I attended 2 a couple of weeks apart, as the tickets were in different counties - I transferred one to my "home"county, and no one ever raised an objection). It was in one of my traffic school appearances that I was told that lane splitting is legal iff the rider is not exceeding the posted speed limit, and not passing with a speed more than 15 mph faster than the cars being passed.

As for myself, I only did it when cars were stopped or barely moving; once it became possible for a driver to change lanes, I'd slip into a lane.

seruzawa 12-16-2002 05:19 AM

Re: Lane Splitting Ticket :-(
If people keep lanesplitting like the guys I see on sportbikes weaving between cars that are doing 60MPH (the biker doing at least 75) then it won't be long before the hammer comes down. Especially since too many use virtually wideopen collectors.

DeadVFR 12-16-2002 05:39 AM

Re: Lane Splitting Ticket :-(
I'm a SoCal lanesplitting nut. Its the city motor officers, charged with enforcing traffic laws, that I need to keep an eye out for. In one case a city motorcycle officer threatened me with a a ticket if I didn't stay in traffic (it was a creative lane change, not lane splitting). CHPs seem more relaxed. A car patrol officer monitoring a lengthy metered carpool onramp said, and I quote, "If I were you, I'd have been through here long ago!" I asked "Can I do that?!" He basically encouraged me to split all the onramp traffic (at less than Mach 5) and cut the the head of the line.

RonXX 12-16-2002 05:56 AM

Re: Lane Splitting Ticket :-(
It obviously is part of their rigorous training to presume that every other person on the road has inferior powers of observation to their own. The fact of the matter is that most police are not the brightest individuals out there (probably still above the human average though). It has been my personal experience that they are typically useless. I have had a motorcycle stolen from me, my parents' house was robbed, and the only thing the cops have done for me was write a $120 ticket for not stopping while turning right on red. Unfortunately it is extremely difficult to prove that a police officer is not some sort of omnipotent being when in court. Clearly they think they are all-knowing and all-seeing.

dlinder 12-16-2002 06:40 AM

Re: Lane Splitting Ticket :-(
Wow, how can they make time to fit arrogant prick training in between training them for superhuman perceptive skills?

It's great to see that police look at regular citizens with such disdain. I'm sure that really reinforces faith in our system and encourages people to want to participate in it in a way beneficial to society.

gooseman_1 12-16-2002 07:14 AM

Judgement effects Perception
n my experience most officers are descent people with descent judgement. Unfortunately the ones we deal with most are those whom, because of poor judgement, ticket every perceived infraction. These types are more concerned with the letter of the law than with it's *intent*. In this way all officers get a bad reputation. THE LAW is no substitute for common sense (which isn't so common these days). That goes for cops as well as riders.

Without more information I can't say whether this rider has a good case or not. Either way my advice is to CONTEST! There is as excellent post by a former officer further down that describes some options. Good luck!!

zelatore 12-16-2002 08:36 AM

Re: Lane Splitting Ticket :-(
I'm yet another lane splitting fan in the bay area. My daily commute takes me down 160 to 4, 242, 680, 24, 980 to the Oakland waterfront. I usually cut about 20-40 minutes off that 70 mile trip by riding and splitting lanes.

I have, on several occasions, split lanes right past a sitting or barely moving CHP car. When I've done it at low speads they've never said a word. One time I passed a CHP at a higher speed which illicited a "SLOW DOWN!" from his bullhorn, but that was it. (the sudden loud noise scarred the heck out of me...he obviously had seen me coming and had time to get his mike ready) On another occasion a CHP bike actually came up behind me while I was splitting on 880 and flashed his lights/siren at me. He only wanted me to go faster or get out of his way as he just motored on by when I pulled over.

More recently, I had a CHP bike on 101 pull me over just as I quit lane splitting. I had been moving through traffic briskly, but when I stopped passing people about 1/2 mile before my exit to start moving over to the exit lane I ended up tailgating the cars in front of me. Easy enough to do when you've just spent the last 1/2 hr. moving past them. The officer never even got off his bike, just pulled up by me on the shoulder and commented that I had been going "about as fast as I should" and I should be carefull about getting so close. I let him know why (my fault entirely) and he gave me a nod and motored off. Frankly, that was one of the most usefull stops I've ever had. If he had reamed me or written a ticket I would have been too pissed to take it to heart, but the manner in which he conducted himself made me believe he was actually trying to be a help and I've since been more aware of not do the same thing again.

I almost wish I had his name so I could comment to his boss.

sqidbait 12-16-2002 09:14 AM

Lane splitting is legal...
CHP website:

-- start --

Can motorcycle riders "split" lanes and ride between other vehicles?

Lane splitting by motorcycles is permissible but must be done in a safe and prudent manner.

-- stop --

-- Michael

12er 12-16-2002 09:35 AM

Re: Lane Splitting Ticket :-(
Just last week I was splitting down 24 (like I always do) right next to the rockridge bart station. I cruised up slowly behind a CHP Cruiser and he turned his red spot towards me and lit it up. Needless to say I had the confused dog look under my helmet. Traffic was at about 15mph and I was around 20-25mph, normally most CHP just wave. Still a bit confused on the issue as I had plenty of room and it was about the safest I have split in a good long while.

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