scot in exile

Living Legend
Joined
Jan 14, 2006
Messages
9,293
Location
Fort walton Beach FL, Glenrothes Fife
Ride
2011 Rocket
On Thursday, the number of states that allow motorcycles to lane split doubled to two, as Governor Gary Herbert signed H.B. 149, legalizing lane splitting in the great state of Utah.


Only 48 U.S. states, Canada, and a few other countries prohibit motorcycles from traveling between lanes of cars in slow or stopped traffic. It's common and expected practice throughout Europe and Asia. As long as cars are expecting it and everyone involved does it safely, it's not only faster for bikes to cut through traffic, but safer, too. Bikes can safely make their way to the front of the line, rather than be stuck in the back where an inattentive driver could crash into them from behind.

Of course, since this is a motorcycle safety bill, it's not about doing a wheelie between cars at 100 mph. The law stipulates certain condition under which lane splitting is allowed. The road must have two or more lanes with a speed limit no greater than 45 mph, which unfortunately rules out interstates. Additionally, traffic must be completely stopped, and the motorcycle may not exceed 15 mph while splitting. It's not exactly the wild west of California's lane splitting laws (or lack of laws, to be precise), but it's still a tremendous advantage for motorcyclists in Utah.

We kind of saw this coming, but personally, I never expected to see any other states actually pass such a law, even though I hoped for it. Connecticut, Oregon, and Maryland have also proposed laws that would legalize the practice. The only issue that I see with legal lane splitting is that drivers aren't used to bikes cutting between them, and especially having the legal privilege to do so. Wherever lane splitting is legalized, I think a massive publicity campaign will be necessary to educate drivers not to get angry, intentionally block, or throw things at riders following the new laws.

About time lane splitting picked up some steam the sooner we get all 50 staeson board the better, also educate the car drivers.
 

Navigator

Living Legend
Joined
Feb 19, 2007
Messages
2,849
Location
Banner, WA
Ride
2009 Rocket Touring
I never lane split but instead ride along the road shoulder. A Canadian member and I did so years ago on road out of Abacortes, WA at the close of the Oyster Fest and some of the drivers stuck in the bumper to bumper overpass traffic went nuts.

Similarily, in 2015 while riding in the northern Yukon Territory, we were called to the front of the line at a highway construction roadblock. As we rode slowly along the shoulder to the front of the traffic, a semi driver pulled sharply to the right, almost hitting me. If I'd had my witts about me I would have pulled out my multi purpose tool and cut the valve stem off of his front tire.

My point in this long story is that many cagers go appopletic when they observe bikers moving up in a lane. I won't lane split even when in California after seeing some of the cager road rage incidents, and many of those crazies carry GUNS.
 

Navigator

Living Legend
Joined
Feb 19, 2007
Messages
2,849
Location
Banner, WA
Ride
2009 Rocket Touring
If you do not split lanes in CA Mike just make sure no bikes are behind you or it may be a biker who shoots you :eek::D
Good point Dave. I've watched some of them screaming up between the lanes and waiting for someone to open a door.
 
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