California Highway Patrol Eliminates Lane-Splitting Rules from Website
In a move that upset motorcyclists and raised questions about attitudes toward the practice, the California Highway Patrol removed the guidelines for lane splitting from its website in July. The rules had only been posted since last year, when they were created as a reference for drivers of all vehicles as part of an effort to set standards regarding the practice. The CHP, under orders from the state’s Office of Administrative Law, removed the guidelines to avoid their being mistaken for enforceable laws.
Lane splitting is the practice of maneuvering a motorcycle between two stopped or very slow-moving lanes of traffic. This generally occurs during traffic jams on freeways. California is the only state that specifically permits lane splitting, although the requirement that it only be done in a “safe and prudent” manner leaves the rules open to considerable interpretation.
Because the practice is somewhat controversial and can be dangerous, motorcyclists should take precautions to avoid accidents while lane splitting. Among the most important is not speeding through stopped or slow-moving traffic. Proceeding too quickly raises the risk of an accident in the event that a car switches lanes unexpectedly, or if cars in adjacent lanes happen to be too close together.
A good rule of thumb is to travel at about 10 miles per hour faster than the other traffic, and to return to a lane once traffic is moving at about 30 miles per hour. Basic safety practices such as being alert and aware of their surroundings, using headlights, and wearing reflective clothing also apply.
Car and truck drivers also need to exercise caution in situations where lane splitting is likely to occur. Again, basic safety measures such as checking mirrors and blind spots prior to changing lanes are necessary, but recognizing that a motorcycle can approach especially quickly while lane splitting means that drivers should be extra cautious.
Because different judges may interpret the rules around lane splitting very differently, it’s important to speak with a knowledgeable Bakersfield personal injury lawyer from The Law Offices of Young Wooldridge, LLP.
If you suffered serious injury in a Bakersfield accident, rely on The Law Offices of Young Wooldridge, LLP with the resources necessary to prove fault and protect your rights. For more information on this issue, speak with a compassionate Bakersfield personal injury lawyer at The Law Offices of Young Wooldridge, LLP.
Call today for a confidential consultation – 661.327.9661
Like us on Facebook for more information.