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Poll: Should Motorcyclists be Allowed to 'Split Lanes'?

Some drivers loathe motorcycles weaving between lanes, and many don't know it's legal in California. Where do you stand?

California is the only state in the country drivers will see motorcyclists squeezing through tiny gaps in traffic and not have to wonder if those riders will get a ticket moments later.

It's the only place where "lane splitting," or the practice of riding between two cars, is legal (The CHP says so on its website).

Three motorcyclists go on a 14-minute defense of the practice in a webisode of "RideApart" that was posted last week.

"It's safer, it's more responsible," motorcycle journalist Wes Siler says in the video. "On a motorcycle, we don't have crumple zones. We don't have this built in safety, so we have to take control of that ourselves."

He cites a study that says lane-splitting is safer than sitting in traffic because it reduces the risk of being rear-ended by a car.

"[A person in a car] can be a bad driver all she wants," he says. "It's my job not to let her run into me."

Nearly 10,000 voters in a poll on autoblog.com were divided on the subject as of Wednesday night, with 50 percent saying they feel it's an unsafe practice and 43 percent saying they agreed with the practice.

I've been riding a motorcycle for about eight years, and never knew this was such a controversial issue. But according to a California Office of Traffic Safety survey from 2012, only 53 percent of drivers know the practice is legal and 7 percent of drivers have tried to prevent it.

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Readers, where do you stand on this issue? Should California continue to be the sole state to allow lane-splitting by motorcyclists? Vote in the poll below and leave a comment with your thoughts.

Larry McKenzie January 21, 2013 at 03:57 PM
I think that the circumstances involved with lane splitting would be important. Traffic moving at less than 30 km/hr then lane slitting would be a good thing , with a reckless endangerment charge for a driver that tries to hurt a biker in this cituation. Above 30 km.hr there is no need to allow lane splitting.
Eugene Boudreau January 22, 2013 at 02:24 AM
Larry I agree 100% with you .
ROBERT E. FISHBACK January 22, 2013 at 05:24 PM
There should be an open door policy on this one.

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