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Lane Sharing Question


Hotfoot
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OK, I have a California lane-sharing question.

 

This morning I was driving in the carpool lane, in my car, in fast moving traffic and came up on a motorcycle - well, actually, one of those big freeway legal scooters - who was riding in between the carpool and fast lane on the yellow lines - but was only going about 55 mph in a 65 mph zone. So, I was stuck behind him, in the carpool lane (you can't exit the carpool lane except in certain areas) and traffic in the other lanes was whizzing by at 75mph and there was LOTS of wide open carpool lane in FRONT of the scooter. In other words, he was holding me up. :)

 

So, here is my question - is it legal for a CAR to pass a BIKE that is lane sharing?

 

I figured it was not and I also figured the guy on the scooter must be scared half to death or he'd be going faster so I just stuck politely behind him until my carpool lane exit, but it did make me wonder about the law.

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The problem with that question is that technically speaking lane sharing isn't "legal"

 

there is nothing in the California Vehicle Code that allows it,

 

just this one statement on the CHP website

 

  • ​Lane splitting is permissible if done in a safe and prudent manner.

so if you could pass the bike in a safe and prudent manner, and you can convince a CHP officer or judge of that fact, then your good.

My question is why was he riding on the double yellow ( which is also not legal ) if he was going slower than traffic, he should have a lane position firmly inside the carpool lane at the point

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I believe the jurispridence that came out of some trial in favor of motorcycles lane splitting was done to offer more safety to riders under heavy traffic. It's easier to dodge cars splitting lanes than standing behind them. Then it became a traffic beater and now apparentley we're down to painting new lanes for scooters.

 

My guess is that the scooter was not legal to begin with (it should have moved to the center of the lane in absence of traffic, aka regular riding in those conditions) but then, no I don't think you can pass a vehicle within the same lane, even though it wasn't obvious which lane it was occupying.

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I don't know the particulars of the Californian Highway Code, but around here it's only legal to do lane-splitting if you and the car you are passing can be completely (and safely) within the lane.

 

And by completely, that includes both mirrors, handlebar ends etc. It's not enough that your tires are inside the lane. A friend of mine has a very expensive piece of paper to prove that, signed by a local law enforcement officer B)

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I believe the jurispridence that came out of some trial in favor of motorcycles lane splitting was done to offer more safety to riders under heavy traffic. It's easier to dodge cars splitting lanes than standing behind them. Then it became a traffic beater and now apparentley we're down to painting new lanes for scooters.

 

My guess is that the scooter was not legal to begin with (it should have moved to the center of the lane in absence of traffic, aka regular riding in those conditions) but then, no I don't think you can pass a vehicle within the same lane, even though it wasn't obvious which lane it was occupying.

 

I'm not entirely sure what your talking about, but there aren't specific lanes for Motorcycle's or Scooters here in California. There are some freeways with some space between the carpool and #1 lane that is commonly used by motorcyclists, but it is most assuredly not a motorcycle lane.

 

Lane splitting is a common everyday and accepted part of life in California, however the actual legality of the practice exists in a sort of nebulous limbo, I would liken it to the decriminalization of some recreational substances. Not outright legal, but you've really gotta push your luck to get in trouble for it.

 

I'm fairly certain the status of lane splitting here in CA comes down to the fact that the C.H.P. and other assorted Law Enforcement officers need to be able to move about on highly congested roadways, and they can't just lane split on their motorcycles if its explicitly forbidden by the C.V.C. so there is a statement on the C.H.P. website that makes it "permissible" but the lack of any specific guidelines give officers a WIDE band of discretion for ticketing "unsafe lane splitting". Good luck arguing in front of a judge that you're definition of "Safe and Prudent" was more applicable to the situation than that of the Officer who wrote you a ticket.

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T, I meant it as a joke, the scooter abused the interpretation of lane splitting and now we have to paint scooter lanes on the highway. Here's an article about the intended lane splitting use: http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-motorcycle-lanesplitting-20150528-story.html.

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Actually that article is about a possible new law which would remove the murky limbo status of lane splitting here in California and make it 100% legal under certain conditions,

 

I'm pretty much for that, but I think the max limit of 50 MPH it proposes needs to be changed to max limit of the posted speed limit.

 

Interestingly enough though the AMA is actually against this bill for being to restrictive with its new regulations,

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