Features Op-Ed Lane Splitting? You must have a death wish

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Lane Splitting? You must have a death wish Hot

lanesplitcenterlineLane splitting, a two-wheeled vehicle moving between lanes of vehicles that are proceeding in the same direction. Some people will tell you that Lane splitting is guaranteed by the 1st and 14th Amendments of the Constitution of the United States.

Some may say that you save on gas and reduce green house gasses; others will say that lane splitting reduces traffic. Find the one reason that works for you and keep it close to your heart, nurture it, care for it, take real good care of it. Better yet make a sign, walk up and down the street with this sign to let the world know how YOU feel about lane splitting.

Let a postulate a sequence of possible events that could happen. The sun is out, bright sunny day and you merge onto the freeway. You get about 300 yards and you hit the wall of cars, all you see for the next few miles is bumper to bumper traffic.

You pull out and hit the white line, you are lane splitting. Now look above and find the reason that works for you, if your reason is not there get some white out and cover up one of the above reasons and write your own on the computer screen.

Anyway back to our scenario, you are lane splitting and getting to where you need to go. You are making good time passing by all these happy drivers who are stuck in traffic and cannot lane split, they have to wait in line with everyone else.

Now one of these happy drivers decides that this is not fair and creeps over far enough to block your way. You are on your toes and slow down switch lanes to get around this obstacle in your way. Unfortunately for you the car that you cut in front of did not see you coming and clips your rear tire.

Hopefully you were not going to fast as you do a face plant, hopefully you have real good insurance, and hopefully you wore a helmet unless you felt the need to express your 1st and 14th amendment rights. No matter how careful you are there is one thing you cannot control, the driver in the other car.

Think long and hard before you choose to lane split, was it (look above for your reason) really worth what could happen to you.

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Comments  

 
0 # A Lane Splitter 2010-11-22 07:04
Really john,these are your opinions w/ your reasons for lane splitting,ok i'll respect that but your "wrong".Seems to me by the statement on having a "death wish" is as ignorant as the person who wrote it.Now it seems this must have happened to you as a m/c went right by you and you were angered about it,to bad.Most of us lane-splitters have our reasons for it,its to get away from cagers like your self who are even thinking about cutting one off and not giving a dam about the riders.I do this every time i ride cause i've seen riders crushed to death and also lose limbs such as the off duty c.h.p. officer who lost his leg recently here in fresno,that cager got away and he was at a stop light,go figure.We dont like staying between cagers at stop lights,shit-happens,get your facts right or do us a favor,stop writing crap on death pencil pusher cager....
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0 # H2T/lice 2010-11-24 00:41
live and ride in a large city with lots of traffic before you weigh in on lane splitting. If you want to sit on the 405, 101 or 610 and suck/create the fumes its your right. As for your sequence of possible events go, it calls for skill and knowledge. Witch i assume you have very little of by your article post. A proper rider would worry more about helmet laws then lane splitting. By the way most places where splitting is allowed the right of way goes to pedestrian, bicyclist, motorbike, then vehicle. Also squid, most motorcycle accidents accrue from getting hit from behind, so you can't hit a bike if were between you cagers. how did you even get to write here, you sound like a cager....
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0 # Reg Kittrelle 2010-11-24 10:49
"Let us postulate sequence of possible events..."
There exists not a single result that could not be... postulated. That lane-splitting is dangerous is a given. It is also a given that it can done be with a high degree of safety.

This was not a well thought out --or written-- piece. I don't see any benefit from it to the motorcycle community
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0 # Julian Taylor 2010-11-25 00:11
Lane splitting should be our choice as riders, not the governments. I lived in London for years and couldn't get to work without splitting. It saved me an hour a day riding. recently in LA we could split and save time. The HOV lane white line allowed for much safer splitting. I now live in PA and hate that I can't split, even though we still do. Its' our choice not theirs whether we can split.

It's one of the biggest benefits of riding a bike, maybe if we all make enough noise Washington will change the rest of the country to allow us to split. Until then i will keep doing it anyway.

Do you sit in traffic John?
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0 # Garret 2010-11-26 02:04
Lane sharing is legal in the state of California, my man. I've been doing it for 25 years, no tickets, no accidents. You are entitled to your opinion, but you sound like you should be writing for 'Via' the AAA magazine.
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0 # Reg Kittrelle 2010-11-27 00:42
Garret...
Small point... Lane-sharing (as California calls it) is not legal, per se. However, it is also not illegal. It is allowed by the authorities,if done in a safe, prudent manner. Ours is the only state that recognizes the legitimacy of the action.

One of the many things that I enjoy about motorcycles is that they demand a higher level of competence and awareness to operate properly than does driving a car. Without the presence of those two ...competence and awareness... riding a motorcycle is a very dangerous activity, be it alone on a highway, or lane splitting a freeway. The biggest issue I have with Campbell's opinion is that it could be applied to every aspect of riding. Our critics see riding as a very hazardous form of transportation and, in extreme cases, have sought to have it seriously curtailed. Unfortunately, Campbell's piece only adds to that nonsensical position.
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0 # KOCook 2010-11-28 03:21
John, you must have a very low opinion of your fellow riders' skills at manuvering through traffic. Or could it be that your "Street Smarts" are not very well developed and you have assumed no one is any better at it than you? Suggest you do a bit more research and interviewing on this topic before backhanding your readers.
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0 # Scotty B 2010-12-03 01:10
We split lanes all the time in PA. It's not legal, but we do it. I really don't have a death wish, I just get tired of waiting for the cars in front of me. They're the ones creating the hazards. Not really sure the Amendments you mentioned have anything to do with this article though. Kinda confused on that one. Please comment back and clarify your point on that one...
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0 # Big Ben 2010-12-03 01:18
Both sides have a decent point….Although I agree that John could have articulated his point a little better and like Reg said if you start thinking like that you might as well lock yourself in your house and never leave. Look I lane split all the time….I don’t even really think about it. It is “Illegal” in my state and for some reason people in PA take offense to it when you do it in traffic. So I get what John is saying about having to watch out for Road Raged Non-Motorcyclist. In Cali its probably different because everyone is used to seeing people lane split…..Here in PA they act like you just spit on them, gave them the finger, and ran over their dog…..
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0 # Reg Kittrelle 2010-12-04 00:02
I wish it were so, Big Ben. While 'splitting here on the Left Coast is allowable, it is not always welcomed by drivers. But, again, part of being a competent rider is knowing that these drivers exist, and ride accordingly. I don't enjoy lane sharing, but it really becomes a necessity under certain conditions (e.g.,air-cooled motor, mid-summer).

The most dangerous activity with this action comes from us riders... not the cars. I continually see riders splitting at high speed; this totally eliminates any option in the event of a problem
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0 # renz 2010-12-11 08:38
i think this is one of the most dangerest thing ive ever seen ,it only take a split second for a driver of a car or truck to swerve just a very little bit and you could be DEAD, if your in that big of a hurry maybe (just maybe )you should of left a little bit earler ..........
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0 # Megan Waltman 2011-02-26 19:25
I think it all depends on the rider. When I'm in my car I don't care about the guys splitting lanes, but when there was a huge race here, there were sooooo many riders acting like asses, doing 70 between cars on roads and cutting off drivers, stuff like that. It's all about being defensive. But I feel like splitting lanes is one of the benefits that motorcyclists should take advantage of, especially here in California.
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0 # airportsteve 2011-03-18 02:40
When I rode in calif. to work I would lane split but only if the traffic was going less than 45 then I could go about 5 mph faster, not the hair brained nuts going 70. yes its not as safe as driving out in the middle of no ware with no other traffic for miles, but done safely there is nothing wrong with it. The best time to do it was about 730 in the morning when the local CHP was was on his way to work, I would get in behind him and watch the cages open up like the Red Sea.
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0 # OBrien 2011-03-20 09:36
John

Line spitting is against the law in NY and I have been pulled over a few times but never recieved a ticket, the cops tell me how unsafe it is...ha. I ride with a lot of "law enforcement Officers" and they split the lanes even more then I do. I split the lanes when there is traffic, I personally can't stand sitting on a hot bike without moving to me it is safer to split the lanes.
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0 # Jef 2011-03-22 07:30
Yes
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0 # RickRacer 2011-06-12 13:51
With over 40 years of riding, the one and only time I've been hit by a car was when I was not lane splitting in slow freeway traffic. Riding in a lane, a truck next to me moved into my space and knocked me down (and didn't stop). If I had been splitting, that space would not have been there. I am very cautious when spitting and approaching a space a car can move into, didn't have that option when riding within the lane. There is danger either way, a little caution and common sense goes a long way. Oh yeah, seriously dumb article. Unless you were just trying to provoke a debate, which obviously worked.
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0 # Jonathonsdaddy 2011-06-12 16:08
I only SHARE LANES when traffic is moving very Slowly. If Traffic is flowing at a Normal Speed it is not necessary. I have have sevral close calls with people crossing double - double yellow lines to enter my CARPOOL lane with me next to them ..... BOOOOOO....
Lane sharing has saved me from being REAR ENDED when the traffic stops abruptly and the JERK behind me is Talking on his CEll Phone , which is ILLEGAL in CA.
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0 # Chris W 2011-07-12 07:59
Sloppy, crappy, wannabe provocative "writing." I hope you didn't get paid much by this website for the 10 minutes it took you to pump out this garbage.
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0 # WheelieGhost 2011-11-30 09:18
Chris W I am glad you found the article. Feedback is always welcome. Have a great day
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