Sunday, January 27, 2013

Editorial: Lane-splitting should be legalized in the US

In 2011, we looked at the subject of lane-splitting when a motorcyclist was rear-ended by an inattentive motorist at an intersection and had the good fortune to capture the entire situation on his helmet cam (see that post here).

More recently, the guys at RideApart assembled another video discussing the merits of lane-splitting and trying to make the case for why lane-splitting and filtering are good concepts that should be legalized in more places in the US.

My take on lane-splitting is that if it is done right and properly regulated (that means people filtering up to the front in stopped traffic and only traveling between cars during heavy congestion and at no more than a 10-15 mph speed differential), it is a benefit to all motorists and would encourage more people to take advantage of a less congestion inducing mode of transportation. It seems that the biggest hurdle to this happening appears to be drivers who feel slighted by the possibility of motorcyclists getting to move in front of them. While that entire argument seems silly to me, I ride and have done lane-splitting before in California. It seems that with proper education on all sides, the potential benefits greatly outweigh the potential costs.

Why would you support or denounce the idea of lane-splitting and do you have a specific experience to support your point of view?