RideBellChain.com Blog

 

Lane Splitting? To me this is insanity...

3/24/2010 1:58:00 PM

I just read this on somoene else's website: Motorcyclists in Arizona might get a chance to legally share lanes with cars next year, but if commenters on ABC 15's news report are any indication, non-riders are anything but pleased at the prospect.

House Bill 2475 proposes legalized lane-splitting for motorcycles only when cars are stopped, and touts benefits including lowering the odds of motorcycle rear-end accidents and reducing traffic congestion. The bill has passed House committees, and if it jumps through remaining hoops, will be instituted for a one-year trial in Maricopa County, Arizona.

Then, I read the responses to the blog (which I did not copy here), but they are more concerned with people getting pissed off who are sitting in cars than the safety hazard that this insane act brings. Now, I understand that this is legal in CA, but apparently, they don't have the crazy drivers that we have here...especially during the Winter here in Palm Beach, FL.  Let me explain: when it gets cold up North in the Winter, a lot of old folks flock to Palm Beach County, FL.  I have nothing against old folks, but I do have something against people that can't see, hear, walk that get into cars and put us all in danger. Unfortunately, in my neck of the woods, we don't have good public transportation, so the "snowbirds" as we call them are forced to drive.

A lot of them are simply incompetant...they can barely get in and out of their cars, and I can't imagine most of them being able to step on the brakes or turn the wheel fast enough to avoid accidents.  Then you have the group of people that just don't care, and the other group of people that think they have the right of way all the time, and the large group of people who think they can text, work on their laptops, and put on makeup while driving.  Simply put: It's freakin' dangerous around here!

As I've almost been taken out several times by these people, I've come to talk to them - not yell, but talk - when I catch up to them to let them know they almost killed me.  "I didn't see you" is the #1 thing I hear. When I ask them how they get around up North, they smile and say "Well, my son/daughter took my car away up there, but they don't know I've bought a new car here..."  -- They think they're getting away with something and it's a big game.

Florida law doesn't require that senior citizens take eyesight or hearing tests to get a license, and if no tickets were received, everyone gets a shiny new license in the mail when it's time to renew.  Can you imagine?

So getting back to my discussion on lane splitting: NO WAY!  I see people change lanes all the time without looking - just point and shoot...No need to look in your rearview mirror when traffic's standing still...or who gives a crap, that's where I want to go, so that's where I'm going....RIGHT NOW.

I would rather ride on the sidewalk...  so tell me, where do you live and are you for or against lane splitting?

Until Next Week - Ride Safe!

Mark Turkel

http://www.RideBellChain.com


PS. Please take a look through our store - I'm adding more items daily, and I'd love to hear your suggestions on what you'd like to see in the store.  Send me your ideas to mark@RideBellChain.com

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Comments:

Created By: O'Reilly S  On 3/24/2010 3:20:22 PM
   Lane splitting is legal on any federally funded roadway and relatively safe when done correctly in dead stopped or extremely slow traffic. I use the technique when commuting on NJ GSP, especially in dead crawl holiday weekend traffic. I'm way ahead of any PO'd cagers before they realize they have been passed. BTW I like my quiet pipes.
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Created By: Goldstein M  On 3/24/2010 4:10:15 PM
   When I re-started riding a few years ago, I never split lanes, even in stopped traffic on the hottest days of the year. Now that I've got several years of recent experience under my belt, I will split lanes when it's safe (or reasonably safe) to do so. If traffic is moving above about 15mph, I don't consider it safe enough because the cars have enough momentum to make quick lane changes at that speed. I also don't force my way between cars if someone has decided that they're going to block my way (and some of them purposely do that). It's not worth the extra few minutes I'd save to risk them moving over even further when I'm beside them.
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Created By: Morgan D  On 3/24/2010 6:26:58 PM
   Right now I'm in Sao Paulo, Brazil and that's how bikes get around here - lane splitting is a way of life (or death). In many ways I envy them they simply sound their horns and speed by. Yes, there's lots of cars missing mirrors and I'm sure plenty of accidents - but with the way traffic is here there's no way I'd want to wait around. I think lane splitting has always been a way of life (or death) here so the drivers are relatively tolerant of it and they seem to leave room for the bikes to travel down between lanes - also the majority of bikes are quite small (under 250cc) but today I saw a big Harley (looked like a fat boy) cutting up the curb and then between two cars towards the center line and then speeding up in the opposing lane to the lights - wow it's crazy, as we know most? Harley's are air cooled and waiting around in traffic is not a good option (Today's temperature around 90*F). I'd like lane splitting but I'm not sure many car driving would know what to do with it, so for now I'll wait in traffic.
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Created By: Busch W  On 3/25/2010 5:39:42 PM
   Gotta chuckle about lane sharing. I've seen it on trips to California. Seems to make sense in that setting. Here in the mountains of western North Carolina it's little more than a curiosity. First, you'd have to find some traffic, then you'd have to find a four lane road, then a congested city. Even so, the practice is widespread here, though it's practiced by cars and trucks, not motorcycles. Not a day goes by you're rounding a curve only to meet the oncoming vehicle halfway in your lane. You just get used to it. Hillybilly lane sharing is a whole nuther deal. It goes back to our strong early education programs. They teach them well to stay between the lines and that's how they drive.
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Created By: Dow B  On 3/26/2010 1:40:56 PM
   I can only say that I remove my large BMW system cases when I plan to lane split... and then I do it when I am comfortable the cars don't have many options to cross me. So, its mostly at stoplights. Frankly, I didn't know we weren't already allowed to do it here in Phoenix! We have the snowbirds here too, and I am less likely to run up to lights in Scottsdale. I don't need them serving their Range Rovers over at me... at least in Florida they are driving those little Hyudai's and stuff!
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Created By: Cossart R  On 3/28/2010 7:33:48 PM
   I live in So. California and lane splitting does go on all the time. The answer to being safe is found in Defensive Driving. Knowing how to keep yourself safe by passing when two cars are side by side, the driver will see the other car and not change lanes into you. Also your speed should be around 3-5 miles faster than autos are traveling. This leaves you in between cars a minimum of time. Any faster and you will have trouble adjusting to any sudden move of the other vehicles. Make sure the other drivers see you. Use your Hi-beam during the day and passing lamps in the dark. Be sure you are looking at least 12 seconds ahead getting the big picture. Cover your brake and clutch levers reducing reaction time be sure you are setting up and paying attention and keep your steering lite and neutral. Defensing Driving is about You not the other guy.. Rac...
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Created By: Cloonan J  On 5/25/2010 9:11:58 AM
   On a trip to Napa, I rented a BMW R1150R, and was wondering why other bikers were looking at me strangely - it was because I wasn't filtering up to the front at stop lights. After 3 days on that bike, I started doing it. Just that simple act made the ride more pleasurable - no slowpokes in front of me, getting where I wanted to go, a chance to get away from the cars. I think the only real difference between California and the rest of the US in regards to this behavior is that the cage drivers are accustomed to it, and they expect it. In the places where it's not common practice, I think it's far more dangerous. I've done it here and there. By the end of a week in California I was doing it at every stop light and anywhere I found traffic at a standstill. I've done it here in Atlanta a couple times in really bad traffic when everything just stops. From a safety perspective, I think you're certainly elevating your level of risk, and I don't personally feel comfortable doing it when traffic starts moving at all.
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