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Asatryan Law
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Have you seen the CHP guidelines for lane splitting?

Through Assembly Bill 51, Governor Jerry Brown made motorcycle lane splitting legal in California in 2016. The next step was to devise some regulations to keep both motorists and motorcyclists safe.

The California Highway Patrol put together some guidelines for motorcycle riders to follow, confirming that lane splitting “in a safe and prudent manner” is not illegal in this state. Here are four of the major points in the guidelines.

Split between the #1 and #2 lanes

The CHP says that lane splitting is safer between the #1 and #2 lanes on the freeway, meaning the lanes farthest to the left, because this area is where motorists are most accustomed to seeing motorcycles trying the splitting maneuver. It is not advisable to split between lanes near on-ramps and exits.

Watch your speed

If the flow of traffic is going 10 miles per hour slower than you, you are riding too fast. The idea is to have enough time to react if a dangerous situation should occur. If traffic is going at least 30 miles per hour, it is unwise to try lane splitting. You would be traveling faster than the flow of traffic, and a devastating accident could happen in the few seconds it takes for you to identify an emergency and attempt to avoid it.

Consider the circumstances

Before you engage in lane splitting, make sure you consider the whole environment: weather, road conditions, lighting conditions, width of lanes, how much visibility you have and how much room there is for you to maneuver. For example, lane splitting is not advisable around large trucks, buses and other wide vehicles, because they take up much of the room in their lanes, leaving little motorcycle wiggle room.

Follow the rules

As a motorcycle rider, you obviously realize how vulnerable you are compared to the people inside cars and trucks, and you know that lane splitting has its risks. This is not to say, however, that an accident in which you are involved could not be the result of a negligent driver. Stay alert, follow the guidelines set down by the CHP and enjoy a safe, uneventful ride.

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