On August 19th, 2016, the California Legislature passed AB 51, which formally defines lane splitting in the vehicle code, and explicitly authorizes the CHP develop educational guidelines relating to lane splitting in a manner that would ensure the safety of the motorcyclist and the drivers and passengers of the surrounding vehicles.
From the previous CHP Guidelines:
- Lane splitting by motorcycles is not illegal in California when done in a safe and prudent manner.
- Motorists should not take it upon themselves to discourage motorcyclists from lane splitting.
- Intentionally blocking or impeding a motorcyclist in a way that could cause harm to the rider is illegal (CVC 22400).
- Opening a vehicle door to impede a motorcycle is illegal (CVC 22517).
- Never drive while distracted.
- You can help keep motorcyclists and all road users safe by:
- Checking mirrors and blind spots, especially before changing lanes or turning
- Signaling your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic.
- Allowing more following distance, three or four seconds, when behind a motorcycle so the motorcyclist has enough time to maneuver or stop in an emergency.
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