California riders have known for a long time that lane splitting is legal in California. Many riders – especially moto commuters – cite lane sharing as one of the big reasons riding is awesome. But many folks have long seen lane splitting as a gray area. No more – the CHP has issued official lane splitting guidelines!
Lane splitting in a safe and prudent manner is not illegal in the state of California. The term lane splitting, sometimes known as lane sharing, filtering or white-lining, refers to the process of a motorcyclist riding between lanes of stopped or slower moving traffic or moving between lanes to the front of traffic stopped at a traffic light.
Motorcyclists who are competent enough riders to lane split, should follow these general guidelines if choosing to lane split.
- Travel at a speed that is no more than 10 MPH faster than other traffic – danger increases at higher speed differentials.
- It is not advisable to lane split when traffic flow is at 30 mph or faster – danger increases as overall speed increases.
- Typically, it is more desirable to split between the #1 and #2 lanes than between other lanes.
- Consider the total environment in which you are splitting, including the width of the lanes, size of surrounding vehicles, as well as roadway, weather, and lighting conditions.
- Be alert and anticipate possible movements by other road users.
The Four R’s or “Be-Attitudes” of Lane Splitting:
Be Reasonable, be Responsible, be Respectful, be aware of all Roadway and traffic conditions.
Big thanks to everyone who pushed for so long to make this happen. As noted in the announcement thread on BARF, “Its been a long time coming. Its taken a lot of arm twisting, arguing, and frustration. But we have taken a huge leap forward.”