Following behind the recent Sacramento Bee story on the CHP lane splitting guidelines, Sacramento NBC affiliate KCRA ran a story on the “first ever guidelines for legal lane splitting,” complete with some less-than-flattering lane splitting footage and the requisite “he comes zooming past at like 90 miles an hour” motorist complaint.
Check out the video:
The quick CHP interview is a positive touch, but more depth would have been nice. The same complaint applies to the footnote at the end of the story, when reporter Mallory Hoff mentions the CHP guidelines contain “a message to other drivers suggesting that they too make sure they follow the rules of the road.” Some specifics would have gone a long way towards a better informed public. Those guidelines are:
- 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
Other Sacramento news outlets have also joined the discussion. Yesterday, KFBK posted a poll, “What Do You Think of Lane Splitting,” resulting in some decent back and forth in the comments. Local Fox affiliate KTXL also ran a lane splitting story, but I’m not sure if it was aired on TV or just a web story – I couldn’t find any video.