California SB 350 Lane Splitting Bill Update

There’s been a flurry of questions about SB 350, the lane splitting bill introduced by California Senator Jim Beall last week. Most of the questions center around the intent of the “three lanes” requirement in the bill’s text. I emailed and called Beall’s office and was promised a call back by one of his staffers – but nothing yet.

ABATE of California posted an update to their Facebook group page this evening. They point out that while ABATE didn’t initiate this bill, they’ve now approved having their lobbyist work with Beall in an effort to guide the language. They also point out that “Senator Beall is motorcycle friendly” and “the Senator’s staff person handling SB350 is an avid motorcyclist.” Also, perhaps most importantly:

It’s imperative to note that the bill that has been drafted is NOT the bill that will be heard in the Senate Transportation & Housing Committee. Senator Beall is very willing to amend the bill as ideas to improve the language are submitted and reviewed. It’s important to note that due to Senate rules, it will be several weeks before ANY amendments can be made.

So the confusing language is almost certain to be updated, and I have high hopes that with ABATE’s involvement, we’ll at least end up with positive language in the bill. ABATE’s details their position as:

…our goal is to ultimately submit a bill that addresses the concerns of the motorcycle community; a bill that can be supported and endorsed by the ABATE membership. If the final bill doesn’t meet ABATE’s requirements, ABATE will vigorously oppose the bill and try to kill it.

But as of this writing, the Senator and his staff are very willing and open to meeting to discuss our proposed changes and to improve OUR lane sharing.

How can you help? If you’re not an ABATE member, consider joining here. At the very least, sign up for legislative alerts or join their Facebook group. And of course, stay tuned here or on our Facebook page, or follow us on Twitter for ongoing updates.

ABATE’s update on SB 350 California lane sharing bill embedded below:

Click to access ABATE_SB350_update_02252013.pdf

I said in my first post about SB 350 that a well-written lane splitting law could be a good thing. Here’s hoping ABATE’s involvement in this effort by Senator Beall can make SB 350 into that bill.

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