As a motorcycle rider, you should know that the California Highway Patrol has set forth some guidelines for lane splitting following the passage of Assembly Bill 51.
If you follow the practice of riding in between lanes of traffic when the going is slow, the CHP advises using common sense and observing a few rules of the road.
Speed is a consideration
The speed at which you travel should be no more than 10 miles per hour above the flow of traffic. Speed increases the potential for a collision, and you want to have enough time to anticipate and avoid a dangerous situation. The CHP says it is not advisable to lane split when traffic is moving at 30 mph or faster.
Think about the environment
Take everything into consideration:
- Width of the lanes
- Condition of the road
- Size of the vehicles around you
- How familiar you are with the road
The CHP has a slogan they want you to remember: “If you can’t fit, don’t split.” Take a look at the traffic ahead of you. It is riskier to lane split in the vicinity of wide trucks, for example. An attorney who handles motorcycle accident cases will tell you that it is also unsafe to lane split if the road surface is gritty or slippery.
Be alert to movement by motorists. Keep an eye out for distracted drivers and lane changers, and be prepared to take evasive action. Do not linger in blind spots or weave back and forth between lanes of traffic. Watch other drivers and always be aware of possible trouble ahead.
Obey the laws
To avoid getting a ticket, obey all the existing traffic laws. If you are stopped, remember that it is up to the law enforcement officer to determine whether you were riding in a safe and prudent manner while lane splitting. Always remain alert when lane splitting.