CHP: Return the Lane Splitting Guidelines!

LOOK_Sign_ONE_program

 

 

In February of 2013 the California CHP finally officially released guidelines regarding the practice of lane splitting or filtering here in California.

The reason was to promote awareness to drivers of the practice by motorcycles as well as to promote how to safely split lanes.  There has long been confusion over the practice by drivers and riders alike as to the legality of it. It is not illegal, but nor does it have a single law allowing it.  It is governed by three vehicle codes. Speed, Passing on the right, and Lane Changing.

 

The Guidelines were as follows:

  1. Travel at a speed that is no more than 10 MPH faster than other traffic – danger increases at higher speed differentials.
  2. It is not advisable to lane split when traffic flow is at 30 mph or faster – danger increases as overall speed increases.
  3. Typically, it is more desirable to split between the #1 and #2 lanes than between other lanes.
  4. 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.
  5. Be alert and anticipate possible movements by other road users.

 

Today I received an email form the AMA (American Motorcycle Association) that the CHP has backed off and are no longer promoting the guidelines.  They have removed ALL of their PSA’s ,written material and information from their websites in reference to lane sharing, once again leaving drivers in the dark about the reality of lane sharing in California.

This is due to a single complaint!  According to the AMA e-mail I received.

“A 2013 complaint from just one individual to the California Office of Administrative Law has forced the California Highway Patrol and other state government agencies to remove information from their websites that was intended to help motorcyclists safely execute the allowed lane-splitting maneuver.”

One person gets to decide for an entire community?  Over the past few days I had been wondering why I could not find a certain PSA that was on TV just a few months ago or anything official…, now I know.  Here is where YOU get to help!

Please follow the link to the AMA page and sign the petition requesting that the guidelines be returned!

Drivers need to be more educated on the practice and more educated on the real statistics of motorcycle accidents, lane sharing and fatalities.  Sitting in a lane of commuter traffic is far more dangerous than lane sharing and personally I feel like a sitting duck waiting to get taken out by a distracted driver that just dripped mustard on her pants or trying to break up a fight in the back seat.

Please share this with your friends, riders or not.  Education and Motorcycle awareness is the answer, not turning a blind eye over one individuals ignorance or distaste for motorcycles.

If you do not know how lane sharing is supposed to work go here for more information

If anyone has a download of the CHP’s Lane sharing PSA I would sure like to have it.

Until then, share the road!

3 Things to Never Say or Do to a Biker.

Having been around these guys for a long time.  If you’re smart,  have any common sense and have just plain ol manners. you learn  these things pretty quick.  If you don’t, well you could be the new douchy douch or worse.

I have seen both men and women make these mistakes. So here are a few rules in case that you ever bump into this fun-loving kind of crowd.

 

1) Never ever touch a mans “cut”.

What is a “Cut” ? Briefly, if he is wearing a vest, regardless of the material, and it has 3 patches on the back, The club colors. It would be wise to not touch him for a plethora of reasons.  But let me give you just one.  It’s friggin RUDE, and this should be applied to anyone that you do not know.

There is no gender rule here either.  If you are a female the rule still applies, if you’re a cute, the rule still applies, No, you are not special.  And especially if you are a female it would be a bad idea, his chick could be close by and you do not want to mess with her either… Just sayin’

 

2) Never ask if you can “sit on his/her motorcycle”.

Personally I don’t mind if some mom wants a picture of her little one on the bike.   But girl, you are not going to sit on my mans bike for a photo-op. Not just No…, Hell no….  So just don’t ask.  A motorcycle is not like a car and there is an intimacy to a bike that is not generally shared with outsiders.

 

Bambi

 

 

 

3) Don’t ask a biker to “give you a ride”.

Again it is rude.  You have no idea if he is married or has a girlfriend.  If there’s a back seat he probably is/ does.  If he offers, well that is another story, but only if he is single or you have her permission.  Frankly even with ‘her’ permission, I would never ever get on a mans bike unless it was an emergency, and never get on a bike with someone you do not know. PERIOD.

 

So those are my top three no no’s and my best advise.  What is your biggest pet peeve as a biker or as the pillion?