That medical insurance requirement sure is counterintuitive, though. California's Highway Patrol believes it's safer to split lanes than it is to sit in rush-hour traffic. (At least that's what they told us in MSF school.)
If it's more dangerous NOT to split lanes, then why the insurance req for splitters?
I'd like lane splitting to be legalized, although there ain't a whole lotta room in between them pick 'em up trucks. I'm thinking the first couple months would be might scary, especially watching Mr. Fat Tail Road Glide squeeze in between a couple dualies for the first time.
Seruzawa obviously understands Texas state politics. Everything here is an excuse to raise insurance rates. There is also a one woman campaign to outlaw cellphone use while driving. You know if it would just save one life....(like mine) it would be worth it.
Done properly lane splitting can be safe. There are many of us that have been lane splitting here in Kalifornia for as long as we've ridden street bikes. I've been doing it for almost 40 years and have had no problems. If you see some kid doing 60 mph between slowly moving cages you can send him a posthumous thank you card for cleaning up the gene pool however. VWW
As a native of Houston, I'd love to see this pass. But for the first few years I would be afraid to try it myself. People here get mighty possessive about their lanes. I can see some of those dually driving cowboys "accidentally" nudging a bike if a fit of pique. I'm afraid I see the body count piling up quickly. Ad in a heavy cruiser bias and I really do think this could get ugly.
This is interesting - especially with the specifics of this bill regarding speeds and when it's acceptable, etc. In California, there's a common misconception that lane-splitting is legal. There's not a specific law on the books like this proposed TX one. Lane-splitting in CA is just not _illegal_ and therefore is open to _many_ interpretations of what constitutes "safe" lane-splitting. I've heard from many police and CHP; completely differing "standards" that they use to judge "safe or unsafe" lane-splitting - it's all very confusing actually...
My question is this - how is any LEO going to know one way or another if the rider splitting lanes has completed the required safety course, is over the age of 21, or has the necessary medical insurance? Will the LEO be able to randomly just stop lane-splitters to check to see if they're compliant with the regulation? And if they can do that - wouldn't this immediately invoke an ACLU suit against 4th ammendment rights?
Maybe the 4th ammendment thing is a bit overkill, as the Supreme Court already held up LEOs being able to dog-sniff your vehicle upon pulling you over for a traffic violation...
The way the California law was explained to me, (by an MSF instructor who'd retired from the CHP and another CHP who'd pulled me over), was that there's no law against "sharing a lane," assuming there's room (like on a motorcycle). Also, you can't (legally) ride over the speed limit, nor can your speed be more than 15 mph faster than the vehicles you're passing.
Obviously, you aren't supposed to be going faster than the posted speed limit, however the 15MPH over "rule" is not law (i.e. not specifically stated in the CA Vehicle Code) - no matter what the CHP said. I know CHPs myself and I've heard that before from many of them - it's basically a "rule of thumb" that they use to differentiate safe vs. unsafe overtaking of a vehicle, which is what they would most likely cite you for, if you were going too fast past vehicles while lane-splitting (assuming you weren't going faster than the posted limit).
When lane-splitting in SoCal - this seems to be the CVC rule (as most lane-splitting is done on freeways between the #1 & #2 lanes):
21755. The driver of a motor vehicle may overtake and pass another
vehicle upon the right only under conditions permitting such movement
in safety. In no event shall such movement be made by driving off
the paved or main-traveled portion of the roadway.
It's all pretty relative though - if you _are_ going faster than 15 MPH over traffic flow, chances are you're probably splitting lanes too fast (i.e. unsafely, if there is a "safe" lane-splitting model).
When we were riding back from the Sport Touring deal I was following Pete through LA rush hour traffic in the evening. We were heading back to MO and I'm fairly well-versed in lane splitting.
Pete is the Valentino Rossi of lane splitting. He would stuff his headlight in someone's mirror, wave them over and fly past. I was struggling to keep up. I was afraid I would lose him in some bad LA neighborhood.
When we got back to MO I expressed my astonishment at his abilities and he told me he was taking it easy on me!
Have the Fonz follow Pete around for a day and it will make for a great story.