Being an avid long distance biker (Alaska; cross-country numerous times; etc. etc. etc.) for many, many years, I have stayed on top of lane splitting legalities. At present, and I do mean the present, lane splitting in California is neither allowed nor prohibited. CA Assembly Bill No. 51 is almost ready to go to the Governor’s desk. This law will make lane splitting legal. The bottom line is that it must be done “safely” and prudently. Current guidelines generally recommend that a lane splitting biker’s speed should not exceed 15 mph faster than the bordering lanes of travel, and that the biker’s speed in any event should not be greater than 50 mph.
Do I personally split lanes? Hardly ever. I’ve handled too many claims and law suits involving injured bikers, and many of the injuries are really life changing in a bad way. And, there are too many car drivers who just don’t like someone getting ahead of them – especially us bikers. Call if you have any questions about bike laws or riding stories.
UPDATE: FINALLY FOUND MY OLD BLOG. AS OF 2016, LANE SPLITTING IN CALIFORNIA IS LEGAL. HIGHLIGHTS ARE:
Guidelines for motorcyclists:
- Travel at a speed that is no more than 10 MPH faster than other traffic – danger increases at higher speed differentials.
- It is not advisable to lane split when traffic flow is at 30 mph or faster – danger increases as overall speed increases.
- Avoid splitting in lanes near freeway on-ramps and exits.
Guidelines for motorists:
- 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.
- Opening a vehicle door to impede a motorcycle is illegal.
Feel free to contact me if you have any specific questions.