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Old 03-12-2012, 12:08 AM   #1
Dimond
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Ever get a lane-splitting ticket in CA? Why? Where?

I am not an aggressive lane splitter - but I do it - mostly when traffic is below 30 mph (especially when it is stopped, or nearly so, at traffic lights, construction areas, cities, or heavy congestion) and clearances are good. While I know it is legal in CA, I am always wondering if I am going to get a ticket for 'some' infraction by CHP, county, or local police.

Have you ever gotten a ticket while doing lane splitting? And if so, what were the circumstances? Such as, passing on the right, too fast for conditions, crossing a white line, encroaching on a bike lane, not enough clearance, or 'whatever'? Thanks for your input!
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:12 AM   #2
Law Dawg (ret)
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Re: Ever get a lane-splitting ticket in CA? Why? Where?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dimond View Post
While I know it is legal in CA, I am always wondering if I am going to get a ticket for 'some' infraction by CHP, county, or local police
Technically it's not legal, it's just not specifically illegal (meaning a specific law is not on the books either way). You can be written for various things like unsafe passing laws etc. Most LEOs that enforce traffic know their own motor units do this and some know, State wide, motor units have lobbied for the "law" to remain a it is. Frankly a law specifically allowing lane sharing would be a good thing IMO.

No tickets but I am a very conservative rider in practice and appearance. If stopped I also go out of my way to make the Officer/Deputy feel very safe and respected...goes a long way toward being treated in the same manner.
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:39 AM   #3
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Re: Ever get a lane-splitting ticket in CA? Why? Where?

What Law Dawg said. Plus, my understanding is: Only between the 1st and 2nd lane, at no more than 10mph over the flow of traffic.
Haven't seen citations for lane sharing but so much is left at the discretion of the LEO that this is one of those gray zones: If you split lanes like a squid they'll find a reason to have a "conversation", no doubt. And how you behave during that 'heart-to-heart' may well determine the outcome.
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:49 AM   #4
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Re: Ever get a lane-splitting ticket in CA? Why? Where?

Nope, but I did get a CHP's business card once in case I wanted to apply for a job as a motor officer. He apparently enjoyed watching me carve through traffic on my 84 Venture Royale.
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:46 AM   #5
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Re: Ever get a lane-splitting ticket in CA? Why? Where?

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in case I wanted to apply for a job as a motor officer. He apparently enjoyed watching me carve through traffic on my 84 Venture Royale.
God help us, Crash as a motor officer
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:29 AM   #6
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Re: Ever get a lane-splitting ticket in CA? Why? Where?

tried it once, pasted about 4 cars during crawl hour and I really didn't like that vulnerable feel it gave me (expected some yutz to change lane or squeeze me) and memories of the guy out near richard blvd a few years ago on I-5 was splitting, hit a car, mirror I think, and went down and got run over by a truck (the death clogged trafffic most of the day)...so I never did it again....any one remember that incident, it was back around '07 or '08?
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Old 03-12-2012, 10:16 AM   #7
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Re: Ever get a lane-splitting ticket in CA? Why? Where?

When I lived in the bay area, I've had CHP Motor Officer follow me lane splitting and I've followed them with no problems.

Motorcycle Consumer News had a great article on this subject a couple issues back.

This conversation has came up from time to time with the group we ride with (several retired LEOs and a couple active). There isn't even a law that restricts how much faster than the flow you can travel although they all generally suggest 10 mph over what ever the flow is. I think common sense dictates that rule, as well.

Fifteen, twenty years ago I was pretty active in a couple of MROs. Dick Floyd (the author of the California Helmet bill) also introduced a bill against lane splitting. To our surprise, the CHP and other law enforcement agencies pounced on that bill so fast that it didn't stand a chance.

On the other hand.....just last week I was stuck in the commute traffic here in Sacramento, doing maybe 15-20 mph. All of a sudden a CHP motor officer come flying between me and the carpool lane at a pretty good clip. I'm thinking he had to be doing at least 40 mph if not more and no lights and no siren. I was very surprised.

Got up the road a mile or so and he had a car pulled over with a single occupant......I assumed he was riding fast to find those people in the car pool lane with a single occupant and he found his hunt. I was just really surprsied that he was riding that much faster than we were.
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Old 03-12-2012, 10:19 AM   #8
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2cents Re: Ever get a lane-splitting ticket in CA? Why? Where?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dimond View Post
Have you ever gotten a ticket while doing lane splitting? And if so, what were the circumstances?
I was coming home on I-80 from a Wednesday afternoon Giants game.

I was illegally lane splitting between an exit lane and a regular lane.

A CHIP officer ahead was writing a ticket on someone else when he looked up and spotted my infraction He pointed his pen at me, then pointed to the side of the road. As traffic was pretty thick, I cut across to lane split in between the next two lanes and kept on motivating

That's the closest I ever came to running from the law
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:07 AM   #9
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Re: Ever get a lane-splitting ticket in CA? Why? Where?

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That's the closest I ever came to running from the law
Wow and here I thought you were such a law abiding upright motorcyclist. Now I know your heart has a dark spot of moto-outlaw!
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Old 03-12-2012, 01:03 PM   #10
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Re: Ever get a lane-splitting ticket in CA? Why? Where?

So here is my story & I'm sticking to it.

I have ridden with Law Dawg, he should get a ticket....

Ok, seriously, I split lanes in CA for 40 years, I have no idea of how many miles that add up to but it's a lot. 1st, it is much safer today, yes really, than it was 15 or 20 + years ago. Why? There are so many more MC's now & they are splitting lanes, people have become more aware that they every were.

If you are new to lane splitting you may not understand this, but 15 or 20 years ago, even with less traffic, it was more risky than today, IMHO.

For the last 6 years I was in CA I rode an average of 45 miles to work every day, split lanes probably 50%+ of that distance. The last 2 years I lived in Vallejo & commuted to Emeryville (I80) 4 days a week & the 5th day I commuted to Los Gatos (880). I split lanes most of the way every one of those days, even though there was an HOV lane as it was always bogged down.

My 4 days a week to Emeryville was pretty much the same ride time every day. At least a couple days every week I encountered the same CHP Motor Officer looking for HOV violators. He was always splitting between the HOV & #1 lane. Some days he would come up on me splitting, some days I would come up on him.

If he came up on me I would move over to let him around, some times he did, other times he motioned me back splitting (he was hiding behind me). If I came up on him he would typically motion me around & I would be on my way.

So, I'm finally getting to the story. One day as I am coming up on him & I see a MC come on from an on ramp on the right. All he saw was 2 MC's splitting, never noticed one of them was CHP. In his attempt to get in front of us he used up 3 lanes splitting and weaving between cars to get over in front of us, (see where this is going) he ended up pulling (cutting) right in front of the CHP Motor and as he rolled up his speed being the kool MC Rider he thought he was, he got a mirror full of pretty flashing lights.

The CHP Motor gave me a go around wave as he was pulling him across the HOV lane for the stop.

So, my opinion, it's all about how you go about the process of splitting lanes. Understand, there are no written guidelines, everything is hearsay guidlines.
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