California Just Became The First US State To Legalize Lane-Splitting

lanesplittingchpLane Splitting, the maneuver to cut between cars, became legal yesterday Friday August 18 after California governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 51 into law . Until now lane splitting was not legal or illegal, just a tolerated riding practice. Since 2013, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) just had relatively vague guidelines for lane-splitting. They said that bikers should not lane-split when traffic is going faster than 30 mph and should stay within 10 mph of the speed of traffic while between lanes.

The CHP has now to develop precise guidelines for the motorcyclists who delight in waving between cars to go ahead of traffic. The new guidelines will take away the past subjectivity of police officers deciding if lane-slotting was or not reckless driving.

28 Responses to “California Just Became The First US State To Legalize Lane-Splitting”

  1. 1 BobS Aug 20th, 2016 at 8:44 am

    Nice job Cali!

  2. 2 Git Real Aug 20th, 2016 at 9:14 am


    You will now begin to see the rice rockets accident rate/fatalities increase PLUS the cost of insurance go up for all.

    Git Real

  3. 3 Boomer Aug 20th, 2016 at 10:11 am

    Now if only the rest of the states will get the hint. At the very least it should be legal in the big cities where traffic jams are a constant headache. This can help lessen those traffic jams plus it’s kind of a thrill to do. 😀 Too bad there are some ignorant car and truck drivers who get mad when they see someone on a bike go ahead of them in their $50k truck or car.

  4. 4 Boomer Aug 20th, 2016 at 10:13 am

    Anyone know what the new guidelines are? Is it still legal when traffic is moving faster than 30 mph?

  5. 5 Guy Aug 20th, 2016 at 10:30 am

    Welcome to the 21st Century USA

  6. 6 USAYGO Aug 20th, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    Git Real, why would “accident rate/fatalities increase PLUS the cost of insurance go up for all”
    We’ve been splitting lanes as long as I’ve been riding [45 years] the only thing changing is it’s legal now when done correctly and no longer a grey area.
    Confused in Cali

  7. 7 SoCalPhun Aug 20th, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    Just validating what many us do everyday.

    Would love to see other states do the same, expecially for states next to Cali like AZ or NV. But I would suggest a period of “education and adjustment” before putting something like this on their books. Because California allowed this for so long, while I’m sure many drivers don’t like it, but many have become used to a motorcyclist riding inbetween them and more and more are aware and actually pretty good about letting you pass through safely. There needs to be a adjustment period for other state drivers….or accidents will skyrocket, both moto and driver being at fault.

  8. 8 Git Real Aug 20th, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    @ USAYGO

    I’ve been riding just a little longer for what its worth.

    Come to Florida and you will see. As for Cali…sit back and watch the stats. .

    Take part of of my lane and the “accident” just may be on you!

    Git Real

  9. 9 BobS Aug 20th, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    Got Real, accidents and fatalities are lower where lane splitting and filtering is legal.

  10. 10 Roadrash Aug 20th, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    Many of you are funny, watch the stats LOL. I commute every single day in california on a motorcycle, you won’t see stats change from what they are now, because i don’t see a motorcyclist that doesn’t split, we have been splitting since the day i started riding

  11. 11 domino Aug 20th, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    Lifelong California motorcycle enthusiast … and lane splitter … It is what we do. Less rear enders at stop lights. Sure is nice to keep my air cooled breathing in stopped traffic… As always be careful doing it.
    ……………………………….. Domino Dave …………………………………………..

  12. 12 SIGFREED Aug 21st, 2016 at 7:04 am

    Yes laughable indeed – have ridden in CA more than I care to remember and I had no idea it was ‘illegal’ in the first place…

  13. 13 BuzzD Aug 21st, 2016 at 7:29 am

    didn’t realize it was ‘illegal’ when riding in SoCal back in the early ’70’s—-sure saved time getting out of the valley!

  14. 14 Prestaged Aug 21st, 2016 at 8:03 am

    The dummying down of America continues.

  15. 15 USAYGO Aug 21st, 2016 at 11:42 am

    Git Real, I’ve been to Daytona twice working the event, What’s your point I don’t get what you’re trying to point out? I do know I’ve seen the most women riding motorcycles in Florida than any other state, go girls!!

  16. 16 Freedomlaw Aug 21st, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    Domino Dave has it right. Road around San Francisco and California, and had no trouble at all. Obviously, it requires sober judgment, but the idea is just common sense. Why do we sit on motorcycles fifty cars back at red lights in Maryland when we could safely operate up the middle between lanes and be on our way. We do it because it is illegal to lane split and some idiot Maryland cager will open his car door just to be obnoxious. Good law if used reasonably. As for rice rockets, they pass me at 110 when I am at 65. Not my ride; not my style. Godspeed and I do pray they reach their destination safely. Also Sigfreed…I have to laugh. My kind of rider.

    Have a great Sunday everybody.

  17. 17 Git Real Aug 21st, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    @ RAY

    I have 400k + miles accident free riding, 50%+ at speed, with white-knuckle seniors peeking thru the wheel over their dash…Many more in the car…daily driver currently 5.0 liter/429 Natural HP!

    Now to flip “asshat” back to you …. tell us about those “venison police” that did some “lane splitting” of their own just for you….

    @ USAYGO…I’ve been going to Bikeweek since 1977 and Biketoberfest since its inception and can show you a Florida that you most likely don’t know.

    Cyril has some articles/videos posted for those who wish to split lanes in FL as though they own the road…Damn cagers and the armed win virtually every time.

    Good-luck Boys.

    Git Real

  18. 18 Mdsphoto Aug 21st, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    I guess I always thought this was legal out there. The last few times I rented a car out there this was happening all around me.

  19. 19 Reyn Mansson Aug 21st, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    Note to Git Real:

    My first Daytona was 1972 and quite a few since, mostly with race teams and then motorcycle media.

    I have been splitting lane since I arrived in California in 1979. I have split lanes in FL, TX, OH, MD, DE, plus a dozen other states. I do not sit and wait, and in Los Angeles on a Gold Wing Aspencade back in the 80s I regularly rode from Santa Monica to Anaheim, 42 miles on the 5, almost the entire way between lanes . Every study shows that lane sharing is safer than sitting in traffic.

    If your only reason is the lack of skills of other drivers, then maybe THEY need to be off the road.

  20. 20 Rob Campbell Aug 21st, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    The wording “precise guidelines for the motorcyclists who delight in waving between cars to go ahead of traffic” presents a very Mary Poppins, Disney-like musical vision of some otherwise badass tattooed and bearded leatherbound heathen singing the glorious praises of riding the line between cars trapped by other cars in sunny California.

    I’m not sure I “delight” in it, and I’m not entirely certain I’m even enthusiastic about it, but it does shave a lot of time from the ride. I’ll work on a song to go with it, though. Maybe then I’ll find it a delight.

  21. 21 Git Real Aug 22nd, 2016 at 7:53 am

    @ Ray

    Call it a BLOG if you may, and by the way I am special.

    My statement is what it is….like it or not….Have a nice day and Enjoy!

    Git Real

  22. 22 cafesportytc Aug 22nd, 2016 at 8:57 am

    Go job California… bout the only good thing the state has done in decades…

  23. 23 USAYGO Aug 22nd, 2016 at 10:24 am

    @ Git Real, “Come to Florida and you will see. ” You still didn’t answer my question, “what is your point, what are you trying to say?” Or is a threat “Take part of my lane and the “accident” just may be on you!” Sorry you have such anger issues, maybe you shouldn’t be driving anything at all.

  24. 24 Git Real Aug 22nd, 2016 at 10:56 am

    @ USAYGO

    My statement is what it is…like it or not. No anger issues here, I’m just an excellent very well traveled and fortunate defensive driver with a need for speed!

    Have a nice day and Enjoy!

    Git Real

  25. 25 rebel Aug 22nd, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    One state down, the rest to go. Oh yea, thought this was a comment area not a nursery.

  26. 26 USAYGO Aug 23rd, 2016 at 10:32 am

    Git Real, I say this with nothing but humor intended. You must be a Politician, You still have not answered my question so I’ll stop asking. I am also a speed freak, but only when done under the correct and safe situations, I also only split lanes when done when correctly and safely.

    Ride Safe, USAYGO

  27. 27 Guy Aug 24th, 2016 at 11:34 am

    We have been doing it in the UK since God was a Boy and its fine. Driver education is key and riders with common sense. Whats the point of riding a Motorcycle if you cant get through the gaps ( safely )? You may as well be stick in traffic in a Car.

  28. 28 nicker Aug 24th, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    More legislation that’s no mor than Political BS.

    Patting CA on the back for getting this legislation passed is like being appreciative of a new sidewalk paved over a path that everyone was using anyway.

    Look, we’ve been splitting lanes in CA ever-since CalTrans started painting stripes on roads. Law or now law, in CA lanes will get split, regardless. No one in their right mind is going to just sit on a scooter, smelling their engine cooking, in 100 degree weather just because there’s a traffic jam…..

    Besides, who’s going to give you a ticket… a helicopter…???


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