Thursday, January 17, 2013

RideApart defends lane splitting on motorcycles [w/poll]

By Jonathon Ramsey

Three devoted motorcyclists at RideApart have put together a video that goes soup-to-nuts through the practice of lane splitting (called "filtering" in the UK) – where motorcycles are ridden safely in between the cars in traffic. It's illegal in 49 states, California being the exception, and in numerous countries.

The riders say that lane splitting is safe, it aids the flow of traffic and having increased freedom of movement gives them more control of their own safety when being around cars in traffic. Car drivers often don't like it, but when it comes to the issue of actual safety versus perceived safety, the evidence appears to support lane splitting. One of the riders in the video cites a Belgian study that found that fatalities in which a motorcyclist was rear-ended by a car were 30 percent lower in California than in Texas and Florida, the difference being that lane-splitting is illegal in those latter two states.

On top of that, the California highway patrol vouches for its legality and CHP officers do it, a study by the US Department of Transportation declared that "lane splitting is safer than sitting in stop-and-go traffic" and according to a lawyer who specializes in motorcycle accidents the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that "most accidents are the fault of motorists [car drivers]."

Have a watch of the video below, and then take the poll and let us know where you stand... or ride.

vote here: