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Lane-splitting: the legal gray area

California's coasts, mountains and freeways make it an ideal place for motorcyclists, especially in Orange County. But the picturesque setting is not the only reason bikers love this state. The laws surrounding motorcycles are softer here than in other states, especially when it comes to lane-splitting. Basically, California has no laws preventing it, so bikers and police alike have taken that as making it legal. A proposed bill, under review in state legislation is set to regulate, but not eliminate, the maneuver.

Basically, the bill would put a speed limit on lane-splitting. If traffic is moving below 50 miles per hour, bikers could split lanes at up to 15 miles an hour faster. One traffic hits 50 miles per hour, lane-splitting would be prohibited. While there are mixed feelings around this bill, many bikers and other motorists agree that this is a good compromise.

Lane-splitting itself is a safe method and has been proven to reduce the likelihood of a fatal motorcycle crash. While wrecks do happen while bikers are cruising between lanes of traffic, the rate of serious injuries was significantly less than motorcycle accidents that happen in regular traffic. In addition, lane-splitting reduces commute time for other motorists. While car drivers may see the act as "cheating" or "cutting in line," they are benefiting from it.

But even with the safest policies in place, motorcycle accidents will happen. Drivers are not always looking out for them or may be distracted. If you have been the victim of a motorcycle wreck, it is important to contact a qualified attorney who can help you file for damages against the other driver. 

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Law Offices of William W. Green & Associates
505 S. Villa Real
Anaheim, CA 92807

Phone: 714-464-6903
Toll Free: 866-543-7598
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