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Archive for November 19th, 2010

Lane Splitting in California

I’m not talking about bowling.

California is the only state where it’s legal for a motorcyclist to pass between lanes of cars when vehicles are moving slow or stopped in traffic.  The practice is referred to as ‘lane splitting.’  Some believe the practice violates the core safety principles of motorcycle riding while others believe it helps reduce traffic congestion.

Meanwhile in Oregon, the 204,800 endorsed motorcycle riders have an opportunity tonight to attend a public meeting with the Governor’s Advisory Committee who will be discussing a statewide opinion survey on the topic of lane splitting in Oregon.  The committee wants to hear from the riding community about this topic and this is a chance for you to express you views.

The meeting starts at 6:30pm at the Kaiser Permanente Town Hall Ballroom (3704 N. Interstate Ave; Portland Or.)

According to The Oregonian there were 133,800 registered motorcycles in 2009.  Of those 21,000 were owned in Multnomah County and 14,000 in both Washington and Clackamas Counties.  There are very few statistics on crash risks of lane splitting, however, there was a report in 1981 from California called the “Hurt Report” conducted by Harry Hurt which showed lane sharing might actually reduce motorcycle collisions.

I’m of the viewpoint that Oregon legislators would never approve this practice and Governor-elect Kitzhaber has already proven a number of times his willingness to invoke a medically conservative position for protecting motorcyclists.

Photo courtesy of SFO Citizen.

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