Motorcyclists are making up a larger share of the vehicles on California’s roads. The state’s unique weather patterns have made it a stunning place to ride. Both residents and visitors love riding the US One or many of the premier roads across the Golden State. With cycling increasingly popular, is it any wonder that the state legislature wants to regulate how it’s done?
A proposed bill that looks poised to become law would change how motorcyclists ride the road. A state do-gooder Progressive backed assembly bill will affect the practice known as lane splitting. As CBS News reported, the bill would significantly change how the state’s roads operate. The practice has been legal but not regulated for years, and California would be the first state in the union to formally create guidelines on the lane splitting. The proposed bill would allow motorcycles to travel up to 15 mph above the speed of traffic up to 50 mph.
Much of the problem is not with lane splitting, itself. Motorcyclists often take extra care to avoid accidents, especially considering the sharply increased risk of serious injury in case of a crash. Increased experience and practice on the road make motorcycle riders some of the best on the road.
However, with many other drivers unaware that lane splitting is in fact legal, the chances of a serious accident spike. Furthermore, the proliferation of cell phones and distracted driving also put the rider at serious risks. These factors are all large enough for the state legislature to take a serious look at before passing such a measure. As the LA Times reported, the number of motorcycle fatalities is significantly higher than it was two decades ago, even as it is falling from a recent peak.
Los Angeles personal injury expert Michael Ehline has been riding for years and understands the rewards and risks of bikes. His expertise in motorcycle accidents leaves him especially attuned to the needs of bikers and the lack of attention that they often get in Sacramento. There are many factors left unturned in the recent legislation, especially with the advent of self driving cars that may not be able to effectively determine how to avoid lane splitting bikers. Until more research is done, Ehline says, the politicians should put on the brakes.