California Assembly Bill 51 would re-affirm the California Highway Patrol’s authority to issue lane-splitting guidelines for the state’s roadways. This important legislation is now scheduled for a hearing on June 14, 2016, in the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee.
The American Motorcyclist Association supports this legislation and encourages you to contact your state senator now and urge them to vote for AB 51. Fill out the form at the bottom of this page and click the red “Submit” button.
Background: Lane splitting, also called lane filtering, is the practice of riding a motorcycle or scooter between lanes of stopped or slowly moving traffic. The fuel-saving and congestion-easing practice has been accepted in California for decades but does not have the power of law to protect it.
In 2013, a complaint to the California Office of Administrative Law from a single individual forced the California Highway Patrol and other state government agencies to remove educational information from their websites that was intended to help motorcyclists understand and safely practice lane splitting on state roads and highways.
The CHP posted these guidelines with the intention of helping motorcyclists and other drivers understand clearly identified safe practices and to discourage unsafe lane splitting. The guidelines represent common-sense traffic safety tips and were simply intended to raise public awareness.
Given the widespread popularity and general acceptance of lane splitting in California, the AMA believes this legislation will effectively formalize the practice. Riders and the motoring public alike benefit from lane splitting, which was documented by a University of California-Berkeley study released in 2015.
The AMA welcomes the opportunity for state agencies like the California Highway Patrol and the Office of Traffic Safety to educate and inform all road users about the benefits of lane splitting. With the passage of AB 51, this will be possible.
To contact your legislator, fill out the form at the bottom of this page and click the red “Submit” button.
The complete AMA lane splitting position statement is available here.
The deleted CHP guidelines can still be downloaded and reviewed here.
The AMA is calling on all California riders to support this bill by entering your information in the fields below and clicking on the red “Submit” button.