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How can I not lane split in that kind of traffic?

Discussion in 'Westside' started by Iceman600, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. Alright guys...after yesterday's commute to work on I-5S around 430pm, I asked myself, "Why am I not lane splitting right now?" I am riding my CBR600rr and started to get that gut clenching adrenaline rush feel for wanting to lane split. Traffic was INSANE. It was the stereotypical clutch-in and clutch-out every 10seconds. And it just wasn't enough to stay in Neutral. After a cramped up hand, I decided to lane split for a bit and I was okay deciding that.

    Let me get your opinion, despite all of our distaste to squids, do you wish lane splitting was legal or legality aside, do you do it?

    For me...traffic was so slow that I felt I could safely lane split for a short distance, staying in first gear the whole time. Also, police officers on the forum, if you read this, what is your opinion on you seeing someone doing this on the freeway?
  2. Gotama

    Gotama WMRRA 1st VP

    1: not legal in this state
    2: its a personal choice
    3: any officer will tell you its not legal in this state ( could be considered Neg driving , or even reckless driving )

    do I wish it was legal
    would I do it in the situation you described
    yes if it were legal

  3. Yeah, I do not deny the legality of it at all and in no way do I condone it...but given the nature of what we love, speeding is a common thing. For me, I LOVE going fast, when it's safe to do so of course. I know it's completely illegal to blast past a hundo in I-90 tunnels but I still do.

    It'd be nice to hear a police officer's view on it, and how much he weighs its legality. Also, does anyone know why only CA was able to pass that law? I am very curious about how they're the only state*. (only state to my knowledge)
  4. I split, usually in traffic other bikes will tend to as well. It's illegal, and from what I hear a decent ticket. Do the crime, pay the fine. I know.
  5. If traffic really sucks and there is no point in me waiting there and burning up when I could safely travel between the lanes as is proven to work in Cali, then yeah I'll do it. Only if traffic has been like that for a while though, I usually just look for an alternate route.

    Yes, it should be legal. I'm pretty sure everyone on this forum would agree on that.

    If a cop sees me splitting and stops me on a 105 degree day and I have full gear on and am burning up from being stuck in traffic, I'm going to explain my decision to split and if he wants to write me a ticket for safely splitting in stopped traffic I would consider it bullshit considering the conditions I described. This doesn't mean reply saying "but its illegal!!!11!11one" since you'll just look like a fool with no real argument other than what the law says, thus defeating the whole point of the thread. Especially so if the cop could be busy doing something productive instead of writing bikers who don't want to have heat strokes.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012
  6. After talking to some cops while i lived in Cali, they told me the main reason that its not illegal there is because most bikes will over heat. Thats the thing though its not "legal" its just not "illegal", cops can write you a ticket if they feel as though you are doing it unsafely. So moral of my story is that its not illegal there because of how bad traffic is and how hot it is. I know my bike would start to over heat while i was lane splitting. Why other states such as Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico wouldnt feel the same way is beyond me.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012
  7. james1300

    james1300 Track School Dazed

    Do I wish it was legal in Washington? Yes.
    Am I willing to get a ticket, my bike impounded and towed? No.
    Am I ready to go to jail? No.
    When it comes to 'doing the right thing', I try. But, I am tempted!
  8. I've done it a few times when traffic was horrible. I hate the constant clutch-in clutch-out thing. Hate it. I wish it were legal. I will continue to do it and I will pay whatever ticket I receive.
  9. If I remember right. It's not legal to split lanes in Cali. It's just nothing that says you can't split lanes either.
  10. Yesterday 26 headed from downtown to beaverton was completely stopped i mean completely, i kept looking at the side of the road completely open i finally said fuck it and road down the breakdown lane all the way to where the accident was then merged in. Cars were honking at me, i didnt give a fuck it saved me about an hour of just sitting there with a hot engine under me.
  11. Two things:

    i)save your story for the judge. cops do not care, it's not their job to listen to the why, only the what.

    ii) would it be crazy if i told you that some cops are given orders to supervise traffic and write tickets for infractions, why other cops are given orders to do other cop-like things.

    On the note of lane splitting, sure it'd be cool to have. I have the same view on this as I do the helmet laws. I'd rather not have the law, and never take advantage of what the law allows, then just be told I can't do it.

    It does carry a larger set of responsibilities, but thats not a deal breaker.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012
  12. 1. If it gets me out of a ticket that I otherwise would surely be receiving, I'm gonna talk to the cop. Maybe I can save myself some court time. The judge isn't the one on the road that can come to a conclusion about whether or not my story is agreeable. The cop standing in the sweltering heat with me will be better able to relate, especially if he/she is a rider. For this to have the same effectiveness on a judge I would need to have a thermometer taped in view of my helmetcam and also supply the judge with the hour of video of me being stuck in traffic before I decided to split. Somehow being able to monitor my vital signs in real time and overlay that information on the video would also be very beneficial to my case.... Or I could just talk to the person that's sweating right beside me, deciding whether or not to ticket me.

    2. I was talking about citing people for infractions that actually matter such as lane changes without signaling, or left lane camping, which directly contribute to an unsafe road condition in a much more direct manner than a motorcycle going between some cars when there is plenty of room for even the cruisiest of cruisers to fit by. Not talking about traffic enforcement vs. bank robbery response, hope this clears my post up a little.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012
  13. Only done it once. on the road coming from Alki traffic was stopped all the way to the main strip so me and like 6 other bikes jumped to the right of all the cars and cruised right up to the freeway. i will it admit it was dumb, and at time scary as the parked cars on the right got a little close. but oh well
  14. He remembers correctly, Its not legal. The difference is while it is illegal here in Wa, it is not illegal in Cali. Cops can write tickets for it if they feel you are unsafe in the manner you are doing it, but the fact is that it is a giant gray zone down there not legal not illegal.
  15. Couple years ago I went to have lunch with my wife who was on 2nd shift, was riding my 03 fat boy (air cooled of course) had 3 drinks with lunch. On the way home on 405 road construction had the freeway down to one lane, after sitting in traffic for about half an hour two bikes went by me splitting lanes. I sat for another maybe 2 minutes and said screw it and took off splitting lanes, I went about 1/4 mile and a state patrol pulled up paceing me in the closed construction lane, hit his lights and siren got on his P.A and told me to pull it over. He came up to me pissed, and said so what make you think you so friggin special? I tried the I thought air cooled bikes could do this if you were overheating, he said bullshit that's California How long have you lived here? Then told me to wait while he took my license back to his car and called it in, I thought I was going to jail because of the drinks so thought I'd call my wife real quick went to take my phone off my belt and again with the P A came "Keep your hands where I can see them" what a prick. Anyway $120.00 ticket for illegal lane travel. He never smelled the booze thank god or I think the prick woulda shot me:roll:
  16. After reading a lot of responses, I feel the consensus is...most choose to take the risk of a ticket (from those who posted). I am right there with you. From all you regular commuters in downtown Seattle, you understand how bad it is. So the thought that helped me justify my means was that if I happen to have pass a cop while splitting, i don't see how he could pulled me over since it's a complete dead stop.

    Ultimately, I think it's worth the ticket risk just as speeding is on an open road. But in this situation, it's for the convenience of myself and my machine.
  17. I ride the 405 south through Bellevue nearly every day and am tempted to split lanes when approaching 8th NE and points further south. The WSP frequently has patrol cars in the area and I have seen a number of bikes stopped for lane splitting. The most common stop seems to be for cutting over the gore point to get in the HOV lanes on the right just where you start going uphill towards I-90. Usually see a couple of cars and/or bikes s week pulled over for that infraction. With the way people change lanes in that area with little or no signal, lane splitting doesn't seem to be a good choice.
  18. Texasl

    Texasl Totally Charming Retired Moderator Staff Member

    California is probably the only state in the union that does not have language in statute that specifically precludes moving between two lanes of traffic. That is why it isn't "illegal" there, merely a cultural “past practice.” Ticketing becomes discretionary to the officer to cite for some other offense, such as negligent or reckless.

    The conversation has been brought to the legislature many times, but it becomes quite problematic as to how to implement an instruction that allows motorcycles but not any other vehicle. The removal of the precluding language without the cultural history opens up a can of worms that the legislature has yet to crack the code on.

    That’s not to say that the WRRA is not looking at the issue and pursuing some sort of solution. It just means that it isn’t going to happen over night.
  19. I started riding in Cali and it took me a while to be comfortable splitting, it felt dangerous and crazy. After trying it out a few times I learned how to safely negotiate it at safe speeds. I used to do it almost daily here on my commute into downtown and its crazy how many drivers honk, yell, and even throw shit at me. I have been stopped for it and given a warning and stern lecture. After talking to an officer about how severe the penalty could be I have quit doing it as often. They can actually charge you with reckless driving and impound your bike. Sure do wish it was legal here since it takes an hour and a half commute down to 30-40 minutes easy...
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