Sometimes on this blog, we offer tips on how to get out of a traffic ticket. We try and educate you, like when we did a post on how to read your traffic citation and get it dismissed.
Today, I'm going to shock many of you.
You know when you are sitting in bumper to bumper traffic, and you see someone in your rear view mirror (or maybe right next to you) in a motorcycle and it's weaving in and out while you just sit there. You are probably either jealous, or are secretly wishing you could open your car door at the right moment (just kidding).
If you live in all but one state, you can be sure that if a police officer sees the same behavior, he will probably issue a traffic ticket. But if you live in California, would you believe it's not illegal for a motorcycle to weave in and out of stop and go traffic (which they have plenty of)? Get this, California is the only state that has actually codified this behavior and called it legal, thus giving it a stamp of approval.
It's called lane splitting (can you believe it has such a pleasant sounding name), and according to the California Highway Patrol "Lane splitting is permissible if done in a safe and prudent manner." This obviously gives an officer great latitude in determining when to issue a citation, but apparently, you really have to be driving like a lunatic to get cited.
What's perhaps even more interesting, is that one of the reasons cited by proponents of lane splitting is a study which showed that California has 30% fewer deaths than other states with similar numbers of motorcycle riders.
The thought is motorcycle deaths are lower as a result of allowing motorcycles to ride in the middle of a lane so they do not crash into the rear of a car. No conclusions were drawn by the legislatures from this study, but the statistic is interesting.
Apparently, this behavior is commonplace in other parts of the world where the traffic is dense and many people ride on motorcycles. But here in Florida, it's pretty much a no-no.
Who knows if lane splitting will become legal everywhere as our roads get more and more crowded. If you live in Florida and get a traffic ticket for riding in between lanes, feel free to give me a call at 866-374-8355. For the past 17 years, my firm has helped hundreds of thousands of drivers (in both cars and motorcycles) fight their traffic ticket, and we'd love to help you as well.