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California Motorcyclist Safety Program

Lane Splitting Guidelines

Lane splitting in a safe and prudent manner is not illegal in the state of California. The term lane splitting, sometimes known as lane sharing, filtering or white-lining, refers to the process of a motorcyclist riding between lanes of stopped or slower moving traffic or moving between lanes to the front of traffic stopped at a traffic light.

Motorcyclists who are competent enough riders to lane split, should follow these general guidelines if choosing to lane split:

 

1)

 

Travel at a speed that is no more than 10 MPH faster than other traffic – danger increases at higher speed differentials.

 

2)

 

It is not advisable to lane split when traffic flow is at 30 mph or faster – danger increases as overall speed increases.

 

3)

  

Typically, it is more desirable to split between the #1 and #2 lanes than between other lanes.

 

4)

  

Consider the total environment in which you are splitting, including the width of the lanes, size of surrounding vehicles, as well as roadway, weather, and lighting conditions.

 

5)

  

Be alert and anticipate possible movements by other road users.

The Four R's or “Be-Attitudes” of Lane Splitting:
Be Reasonable, be Responsible, be Respectful, be aware of all Roadway and traffic conditions.

Note:These general guidelines are not guaranteed to keep you safe. Lane splitting should not be performed by inexperienced riders. These guidelines assume a high level of riding competency and experience. Every rider has ultimate responsibility for his or her own decision making and safety. Riders must be conscious of reducing crash risk at all times.

 

Messages for Other Vehicle Drivers

  1. Lane splitting by motorcycles is not illegal in California when done in a safe and prudent manner.
  2. Motorists should not take it upon themselves to discourage motorcyclists from lane splitting.
- Intentionally blocking or impeding a motorcyclist in a way that could cause harm to the rider is illegal (CVC 22400).

- Opening a vehicle door to impede a motorcycle is illegal (CVC 22517).

Getting everyone home safe is a shared responsibility.

 

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Lane Splitting General Guidelines (Expanded Version)

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