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CHP releases formal guidelines for lane-splitting by motorcyclists

Posted at 9:49 AM, Sep 30, 2018

For the first time since lane-splitting by motorcyclists was allowed in 2016, the California Highway Patrol is releasing formal guidelines for motorists including new information that it’s illegal to block lane splitting.

The CHP released the guidelines Thursday in a press release regarding the state law that allows motorcyclists to ride between two lanes of vehicles on the highway.

The tips include:
• Consider the total environment when you are lane splitting (this includes the width of lanes, the size of surrounding vehicles, as well as current roadway, weather, and lighting conditions).
• Danger increases at greater speed differentials.
• Danger increases as overall speed increases.
• It is typically safer to split between the far left lanes than between the other lanes of traffic.
• Try to avoid lane splitting next to large vehicles (big rigs, buses, motorhomes, etc.).
• Riding on the shoulder is illegal; it is not considered lane splitting.
• Be visible – Avoid remaining in the blind spots of other vehicles or lingering between vehicles.
• Help drivers see you by wearing brightly colored/reflective protective gear and using high beams during daylight hours.

The tip sheet is the product of discussions between the California Department of Motor Vehicles, the state Department of Transportation, the Office of Traffic Safety and several other motorcycle safety organizations.