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Daddyjt

Is it just me, or is this “new” law a bad idea?

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The other day, I’m sitting in traffic at a red light.  I’m about 12 cars back on a 6 lane (3 in each direction) artery in SLC.  That’s when I hear what sounds like a gunshot right outside my drivers side window, and see a motorcycle ripping between the rows of cars waiting at the red light. Something on the rider or his motorcycle hit my side mirror and tore it off my truck. Just as he got to the front of the line of cars (by riding between them), the light turns green and he’s gone. 

 

So I hop out quickly (in traffic) and grab one of the trim pieces to my mirror (most of it was still dangling by the wiring harness) and get back in my truck. I rolled the window down and brought the rest of the still-attached mirror into the cab, so as to keep it from scratching the shit out of the door.  I called the sheriff’s department to report the accident (not that I had much info to give, as it happened so fast and motorcycle plates are so small).  As I’m relaying the incident to the dispatcher, she asked me something that literally stunned me - “were you crowding the white line?”  Excuse me??  “Well if you were, this incident may have been at least partially your fault.”  WHAT?  Apparently there was a new law passed last spring called “filtering”, and you guessed it, this new gem of a law allows motorcycles to “filter” between rows of stopped cars at traffic lights, and roll right up to the light.  

 

Is it just me, or does this law seem completely asinine?  Luckily, most of the damage to my truck was easily fixed, but it could have been much worse. 

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That sounds like a stupid law. Motorcycles are vehicles that have laws to use the lane on the road, not in between. Good for you it didn’t damage your vehicle any worse than it did. I hope you get some resolve from this......

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2 hours ago, Daddyjt said:

Is it just me, or does this law seem completely asinine?  Luckily, most of the damage to my truck was easily fixed, but it could have been much worse. 

 

 

I'm glad you and your stuff are OK; yes, it seems like a stupid law, given that I thought that motorcycles had to occupy a lane (don't bicycles?).  It's scary enough to be on the same road as a motorcycle, let alone one that's weaving between traffic.  (looks like the motorcycle cannot be exceeding 10MPH?)

 

https://www.rideapart.com/articles/315449/lane-splitting-filtering-difference-explanation/

 

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WTF???   That's beyond just a stupid law.  What next, allow motorcycles to use sidewalks?

 

For the record, I'm pro-motorcycles, and every biker I've known have been very responsible, but there are always idiots in any group, and it sounds like @Daddyjtencountered a couple.

 

Hope you get the mirror back in place, okay.

 

What (and where) @RichP714 suggests makes sense - it's not meant for a high speed run between vehicles.

 

Hope the idiot biker messed up something expensive...  😞

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While I’m not sure about the rest of the United States, motorcycles have been able to lane split here in California for  as long as I can remember. Sounds like it’s the same thing. originally it was because motorcycles were air cooled and they could overheat standing still in heavy traffic.  This law gets abused a lot. 

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I split lanes here in FL even though it's illegal; however I do it at a very slow speed ( <5 MPH) watching for people crowding the white line.  Over the years I have lost 3 friends in accidents doing the same thing at very high rates of speed... Just my Two-Cents.gif

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Sorry to hear of this incident and an obviously misguided law. Lane splitting is illegal in Mass. and I rarely see any egregious violations. As an occasional rider I wouldn't even consider doing it. There are just too many uncertainties that  get introduced very quickly. 

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The Ride Apart article linked by @RichP714 had a link to the Utah law https://le.utah.gov/~2019/bills/static/HB0149.html which highlighted the changes ...

159          (29) "Lane filtering" means, when operating a motorcycle other than an autocycle, the
160     act of overtaking and passing another vehicle that is stopped in the same direction of travel in
161     the same lane.

... and ...

383          (5) An individual may engage in lane filtering only when the following conditions
384     exist:
385          (a) the individual is operating a motorcycle;
386          (b) the individual is on a roadway divided into two or more adjacent traffic lanes in the
387     same direction of travel;
388          (c) the individual is on a roadway with a speed limit of 45 miles per hour or less;
389          (d) the vehicle being overtaken in the same lane is stopped;
390          (e) the motorcycle is traveling at a speed of 15 miles per hour or less; and
391          (f) the movement may be made safely.

 

Given that the movement was not made safely, I would have thought the motorcyclist was in violation of that section of the law.

 

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I called a cousin who is a State Trooper and asked him about it. He explained that it’s to protect motorcycle riders, as they are “sitting ducks” when stopped behind a car at a red light, especially with the explosion of distracted driving accidents. I can understand that reasoning, but I still think it’s a bad idea.

As for crowding the white line, he said that is not a “thing” - drivers are under no obligation to be any distance from the white line(s), so long as they are between them. I honestly don’t remember how close I was to the white line, but I do remember that a semi was next to me. I initially thought the semi had blown a tire, as that’s what it sounded like. I’m sure the motorcycle rider was crowding towards me, to distance himself from the semi... I think he should have at least stopped, but oh well.

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Mark,

 

As you know, I live in the People's Rebuplik of Kalifornia, and lane splitting here has always been allowed as long as I can remember.  I spend a lot of time in LA traffic and I make an effort to give the lane splitting motorcyclists extra room.  This is not to say that the douche nozzle who sheared your mirror off should not have stopped and paid for it.

 

As a hobby I like to ride a road bike with friends. One time we split the lanes at an intersection and a buddy of mine hit and busted the mirror of a car.  We stopped and he exchanged insurance information and he paid for her mirror to be replaced.  This is how your situation should have resolved.

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On 12/8/2019 at 10:51 AM, TonyW said:

The Ride Apart article linked by @RichP714 had a link to the Utah law https://le.utah.gov/~2019/bills/static/HB0149.html which highlighted the changes ...

159          (29) "Lane filtering" means, when operating a motorcycle other than an autocycle, the
160     act of overtaking and passing another vehicle that is stopped in the same direction of travel in
161     the same lane.

... and ...

383          (5) An individual may engage in lane filtering only when the following conditions
384     exist:
385          (a) the individual is operating a motorcycle;
386          (b) the individual is on a roadway divided into two or more adjacent traffic lanes in the
387     same direction of travel;
388          (c) the individual is on a roadway with a speed limit of 45 miles per hour or less;
389          (d) the vehicle being overtaken in the same lane is stopped;
390          (e) the motorcycle is traveling at a speed of 15 miles per hour or less; and
391          (f) the movement may be made safely.

 

Given that the movement was not made safely, I would have thought the motorcyclist was in violation of that section of the law.

 

 

Line 391 seems to be the catch all, although one would think they would make it clearer (as in many other statutes).  In that, the lane or space to take your vehicle through, is clear.  

 

Think of the case where a vehicle makes a left turn in front of you at a light, and they have the green light, then yellow, before your lane can proceed straight.  In every case, hitting the car turning left in front of you that has not "cleared the intersection" is your fault.  They may be cited for running a red light, but it's your fault if you proceed when your forward motion will clearly cause an accident.

 

Seems to me, that if the motorcycle can't "fit through" it should be "their fault, and that should be line "392" in such statutes.

 

But, they didn't ask me... LoL.  A good billboard lawyer could fight that case, probably..., on either side! 

 

I don't ride anymore, so I have no leg to stand an opinion on.  But if I did, I would not proceed if the width of the between-lane space was questionably too narrow.

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