California motorcyclists must take extra precautions in order to stay safe on the road. Even the most careful riders often find themselves in dangerous predicaments when sharing the road with inattentive drivers, which can lead to grave physical injury or even the loss of life in extreme cases.
Steps are currently being taken to make California roads a bit friendlier to local motorcyclists. A recent bill proposes to make lane-splitting (which occurs when a motorcyclist rides between stopped or moving passenger vehicles in an attempt pass them) allowable by law. Lane-splitting is currently illegal in all other states, although it is a common occurrence in many European countries. The bill is currently pending approval by the Appropriations Committee, after which it would need to be submitted to a Senate vote before moving back to the state Assembly.
A major component of the legislation involves creating official regulations for lane-splitting via the California Highway Patrol. So far this bill has been heralded by a number of groups throughout the state, including the American Motorcycle Association and the Fraternal Order of Police. A past bill met opposition on both sides, with some stating that the practice was too dangerous to be allowed no matter the speed in question, while motorcycle groups claimed that speed restrictions were too low.
Even a seemingly minor motorcycle accident can have significant consequences. In addition to physical injuries, accident victims may also face a loss of income due to time missed from work, as well as exorbitant medical expenses. Accordingly, discussing your situation with a skilled attorney is recommended.
Source: Los Angeles Times, “Motorcycle lane-splitting bill moves forward in California,” Charles Fleming, June 17, 2016