SANTA FE SPRINGS (CBSLA.com) — It’s a practice that gets a lot of people revved up.
It’s a maneuver known as lane-splitting: motorcycles zipping between lanes of traffic on the freeway at higher speeds than the cars around them.
KCAL9’s Rachel Kim on Wednesday evening spoke to the CHP about the practice — legal in California and illegal in most states.
“My photographer, Jake, got on his bike and strapped on a a couple of GoPro cameras to show you his perspective,” she reported.
“It’s not necessarily encouraged, but it is permitted granted the motorcyclist is riding in a safe and prudent manner,” said CHP Officer Jeremy Tolen.
In March 2013, the CHP issued safety guidelines and posted them on their website, such as never split lanes at speeds over 30 mph and try to split No. 1 and No. 2 lanes. But the CHP recently took down those guidelines after state lawmakers decided that the guidelines made is seem like the CHP was endorsing or recommending the practice.
“We don’t want there to be any misconception that was being construed as regulations or enforcement guidelines or laws for us,” said Tolen.
So what should drivers do when a motorcyclist is lane-splitting? Tolen says if it’s safe for the vehicle, drivers should give the biker sufficient space to avoid crashes.
“There’s no specific law saying that you must move over. However, if a driver is intentionally trying to prevent a motorcyclist from splitting a lane, that driver may be cited for unsafe lane change,” Tolen said.