Motorcyclists Face New Lane-Splitting Rules - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

Motorcyclists Face New Lane-Splitting Rules

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FRESNO, Calif. (KMPH) -

It's a slick maneuver motorcyclists love to do, cutting between slower moving cars and shooting out ahead.

But is it safe and legal?

With gas prices continuing to climb and the weather turning beautiful, a lot more people are turning to four wheels instead of two.

But if you ride a motorcycle there are some things you know about, including lane-splitting, or white lining, passing vehicles in his lane by driving between them.

Motorcyclist Peggy Day says, "It is safe because you usually ride to the left or the right of the lane, which way you can shoot between the cars quit easily."

However, drivers have another opinion of it.

Colleen Estrada says, "Oh I hate it, it's annoying, and then they complain about getting hit by cars, it's not our fault that they go between the middle of the lane."

A recent traffic survey by the state, found the number of motorcyclists in California is on the rise, and so are the number of accidents.

In 2010, more than 9,600 people in the state were injured in motorcycle crashes.

Therefore, the CHP has now come up with new rules for legal lane-splitting.

So what are the new rules, motorcyclists should not attempt lane splitting at full freeway speeds, or in any traffic going 30 miles per hour or faster.

That essentially means the highest speed a motorcyclist should be going when lane splitting is only 39 miles per hour.

Some motorcyclists do not mind the new guidelines.

John Tucker says, "I have seen foot pegs hit cars, and light side mirrors hit side mirrors, I think it's stupid. Crotch rockets do it and I think it's more dangerous because they are so quite, you don't even know they are coming."

However, other motorcycle advocates are leery of the CHP new guidelines saying they appreciate the state's attempt to make a statement.

They worry it could be the first step toward more restrictions on the maneuver.

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