Lane splitting now illegal in Bakersfield, California? - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old Aug 12th, 2011, 11:44 pm Thread Starter
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Lane splitting now illegal in Bakersfield, California?

Get a load of this: From Bakersfield Californian newspaper.

"Drivers cited in enforcement effort Thursday-
Motorcycle safety enforcement Thursday resulted in 32 drivers being stopped in Bakersfield and cited for violations including operating a motorcycle without an approved helmet, not obeying traffic signs and straddling the center line.

The Motorcycle Safety Saturation Patrol is an effort to reduce the number of people injured or killed each year in motorcycle and DUI-related collisions.

-- Bakersfield Police Department"

I know they get grants to go after DUI's with all these weekend checkpoints, but now they must get a state or federal grant for chasing down motorcyclists? When I hear of them, I park the bike. They'll find something to cite you for, but straddling the middle line? Like they don't do it? Sheesh! Probably working the angle of "It's not illegal, but I deemed it unsafe so here's your ticket. Tell it to the judge."


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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 2011, 8:49 pm
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It's really called lane sharing and that implies you share a lane with another vehicle and do not ride the center line.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old Aug 14th, 2011, 12:13 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Berry G
It's really called lane sharing and that implies you share a lane with another vehicle and do not ride the center line.
I'm aware of that, just I need to find out what is "Straddling the center line" in the vehicle code. I suspect it was for filtering to the front of the pack at a stop light which probably incites them, although the moto cops do it all the time. I'd be curious if is was the moto cops writing tickets for their same actions since they are mostly traffic enforcement.

The thing that bothers me is that day the temps were probably 100 degrees and not that many bikes are out when it's that hot. I can understand the half-hats worn by cruiser guys, but 32 bike violations? Really, in one day? They must have hit anyone riding a bike that day because if I run errands on the bike in 100 degrees, I rarely see more than two bikes in town or on the highway. Probably have to show the numbers to justify their pot of grant money so anyone on a bike was fair game. No doubt they also played the "Your foot wasn't down at the stop sign for 3 seconds" card (i.e. rolling stop.) too. They announced another 'motorcyclist campaign' on August 28th too, so another "No bike day" here.

Heck, I even got a ticket once while driving a 72 passenger school bus. Turned the corner at 7AM and some dozen kids were playing ball in the street so I stopped. Opened the door and they got on and I hear a "Rap. Rap. Rap" on the side of the bus. I look down in the mirror and some moto cop tells me to "Pull over up there." I do, and he writes me for 'Obstructing traffic with a school bus.' Only traffic at that time of the morning and location was HIM. When I asked him, "Why didn't you tell the kids to get out of the street?" he told me "That's your (me) job. Here's your ticket. Have a nice day." Had to go to court on that one too, and judge rolled his eyes and said 'dismissed' as my option was to either run over them all or stop, but stopping for kids evidently gets one a ticket in a school bus too.


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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old Aug 16th, 2011, 11:58 am
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Straddling is when you basically occupy space in both lanes of the dashed-white lines. Primarily keeps cars from being rolling road blocks. However, you you're riding along side the line (and especially if you're on it testing your suspension), parts of your bike are in one of the two lanes.
Why someone got busted for that is anybody's guess, but there's a chance that the cop didn't think the rider was in sufficient control.



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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old Aug 16th, 2011, 1:24 pm Thread Starter
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This was a hot topic in the motorcycle shops yesterday.

From the CHP's website: http://www.chp.ca.gov/html/answers.html

"Can motorcycle riders "split" lanes and ride between other vehicles?"
"Lane splitting by motorcycles is permissible but must be done in a safe and prudent manner."


City traffic cops can also interpret that to mean "Unsafe conditions" so they can nab you on the technicality. We still are wondering about creeping to the head of the line between cars at a red light though? Shop manager did it at a red light right past a cop in a car a month ago and nothing was done. Who knows now and maybe it has come to an end? I wish it were set in stone someplace in the vehicle code. Maybe the state is clamping down now as it needs income?

From the CA DMV Motorcyclists handbook we have this:
"California's DMV handbook for motorcycles advises significant caution regarding lane splitting" http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/dl655/mcy...en#lanesharing :
"Lane Sharing: Cars and motorcycles each need a full lane to operate safely. Lane sharing is not safe."


The general view was "If they want to cite you on splitting (straddling the white line?), they can." Probably more so if they are under a "Safety grant" to justify the money they got for it. How you get out of it - if you can - is another matter in court. My last traffic court escapade cost me $850, and it too was a "Safety grant" enforcement period. Nice.


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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 2011, 6:36 pm
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Keep in mind that the Calif DMV handbook has absolutely no legal standing when you're in court with the traffic commisioner.

It'd be interesting to find out if the ones cited for lane-sharing/splitting/filtering were pulled over by a cruiser or a moto cop. In the Bay Area here, if you get tagged for lane-sharing by a CHP motocop, you were screwing up badly somehow. Every once in a long while, you get a CHP to lead, and nirvana has arrived. More space than you thought possible.



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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old Aug 17th, 2011, 11:24 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Razel
...It'd be interesting to find out if the ones cited for lane-sharing/splitting/filtering were pulled over by a cruiser or a moto cop. In the Bay Area here, if you get tagged for lane-sharing by a CHP motocop, you were screwing up badly somehow. Every once in a long while, you get a CHP to lead, and nirvana has arrived. More space than you thought possible.
That's what we are wondering too, who wrote the tickets? The city traffic cops ride some wide Harley patrol bikes and don't usually split lanes where the CHP on the RTP bikes will and I even had a pair of them pass me on the right and left at the same time in the car on the freeway.

Nevada, where is is illegal to even think about 'splitting' we had a NHP on a BMW patrol bike motion to us to follow him between lanes on the I-15 which was at a standstill due to construction in Las Vegas. Our bikes then were air-cooled R-boxer models and we in the red from the grid-lock mess. He must have known we were about ready to seize an engine or something - or maybe he was?

They aren't all bad. Some even willing to bend the law a bit at times.

I'll shut up now.....


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