Lane-Splitting Is Finally Officially Legal In California

Now it's just the rules that are unclear

While this might look hectic to you, thousands of Californians commute with this view every day.The CW Archives

California is now the first state to formally legalize lane-spltting, with Governor Jerry Brown signing Assembly Bill 51 into law over the weekend.

AB51, which was tabled last July after relevant parties couldn't agree on terms, was amended and passed the California State Senate Transportation Committee this last June before passing the State Senate in August. The bill, which was originally sponsored by Assemblymembers Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) and Tom Lackey (R- Palmdale), now officially permits the act of riding between lanes of traffic. It also allows the California Highway Patrol to work with motorcycle safety groups to develop guidelines on best practices.

"This is great news for motorcyclists in California and throughout the country," said the American Motorcyclist Association CEO, Rob Dingman. "The California Assembly and the governor have taken a huge step in formally recognizing a practice that has been in use for decades."

In the last two years Nevada, Georgia, Washington, Oregon, and Texas have all considered legislation that would make lane-splitting legal; and this move by California is hopefully a giant step in the right direction for those and other states to follow suit.