Topic: lane splitting in Alabama  (Read 155 times)

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Offline bblass

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« on: October 12, 2017, 09:08:33 AM »
The general consensus of the good people of Alabama is that getting somewhere faster than them by occupying the open space between vehicles is morally wrong and punishable by death.

The fact that your advancement alleviates congestion and improves their situation overall is lost on them. The fact that by occupying that space you're reducing your chances of an accident by a third is lost as well. The very idea that you're a productive member of society going home to your family is utterly inconceivable...

Like many on this forum, from time to time I have decided that my right to exist exceeds the legal mandate of this great state. Given that this truly is an issue of rider safety, it was surprising to learn there are no local groups seeking to promote legalization of filtering or lane splitting.

The AMA has a webpage saying that it endorses the practice but nothing of it's pursuits to legalize it and I could not find a position from our local ABATE chapter.

While I'm all for letting an adult decide if wearing a helmet is right for them, lane splitting and filtering seems like a higher return for our collective lobbying efforts. Does anyone know of a local organization actively pursuing lane splitting and filtering legislation?

What are your thoughts on the subject? Is this a goal worth pursuing or is asking drivers to pay attention to what's around them too high of a price? I'd love to hear some of our local law enforcement officer's unofficial opinions as well.

Offline Brian A

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« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2017, 11:42:22 AM »
Lane splitting / filtering while stopped: For it 100%

Lane splitting / filtering while in traffic: Mixed feelings.

I would not be opposed to it being made legal but I might be hesitant to put it into practice except in situations where I felt very comfortable and as confident as possible I could split and be gone from (potential) harm's way in very short order.

General comment/editorialize: I think it is a cultural thing and you touched on it.  Americans, being by-and-large a prosperous, entitled, spoiled group of individuals, seem to view that someone else who gains or benefits must invariably do so at their own loss.
Logic demonstrates this is not the case but logic often takes a back seat to emotion.

Emotion can have bad manifestations if you are on a motorcycle and attempting to split lanes in moving traffic.

Discretion would be the better part of valor in my case.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 12:12:28 PM by Brian A »

Offline lk2rd

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« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2017, 11:58:13 AM »
These two posts are spot on.

I like the idea of lane splitting and would do it in certain circumstances but, would be very wary to do so until  general public was up to speed with the idea.

Offline klaviator

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« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2017, 12:12:31 PM »
Lane splitting / filtering while stopped: For it 100%

Lane splitting / filtering while in traffic: Mixed feelings.

I would not be opposed to it being made legal but I might be hesitant to put it into practice except in situations where I felt very comfortable and as confident as possible I could split and be gone from (potential) harms way in very short order.

General comment/editorialize: I think it is a cultural thing and you touched on it.  Americans, being by-and-large a prosperous, entitled, spoiled group of individuals, seem to view that someone else who gains or benefits must invariably do so at their own loss.
Logic demonstrates this is not the case but logic often takes a back seat to emotion.

Emotion can have bad manifestations if you are on a motorcycle and attempting to split lanes in moving traffic.

Discretion would be the better part of valor in my case.

I'd post my opinion but you beat me too it.  I'd filter through stopped traffic but be real selective about doing it in traffic moving more than a few miles per hour. 

If it was legalized maybe people would eventually become accustomed to it but it would never get to the point that you could really trust American drivers. 

Keep this in mind.  Those drivers you don't trust enough to split lanes with are still the same drivers you have to deal with in traffic anyway. 

I'm soooo glad I live where I do and seldom have to deal with much traffic :DANCING-banana-032:

Offline bblass

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« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2017, 12:50:48 PM »
Given the width of our interstates I don't think I would engage in it at speeds over 15mph; but I have a few air cooled bikes and it would be nice to have the option to put some air to them when commuting home on I65.

Filtering seems like it should be legal from a common sense perspective. There's practically no danger to the cars stopped at the light and it minimizes the chance of a rear end collision to the motorcyclist. Legalizing filtering would also introduce and normalize the idea of a motorcycle on the white lines to the public, possibly opening the door to low speed lane splitting in the future.

Offline KrisCook

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« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2017, 01:38:56 PM »
Am I losing my mind entirely?  Did we not have a sizeable thread about this very thing, about six weeks ago? 

Because I remember commenting that ABATE would take up this cause if it had enough support?  And that I'd be scared to death trying to do it? 

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Offline klaviator

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« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2017, 01:52:36 PM »
Am I losing my mind entirely?  Did we not have a sizeable thread about this very thing, about six weeks ago? 

Because I remember commenting that ABATE would take up this cause if it had enough support?  And that I'd be scared to death trying to do it?

No you aren't losing your mind: http://bamarides.com/ride/open-discussion-about-motorcycles/lane-splitting-video/

So far no attempts to legalize lane splitting have succeeded anywhere outside of California.  I think bblass may have a good idea.  Try to get filtering legalized first and then work on lane splitting a few years later.

Offline bblass

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« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2017, 02:40:26 PM »
Dunno how I missed the rest of that thread. The video is what got me thinking about the topic initially three weeks ago.

Kris, I'd be happy to get involved with legalizing filtering here. Maybe just in Birmingham to start with. Our local government likes to upset the state; perhaps it can work to our advantage this time?

Offline Mulley

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« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2017, 03:38:17 PM »
Filtering seems like it should be legal from a common sense perspective. There's practically no danger to the cars stopped at the light and it minimizes the chance of a rear end collision to the motorcyclist. Legalizing filtering would also introduce and normalize the idea of a motorcycle on the white lines to the public, possibly opening the door to low speed lane splitting in the future.

That is an excellent idea. I honestly never thought of splitting and filtering as separate items. I'm 100% for filtering. I'm very cautious about splitting or lane sharing. I have been known to lane split in major slow downs on the interstate but never at speed for more than just a pair of asshats that refuse to let me pass.

I spent 14 days riding around Cambodia where splitting, sharing, filtering are the norm. Car drivers realize there that it's actually good for traffic. Mostly because every car driver was at one time or still is a scooter rider. Within one hour of being there I was fighting my way to the front of every intersection like a boss and it was awesome. My big XR250 was king of the road. They do have a lack of traffic law enforcement though. I saw, on many occasions scooter going the wrong way on one way streets or down sidewalks. A small percentage really just don't care about order or traffic laws. Many of the scooter riders ignored red lights or stop signs at smaller intersections and just weaved around cars in all directions. It was very organic and everyone just went with the flow. Well, that is until we saw a very old lady with a wooden cart lying dead in the road and everyone just swerved around and left her there. I'm not certain if she was struck by a vehicle or just died of natural causes and fell in the street. I really hope it wasn't traffic related.
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Offline bblass

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« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2017, 04:22:39 PM »
That Cambodia ride sounds awesome! No better way to see the country than on a motorcycle and the XR250 was probably the perfect mount for the trip.

Asian scooter riders are among the most hard core and aggressive riders on earth. Watching them do their thing is one of my favorite parts of visiting that part of the globe.

Its been a relatively slow day at the office so I've spent sometime edumactin' myself on the idea of legalizing filtering. Alabama formerly had a law on the books that allowed aircooled vehicles to use the shoulder when in traffic situations to prevent overheating. This may qualify as precedence? Otherwise, we are currently 1 of 21 states with no legal review on the subject save outlawing lane splitting & filtering entirely.

Anyone have some good political connections?


Offline Mark Phillippo

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« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2017, 04:32:51 PM »
Alabama formerly had a law on the books that allowed aircooled vehicles to use the shoulder when in traffic situations to prevent overheating.

Can you post the info on this? By" formally," do you mean "not anymore?"
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Offline Chuck A.

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« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2017, 07:59:21 PM »
All this sounds good to a rider. Barely moving traffic would iffy. What about the impatient idiots in the automobiles? Lane swoping trying to move one position, seeing what the hold up is. Looking ahead, not in the mirror. Some and I do mean the ones we all curse for the cellphone usage/kicked back can't see over the dash driving style will not change driving habits just because the law allows a rider to put themselves lives in their hands. Isn't that what lane splitting does? When you leave what little secured space you have being in the lane you occupy and put yourself between 2 3000+ pound vehicles inches away from you,,,,, why not play with a pistol to the head. Stopped traffic is one thing but does every rider ride totally by the laws of the highway in moving traffic? 99% of Alabama drivers never look in their side mirrors while driving in a straight line. One wobble of either drive and the biker goes down. The way drivers tailgate in heavy traffic, It's gonna be ugly. What I'm saying is would we really think that riders won't be trying this at 80 mph. Had it happen 4 times this year to me while in a 7000 pound work van. 2 times in Atlanta at 85 mph. Not for me no matter if on the bike or in a vehicle.
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