Motorcyclists push for lane-splitting in BC

Date: 31 JAN 2017posted by Car Rentaledited by WinX

As California are set in the stages of legalizing lane-splitting, the government in British Columbia says there is no chance that will happen here as motorcyclists push for something similar to California. The practice of "lane-splitting" is allowing motorcycles to travel between two lanes of cars as long as the motorcycle does not travel more than 10 km/h faster than the flow of traffic and does not exceed 35 km/h according to the BC Coalition of Motorcyclists. Motorcyclists and their enthusiasts are lobbying the BC government for a change in regulation which would allow them to lane-split in slow moving traffic jams. They argue it is good for the environment because motorcyclists who lane split reduce congestion and carbon emissions. According to a 2012 study by Belgian research firm Transport & Mobility Leuven, research found that by replacing 10 per cent of cars with motorcycles would cut time stuck in traffic by 63 per cent for everyone, while carbon emissions would drop by 6 per cent due to a smoother traffic flow.

They also argue that lane splitting will reduce the risk of deadly collisions as it is more often for a motorcycle to get into an accident being in front and behind a car than in between two side by side. Analysts said "it removes the motorcycle and rider from the danger spot behind a stopped car and places the motorcycle into the more secure safety envelope that is created by two larger vehicles. Some motorcyclists also argue that idling on a motorcycle is bad for the vehicle because the vehicle requires to be air-cooled. Idling for long periods of time could result in engine damage. The coalition also asks the liability for any accidents rest with the driver of the vehicle to ensure that road ragers don't try to hit passing motorcyclists.

The new bill in California does not mention lane splitting at all, which is precisely why it's not illegal. They recommend riding between the left lanes, where the flow of traffic is faster and drivers will more likely anticipate it and not lane split near trucks, at night, on unfamiliar roads or in bad weather. The most common scenario for an accident to occur during lane-splitting is when the rider is traveling too fast when a motorist attempts to change lanes. Some driving experts remain skeptical. Some experts feel it would be safer for motorcyclists to bypass traffic on the shoulder. A ministry spokesperson said the coalition submitted a proposal in 2011 and the ministry at that time did not support the request. As for the time being, the ministry also has no plans to introduce legislation to allow it.

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