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Lane Splitting

The Oregon Legislature is in session and the only bills I can find that concern motorcycles really do not impact a sidecar rig.  I found three senate bills and two house bills that list "lane splitting" by two-wheeled motorcycles.  Such bills are introduced at nearly every session but go no where.  Another senate bill would require 24 hour headlight use by all vehicles, but since that is already required for motorcycles it is of no concern to sidecarists.

I just find it amazing that such a common sense traffic flow improvement law such as lane splitting is not nationwide. I remember lane splitting in stopped traffic in CA back in the early 1980s when I was stationed there. But I suppose it just shows how little money the MC community has to throw at state politicians.

Only thing I'll say about lane splitting is that it's a good thing if one is an experienced rider. I and a friend were sitting at a stop light a few years back with his broke down motorcycle on my trailer. A young kid tried splitting lanes and clipped the mirror of the car at the front of the line and went down just as the light turned green. Pretty slow maneuver and he looked OK. I didn't have a lot of choice but to make our turn and continue to get Jack's bike where it would be repaired. Sure gave us a topic for conversation though.

Perspective from a Californian commuter: I miss the days when you could lane split through miles of rush-hour commuter traffic. Some of the interactions with the other riders you would meet coming through the traffic were just unforgettable. These days there is hardly any traffic, lane splitting is easy but you never really meet anyone 😐

I hope Oregon does make some progress soon. In CA they teach responsible and judicious lane splitting and part of the CMSP, which is the CA version of MSF. It makes riding much safer, and I kinda feel it's part of MC culture.

Back in the Dream Time I commuted between Riverside and Long Beach, CA (50 mi each way) on a Yamaha SR500. Depending on traffic I saved 30-90 mins. average per trip. I noticed that traffic turned to stop-and-go farther and farther out from LB as time passed. I also averaged 2-3 bad scares a week. We ended up moving into LB.

Since the only running bike we have now is a sidecar rig lane splitting legislation doesn't really affect me.