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Good guy bus driver : gifs

Good guy bus driver : gifs

I think most dissenters miss the point of lane splitting; it’s not some adrenaline fueled thing that is done recklessly, or a way to “cut in line”, but has many advantages for both biker and the motorists in cars.

  • First; biker safety. The studies have been linked time and time again here, and personal anecdotes shared, so I won’t get into it again. Bottom line; it’s MUCH safer to filter/split in heavy traffic situations for motorcyclists.

  • Second; congestion. Filtering/splitting allows for the maximum use of the paved surface area of the road; it’s much more efficient especially in crowded urban areas where traffic and congestion are mostly an issue. Filtering essentially removes motorcycles and their people from the road as far as cars are concerned. There aren’t motorcycles taking up space that a car could be taking up. This directly translates into less traffic, and EVERYONE, both driver and biker alike, getting to their destination faster. This effect has been studied many times, but this Belgian Traffic Study does the best and most thorough job of explaining it. You can’t bitch about bad traffic and then fight against laws meant to ease said traffic.

  • Fourth; incentive! Want to get to where you’re going faster and not sit in traffic? Ride a motorcycle: traffic is for cars! While maybe not a direct incentive to make the switch, lane filtering/splitting will perhaps show more people that motorcycling is an efficient and fast (not to mention cheap!) mode of transportation around town, especially in urban environments. With more bikes on the road, the traffic will definitely improve (see linked study above for more discussion on this). Did I mention it’s cheaper? Quicker? More fun?

Youre used to driving in other countries where filtering/splitting is the norm in a matter of days. Fighting against it with the “Now I need to look out for bikes!” argument is fallacy and scary. As a motorist, you are already responsible for being aware of your surroundings and operating a vehicle in a safe manner. You should already be looking in your mirrors (twice!) before changing lanes. Bikes are pretty easy to spot; bright headlight that’s always on and a bunch of reflective bits all over it. If you can’t pay attention enough to do that and see us, please refrain from operating a vehicle for the safety of us all; biker and driver alike.

We here in the US associate riding a motorcycle as a hobby, unlike the rest of the world which treat it more as a means of affordable transportation. If you travel just about any place outside of North America, you have seen this. Our laws and attitudes towards bikers definitely reflect our view of bikes as a hobby. In this increasingly resource starved world, we need to change that attitude. This is a good step.