Lane splitting has been a controversial topic in the States for a very long time. The reason is simple. While it’s legal in many parts of the World, it’s illegal almost across the entire country. There’re hardly any states in the US where lane-splitting is legal, with California being the most notable exception.
Consequently, there’s this notion in the minds of the public, and especially car drivers that lane-splitting is rash, stupid, and bad for everybody’s safety and the traffic. However, recent empirical studies have shown that it’s actually safer for bikers to be splitting lanes than being stuck in traffic. Needless to say, it also betters the flow of the traffic.
Back in January 2017, bills proposing to legalize lane splitting were tabled in the states of Oregon, Washington, and Montana. The Washington State Senate has finally passed the bill tabled before it. The Senate Bill 5378 is now in the hands of the House Transportation Committee, after which it’ll move to the House of Representatives for a vote.
If the bill passes in its current form, it’ll be a great relief for motorcyclists in Washington. The bill permits lane-sharing upto speeds of 25mph. The maximum permitted differential speed has been kept at 10mph. So, don’t forget to reach out to Representative Judy Clibborn’s office at (360) 786-7926 and make your support counted for the noble initiative!