After it passed the State Assembly by a wide margin, the State Senate is
poised to consider a measure that would clearly legalize and regulate
lane-splitting in Apple Valley and Barstow.
The Appropriations Committee unanimously voted to send
Assembly Bill 51 to the Senate floor. According to its sponsor, Bill Quirk (D-Hayward),
the proposal allows the CHP to set guidelines regarding lane-splitting.
That agency regularly issued such guidelines until 2015, when a citizen
complained that the CHP should not be able to make public policy. This
bill expressly gives the CHP authority to regulate this practice.
AB-51 nearly became law last year, but last-minute objections to speed
limit restrictions in the proposal forced Mr. Quirk to go back to the
Here’s a fun fact you can use to impress your friends and dazzle
your dates: under current law in California, it is neither legal nor illegal
for motorcycles to operate between lanes. The closest provision is
VC 21658, which requires vehicles to stay in a single lane on multi-lane roads.
The CHP has fairly consistently taken the position that lane-splitting
is okay as long as the riders are not operating their bikes recklessly.
For the record, a VC 21658 infraction is a one-point violation that has
a $229 total bail fee (fine and penalty assessments). Given the uncertainty
in the law, an aggressive officer could issue a citation for lane-splitting
and the court would probably uphold it.
One of the best approaches in these cases, and other ones as well, is to get the
charges reduced. With regard to VC 21658 violations and similar cases, there is a nearby
no-point infraction with a lower fine, and many prosecutors agree to reduce
the charges if it means they can avoid a time-consuming and risky trial.
Getting Legal Help
The aggressive lawyers at Bigger & Harman, APC, are committed to giving
individuals a voice when dealing with speeding and traffic tickets. Call
today at 661-859-1177 or email
firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the personal professional attention you deserve. En español,
llame al 661-376-0214.