Lane Splitting/Filtering - Honda Rebel 300 & 500 Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-28-2019, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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Lane Splitting/Filtering

I live in California where lane splitting is legal, but even the guidelines that used to be posted on the California DMV website (recently removed) do not adequately explain how to split or filter in all cases. I'm curious about how those who live in places where lane splitting/filtering is legal, handle these situations. To be clear, I'm not asking about lane splitting on the freeway - just in town/city traffic.

  • Left turn pocket
  • Left turn pocket with two lanes
  • Right turn pocket
  • Right turn pocket with two lanes

Is it legal to split in any of the above cases? If yes, how do you approach those situations?

Another gray area for me, its what to do when you get to the front. Provided there's room, it seems best to move into one of the lanes at the front of the line, but what should one do if there's no room? Stay between the front two cars or slide in front of one even it means being a crosswalk or over the limit line?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-28-2019, 10:14 PM
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Just remember that all the other rules of the road apply. Don't go in the crosswalk - it's better to stay between the front two vehicles. Pay attention and be the first vehicle off the line when the light changes. If there is a left turn lane, I stay to the right of the left turning vehicle. Right turn, I stay to the left of the right turning vehicle. I would also keep in mind your own assessment of the immediate situation so it will vary based on what's happening around you. Let me be clear that I am not an expert on lane splitting - this is just what I do.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-29-2019, 04:13 AM
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I commute from OC to LA, I average 70+ miles daily. 2/3rd of that is freeway and the other 1/3rd local streets. Street riding etiquette isn't that much different from local streets, but since you asked about local I'll talk about that.
I rarely split lanes if traffic is moving. 95% of my splitting lanes is coming to an intersection and looking ahead to see if I can squeeze in between the cars. If I can't I just wait in traffic like everyone else. However if I see that I have room I move up and position my front tire into the crosswalk, but my entire bike is not inside the crosswalk just the front tire. This does a few things:
1. It communicates to the drivers to my left and right that I am going to get out of their hair once the light turns green and that they SEE you.
2. Sticking out allows you to keep your eyes on the traffic lights, or if you know your streets you can see when the opposing direction stops so that you can take off.
3. It gives you a clear view of the cross streets for any possible red light runners. As a matter of fact I personally move a little further into the crosswalk when I know my light is about to turn green just so I can see that I'm clear.

The only exception to the above is if I lane split and come up to a busy crosswalk where lots of people are waiting or someone in a wheelchair, then I sit behind the line, but once ppl are clear I move up again for the reasons above. I don't do this if it's just one or two people walking.

I personally don't lane split single turn lanes. However for right turns, if the front car is going to go straight and holding up the vehicles behind them from turning right, then I squeeze onto the shoulder and right turn.
Double left turning lanes; I split if I can. My bike position is similar to the points 1,2,&3 above.

If I lane split either going straight or turning and for whatever reason I can't go any further and get stuck. I position myself in between all four cars. At a stop it is highly critical that drivers behind you can see you.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-29-2019, 07:46 AM
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wish this was legal in my state :/

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-29-2019, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. All of that advice makes good sense and, for the most part, is what I've been doing. The only exception is that I'm not splitting between a straight through lane and one that's turning either left or right. The guidelines I've seen indicate that you can only split between lanes going in the same direction. In my mind, the single right and left turn lanes are sort of a gray area. Though I've seen riders do it, it just feels less safe to me.

My other self imposed rules are that I don't split to get to the front of a red light if there's a small number of cars ahead of me and I don't when the next light is a ways off. The latter rule comes from seeing how some cars tend to speed to overtake me. Either they're lead footed, think I'm challenging them to a race, or just don't like a motorcycle in front of them. The other day this happened with a Prius. Really...a Prius. When the lights are not widely spread, I can can stay ahead of the cars I skipped ahead of without having to speed.

This is a really interesting topic to me, so I'd love to hear from others, including those in the UK and Australia. What your rules and practices when it comes to lane splitting?
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