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Fatal Motorcycle Accident Reminds Riders To Practice Lane Splitting Safety

On Aug. 19, Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 51 into law.

The so-called lane splitting law defines “lane splitting” as driving a motorcycle between rows of stopped or moving vehicles in the same lane.

The bill authorizes the California Highway Patrol to develop safety guidelines.

Motorcyclists aren’t complaining, many have been lane splitting alongside drivers who don’t think it is legal.

California will become the only state with laws confirming its legality on Jan. 1.

Until the the new year, motorcyclists hope to educate drivers and riders about what they are allowed to do.

Gavin Gottfried, of Ducati of Santa Barbara, said, “Technically, it is lane sharing, the definition is utilizing the same lane as another vehicle at the same time.”

Rather than sitting on a hot motorcycle in traffic motorcyclists said they have the ability to get to their destination faster.

That may make drivers jealous.

The California Highway Patrol will be working on a safety measures to avoid accidents like the one that happened in Carpinteria on Wednesday morning.

Investigators suspect unsafe lane splitting played a role in the death of a Nipomo man.

Ducati Pro Carlin Dunne called the accident heartbreaking. He said safety education is paramount.

Dunne said there is a learning curve to ride powerful motorcycles safely.

Ducati of Santa Barbara employees recommend safety courses like Learn to Ride in Camarillo.

“There is nothing between you and that car, drivers get frustrated, they will nudge over, said Dunne.

He said there is fine line between riding safe and going down.

Motorcyclist Dave Kabel, of Port Hueneme, said, “Most are friendly as long as you do it in a sane way. When you go ripping through there, at an ungodly speed, they hate the motorcycle.”

CHP officers have a year to release legal lane splitting safely guidelines.

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