Our previous posting on motorcycles “splitting lanes” touched off quite a few comments on the safety and sanity of the practice.
Regarding comments over who’s responsible for avoiding any collision between motorcycles and other vehicles, CHP Officer Jon Sloat said “splitting lanes” is an issue of “equal responsibility.”
“The motorcyclist has to do it safely,” he said, and drivers of “cars and trucks have to be sure it’s safe to change lanes” — that means watching out for motorcycles.
Sloat said CHP officers investigating motorcycle vs. car/truck accidents sometimes have a hard time figuring out who’s at fault.
Regarding a reader’s comment that motorcyclists can go up to 10 mph faster than the speed of traffic, Sloat said there is no such restriction. The motorcyclist just can’t go faster than the speed limit or a safe speed based on road, traffic, weather and other conditions, he said. For example, he said, if a motorcyclist is splitting lanes at 55 mph while traffic is stopped, there’s a good chance that he/she is going to get a ticket if an officer sees it.
Sloat, who said he used to ride motorcycles, said his safety tip to motorcyclists is “to ride like no one sees you. You have to be on your toes.”