Wheels Of Grace Magazine

Volume 8, Issue 5

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Motorcycle Motorcycle Motorcycle Motorcycle Motorcycle Motorcycle CALIFORNIA BECOMES FIRST STATE TO LEGALLY RECOGNIZE LANE SPLITTING Gov. Brown signed A.B. 51, direc ng California Highway Patrol to dra guidelines. Gov. Jerry Brown signed A.B. 51 into law on August 19, 2016, making California the first state to legally recognize lane spli ng, the prac ce in which motorcyclists ride between lanes of traffic. The bill, sponsored by Assembly members Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) and Tom Lackey (R- Palmdale), grants the California Highway Patrol the authority to develop and issue lane-spli ng guidelines in consulta on with motorcycle safety groups and riders. "This is great news for motorcyclists in California and throughout the country," said Rob Dingman, president and CEO of the American Motorcyclist Associa on. "The California Assembly and the governor have taken a huge step in formally recognizing a prac ce that has been in use for decades. "Lane spli ng keeps riders safer by elimina ng their exposure to rear- end collisions, and it helps ease conges on by effec vely removing motorcycles from the traffic lanes." Studies by the University of California at Berkeley show that spli ng lanes is a rela vely safe maneuver when both the motorcyclist and nearby drivers know the law and adhere to safe and prudent driving prac ces. In 2012, the CHP developed guidelines for spli ng lanes, pos ng them online in 2013 and including them in the Motorcycle Handbook distributed by the Department of Motor Vehicles. However, a ci zen complained in 2014 that the guidelines were "underground regula ons" put together by a state agency, rather than the legislature. So the CHP and DMV removed them. A.B. 51 clarifies that the CHP does have authority to develop educa onal guidelines on lane spli ng. The law also removes the prac ce from the legal gray area, where it was neither expressly prohibited nor approved. Several other states, including Nevada, Georgia, Washington, Oregon and Texas, have considered legisla on during the past two years that would have made lane spli ng legal, with certain restric ons. "We hope that other states will follow California's lead on this issue," Dingman said. "The AMA is here to support individuals, groups and legislators who want lane spli ng made legal in their states, too." "DEAD RED LAW" ALLOWS MOTORCYCLISTS TO RUN SOME RED LIGHTS By ChandlerRogers It's a law you might not have heard of, and it allows motorcycles to run red lights under certain condi ons. Some people call it the "Dead Red Law." "You do get some looks, and you really need to exercise cau on because you are leaving a red light into a green zone," Frank "Hiway" Murphy said. Murphy has been riding motorcycles for years, but he said he had never heard of the law un l one day it applied to him. "I was stuck at a red light, and I waited un l the other lights went through several changes, and I did not want to chance a cket. A local law officer pulled up and informed me that it was ok to go," Murphy said. Older stoplights have sensors in the ground that are ac vated by weight, but some mes motorcycles aren't heavy enough. The "Dead Red Law" allows bikers to treat it as a stop sign if the light stays red. "It's kind of rider beware," Sgt. Daniel Grubbs with the Fort Smith Police Department in Arkansas said. "You can't use this as a, 'I've sat here five seconds, the light's not changing, it looks like it's clear. I'm going to proceed through.' If you get hit, that's going to be on you." Grubbs said many stoplights now have heat or mo on sensors, so these situa ons don't happen o en, but when they do, he said it's not an excuse to abuse the law. "The light is just not reac ng to me, so it allows you to go, within reason and common sense, but there's also the reason, you can't use that as an excuse of being impa ent and just going through and intersec on," Grubbs said. Murphy said the law isn't well known even among bikers, but he wants to spread the word to keep people safe. "They're not yielding to you," Murphy said. "You have responsibility to clear your path." The law also applies to bicycles and was enacted in 2014 by these states: • Arkansas • California • Idaho • Indiana • Kansas • Minnesota • Missouri • Nevada • North Carolina • Oklahoma • South Carolina • Tennessee • Utah • Washington • Wisconsin • Virginia 14 WheelsOfGrace.com Issue 33

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