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Marijuana, marriage equality… lane splitting?

January 22, 2015
Lane splitting in Bangkok

How lane-splitting works in Bangkok (Wikipedia)

Among the many bills under consideration by the Washington state Legislature in 2015 is one to allow lane-splitting by motorcycles and scooters.

House Bill 1515 would modify RCW 46.61.608 by eliminating language that specifically prohibits overtaking another vehicle in the same lane as the vehicle being overtaken, and modifying other language to accommodate this.

As with other similar proposals, being a squid would still be illegal; in this case, limits of 10 mph above the speed of traffic flow and 35 mph tops would apply.

Here’s the part I like best: “… Any operator of a motor vehicle that intentionally impedes or attempts to prevent any operator of a motorcycle from operating his or her motorcycle as permitted under this subsection is guilty of a traffic infraction.” In passive-aggressive Seattle, this happened more times than I could count when attempting to make right turns at intersections (taking advantage of such space is allowed by city ordnance), on my scooter and on my bicycle. (BTW, in Seattle bicycles are allowed to filter into green bike boxes; filtering by motorcycles and scooters would become legal as well.)

You can follow the bill’s progress right here. This page also allows you to leave a comment if you live in Washington state.

If you live somewhere else, NOW is the time to let your state representatives know you’d like to see something like this. State legislatures are just convening, or about to. Favicon

UPDATE: The Texas Legislature is also considering a similar bill.

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One Comment
  1. Jon permalink
    January 22, 2015 12:49 pm

    Though we moved to the big island of Hawaii in September of 2011, I lived in the Seattle/Tacoma area for the rest of my 61 years. I am all for marriage equality and legalized pot. Not so much for lane splitting. But, if most motorcycle and scooter riders are for it, then so be it. After all, Washington State won’t require one lane splits. I probably wouldn’t do it. But, then, many of my motorcycles have been dual sports not known for their narrowness. I’m not against legalizing it. But, I just hope that my brother and sister rider injuries and deaths don’t take an upturn in number from this.

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