Motorcycle Alabama

Open House => Skills Development => Topic started by: bblass on October 12, 2017, 09:08:33 AM

Title: lane splitting in Alabama
Post by: bblass on October 12, 2017, 09:08:33 AM
The general consensus of the good people of Alabama is that getting somewhere faster than them by occupying the open space between vehicles is morally wrong and punishable by death.

The fact that your advancement alleviates congestion and improves their situation overall is lost on them. The fact that by occupying that space you're reducing your chances of an accident by a third is lost as well. The very idea that you're a productive member of society going home to your family is utterly inconceivable...

Like many on this forum, from time to time I have decided that my right to exist exceeds the legal mandate of this great state. Given that this truly is an issue of rider safety, it was surprising to learn there are no local groups seeking to promote legalization of filtering or lane splitting.

The AMA has a webpage saying that it endorses the practice but nothing of it's pursuits to legalize it and I could not find a position from our local ABATE chapter.

While I'm all for letting an adult decide if wearing a helmet is right for them, lane splitting and filtering seems like a higher return for our collective lobbying efforts. Does anyone know of a local organization actively pursuing lane splitting and filtering legislation?

What are your thoughts on the subject? Is this a goal worth pursuing or is asking drivers to pay attention to what's around them too high of a price? I'd love to hear some of our local law enforcement officer's unofficial opinions as well.
Title: Re: lane splitting in Alabama
Post by: Brian A on October 12, 2017, 11:42:22 AM
Lane splitting / filtering while stopped: For it 100%

Lane splitting / filtering while in traffic: Mixed feelings.

I would not be opposed to it being made legal but I might be hesitant to put it into practice except in situations where I felt very comfortable and as confident as possible I could split and be gone from (potential) harm's way in very short order.

General comment/editorialize: I think it is a cultural thing and you touched on it.  Americans, being by-and-large a prosperous, entitled, spoiled group of individuals, seem to view that someone else who gains or benefits must invariably do so at their own loss.
Logic demonstrates this is not the case but logic often takes a back seat to emotion.

Emotion can have bad manifestations if you are on a motorcycle and attempting to split lanes in moving traffic.

Discretion would be the better part of valor in my case.
Title: Re: lane splitting in Alabama
Post by: lk2rd on October 12, 2017, 11:58:13 AM
These two posts are spot on.

I like the idea of lane splitting and would do it in certain circumstances but, would be very wary to do so until  general public was up to speed with the idea.
Title: Re: lane splitting in Alabama
Post by: klaviator on October 12, 2017, 12:12:31 PM
Lane splitting / filtering while stopped: For it 100%

Lane splitting / filtering while in traffic: Mixed feelings.

I would not be opposed to it being made legal but I might be hesitant to put it into practice except in situations where I felt very comfortable and as confident as possible I could split and be gone from (potential) harms way in very short order.

General comment/editorialize: I think it is a cultural thing and you touched on it.  Americans, being by-and-large a prosperous, entitled, spoiled group of individuals, seem to view that someone else who gains or benefits must invariably do so at their own loss.
Logic demonstrates this is not the case but logic often takes a back seat to emotion.

Emotion can have bad manifestations if you are on a motorcycle and attempting to split lanes in moving traffic.

Discretion would be the better part of valor in my case.

I'd post my opinion but you beat me too it.  I'd filter through stopped traffic but be real selective about doing it in traffic moving more than a few miles per hour. 

If it was legalized maybe people would eventually become accustomed to it but it would never get to the point that you could really trust American drivers. 

Keep this in mind.  Those drivers you don't trust enough to split lanes with are still the same drivers you have to deal with in traffic anyway. 

I'm soooo glad I live where I do and seldom have to deal with much traffic :DANCING-banana-032:
Title: Re: lane splitting in Alabama
Post by: bblass on October 12, 2017, 12:50:48 PM
Given the width of our interstates I don't think I would engage in it at speeds over 15mph; but I have a few air cooled bikes and it would be nice to have the option to put some air to them when commuting home on I65.

Filtering seems like it should be legal from a common sense perspective. There's practically no danger to the cars stopped at the light and it minimizes the chance of a rear end collision to the motorcyclist. Legalizing filtering would also introduce and normalize the idea of a motorcycle on the white lines to the public, possibly opening the door to low speed lane splitting in the future.
Title: Re: lane splitting in Alabama
Post by: KrisCook on October 12, 2017, 01:38:56 PM
Am I losing my mind entirely?  Did we not have a sizeable thread about this very thing, about six weeks ago? 

Because I remember commenting that ABATE would take up this cause if it had enough support?  And that I'd be scared to death trying to do it? 

Title: Re: lane splitting in Alabama
Post by: klaviator on October 12, 2017, 01:52:36 PM
Am I losing my mind entirely?  Did we not have a sizeable thread about this very thing, about six weeks ago? 

Because I remember commenting that ABATE would take up this cause if it had enough support?  And that I'd be scared to death trying to do it?

No you aren't losing your mind: http://bamarides.com/ride/open-discussion-about-motorcycles/lane-splitting-video/ (http://bamarides.com/ride/open-discussion-about-motorcycles/lane-splitting-video/)

So far no attempts to legalize lane splitting have succeeded anywhere outside of California.  I think bblass may have a good idea.  Try to get filtering legalized first and then work on lane splitting a few years later.
Title: Re: lane splitting in Alabama
Post by: bblass on October 12, 2017, 02:40:26 PM
Dunno how I missed the rest of that thread. The video is what got me thinking about the topic initially three weeks ago.

Kris, I'd be happy to get involved with legalizing filtering here. Maybe just in Birmingham to start with. Our local government likes to upset the state; perhaps it can work to our advantage this time?
Title: Re: lane splitting in Alabama
Post by: Mulley on October 12, 2017, 03:38:17 PM
Filtering seems like it should be legal from a common sense perspective. There's practically no danger to the cars stopped at the light and it minimizes the chance of a rear end collision to the motorcyclist. Legalizing filtering would also introduce and normalize the idea of a motorcycle on the white lines to the public, possibly opening the door to low speed lane splitting in the future.

That is an excellent idea. I honestly never thought of splitting and filtering as separate items. I'm 100% for filtering. I'm very cautious about splitting or lane sharing. I have been known to lane split in major slow downs on the interstate but never at speed for more than just a pair of asshats that refuse to let me pass.

I spent 14 days riding around Cambodia where splitting, sharing, filtering are the norm. Car drivers realize there that it's actually good for traffic. Mostly because every car driver was at one time or still is a scooter rider. Within one hour of being there I was fighting my way to the front of every intersection like a boss and it was awesome. My big XR250 was king of the road. They do have a lack of traffic law enforcement though. I saw, on many occasions scooter going the wrong way on one way streets or down sidewalks. A small percentage really just don't care about order or traffic laws. Many of the scooter riders ignored red lights or stop signs at smaller intersections and just weaved around cars in all directions. It was very organic and everyone just went with the flow. Well, that is until we saw a very old lady with a wooden cart lying dead in the road and everyone just swerved around and left her there. I'm not certain if she was struck by a vehicle or just died of natural causes and fell in the street. I really hope it wasn't traffic related.
Title: Re: lane splitting in Alabama
Post by: bblass on October 12, 2017, 04:22:39 PM
That Cambodia ride sounds awesome! No better way to see the country than on a motorcycle and the XR250 was probably the perfect mount for the trip.

Asian scooter riders are among the most hard core and aggressive riders on earth. Watching them do their thing is one of my favorite parts of visiting that part of the globe.

Its been a relatively slow day at the office so I've spent sometime edumactin' myself on the idea of legalizing filtering. Alabama formerly had a law on the books that allowed aircooled vehicles to use the shoulder when in traffic situations to prevent overheating. This may qualify as precedence? Otherwise, we are currently 1 of 21 states with no legal review on the subject save outlawing lane splitting & filtering entirely.

Anyone have some good political connections?

Title: Re: lane splitting in Alabama
Post by: Mark Phillippo on October 12, 2017, 04:32:51 PM
Alabama formerly had a law on the books that allowed aircooled vehicles to use the shoulder when in traffic situations to prevent overheating.

Can you post the info on this? By" formally," do you mean "not anymore?"
Title: Re: lane splitting in Alabama
Post by: Chuck A. on October 12, 2017, 07:59:21 PM
All this sounds good to a rider. Barely moving traffic would iffy. What about the impatient idiots in the automobiles? Lane swoping trying to move one position, seeing what the hold up is. Looking ahead, not in the mirror. Some and I do mean the ones we all curse for the cellphone usage/kicked back can't see over the dash driving style will not change driving habits just because the law allows a rider to put themselves lives in their hands. Isn't that what lane splitting does? When you leave what little secured space you have being in the lane you occupy and put yourself between 2 3000+ pound vehicles inches away from you,,,,, why not play with a pistol to the head. Stopped traffic is one thing but does every rider ride totally by the laws of the highway in moving traffic? 99% of Alabama drivers never look in their side mirrors while driving in a straight line. One wobble of either drive and the biker goes down. The way drivers tailgate in heavy traffic, It's gonna be ugly. What I'm saying is would we really think that riders won't be trying this at 80 mph. Had it happen 4 times this year to me while in a 7000 pound work van. 2 times in Atlanta at 85 mph. Not for me no matter if on the bike or in a vehicle.
Title: Re: lane splitting in Alabama
Post by: polarissalesman on April 03, 2018, 05:06:44 PM
lane splitting.... I would never do it in moving traffic and would be very hesitant in stopped traffic...that's just me. i mean how times in stalled traffic have u seen some1 OPEN a door and look ahead to try & see what is going on ...
Title: Re: lane splitting in Alabama
Post by: springer on April 03, 2018, 05:39:27 PM
 I do it;
1. Just about every time in stopped traffic.
2. Depending on how much traffic there is, with average traffic to hardly any, I will do it most of the time in moving traffic. When I am by myself.

 Why just "by myself"?

Cause most car drivers and motorcycle riders in Alabama have no idea on how you do it safely. Plus a lot of car drivers and riders in Alabama get all "butt hurt" when they see it done.

 Plus, I have done it in front of law enforcement...and never gotten a ticket.  ;)

 H.T.F. can that happen?

 Done safe and right, it is barely noticeable. You are not speeding through traffic, you flow through traffic.

I go typically around 10 mph faster than the traffic I am "splitting"...no more. 

BTW, until recently, lane splitting in California was not "legal"...it just wasn't illegal.

https://www.ocregister.com/2016/08/23/motorcycle-lane-splitting-gets-green-light-in-california-but-rules-still-unclear/

 At one time we had a motorcyclist on the site that grew up in California. She "split" traffic there and did it here.
She did get a ticket here in Alabama and after riding (once) with her I could see why.  ???

 When you "haul butt" every where you go, you attract attention... 

 
Title: Re: lane splitting in Alabama
Post by: Hammerdown77 on April 04, 2018, 09:56:12 AM
I could see that being "barely noticeable" if the traffic you are moving through is also moving. However, the slower it is, or if it is stopped, it is really really obvious when you just "cut to the front of the line", which is how most drivers here see it and why they are butt hurt. And, I'd be highly skeptical that rolling past a cop who is also stopped in traffic would not get you a ticket (at least it would me, but then I'm a cop magnet and have gotten speeding tickets for 5 mph over posted...)

For me the greatest benefit to being able to split or "filter" is in very slow moving or stopped lines of cars. I don't really care to do it at speeds above 30 mph. The having to be in first or second and on/off the clutch in slow moving traffic (never mind the heat in the summer) is what I would gladly like to avoid. But to be able to maintain 50 when traffic is going 30....eh, I don't care.
Title: Re: lane splitting in Alabama
Post by: jrou111 on April 04, 2018, 11:17:03 AM
I don't believe that everyone should do it (it's just not for some riders), but it shouldn't be illegal either.

But I prefer it to sitting for an hour in traffic:

Title: Re: lane splitting in Alabama
Post by: springer on April 04, 2018, 12:39:05 PM
I could see that being "barely noticeable" if the traffic you are moving through is also moving. However, the slower it is, or if it is stopped, it is really really obvious when you just "cut to the front of the line", which is how most drivers here see it and why they are butt hurt. And, I'd be highly skeptical that rolling past a cop who is also stopped in traffic would not get you a ticket (at least it would me, but then I'm a cop magnet and have gotten speeding tickets for 5 mph over posted...)

For me the greatest benefit to being able to split or "filter" is in very slow moving or stopped lines of cars. I don't really care to do it at speeds above 30 mph. The having to be in first or second and on/off the clutch in slow moving traffic (never mind the heat in the summer) is what I would gladly like to avoid. But to be able to maintain 50 when traffic is going 30....eh, I don't care.
Yep, that is where the most butt-hurt happens, cause they can "see it", but really it is the safest for all.
Getting "us" to the front of the line is the safest for us motorcycle riders as it gets us out of the way of "car" traffic. We are not mixed into the "car" traffic so we do not the worrie of being "moved in on" by the "car traffic"  at lest until we run into more "car traffic".

 It is also safe for those in "car traffic".

WTF? How is that possible?

Simple, those pesky folks on motorcycles are no longer "in line" so they, the car drivers, don't have to worry about us.

We ARE a bit harder to notice in the rear-view and side mirrors. That IS something I have noticed driving a "cage".

Of course that is based upon drivers who actually USE the side mirrors. Unfortunately there are some who NEVER look before changing lanes.
 Getting us out front gets us a way from those drivers. /\

 Of course that is just based on my observations on 42 years of driving a cage...and 44 years of riding them there motorcycles.  8)

Your experience might lead you to a different conclusion.   
Title: Re: lane splitting in Alabama
Post by: jrou111 on April 04, 2018, 01:26:25 PM
Yep, that is where the most butt-hurt happens, cause they can "see it", but really it is the safest for all.
Getting "us" to the front of the line is the safest for us motorcycle riders as it gets us out of the way of "car" traffic. We are not mixed into the "car" traffic so we do not the worrie of being "moved in on" by the "car traffic"  at lest until we run into more "car traffic".


Yep, in the above video of lane splitting over the course of ~12 miles, I had maybe 2-3 drivers honk at me mad that I was "cutting in front". I can't control people's reaction. If people are going to get upset, they're going to get upset.  ::)

My concern is getting to where I need to go in the manner I feel is safest FOR ME. Which sometimes (not always) involves splitting/filtering.
Title: Re: lane splitting in Alabama
Post by: DachshundUberAlles on April 07, 2018, 09:15:00 PM
I have only "filtered" when a traffic incident has brought movement to a standstill. I have reservations about sharing such a tiny space with those so enamored with their devices above attentiveness to their surroundings.
Title: Re: lane splitting in Alabama
Post by: rider_marc on February 18, 2019, 05:34:04 PM
I like the idea of filtering to the front of the line at traffic lights.


For me, and maybe many others, it seems the gray area of lane splitting is fine. That is when two vehicles are technically not next to each other as front/rear bumpers are offset by a foot. By then, there's has been room to blast a bike through the diagonal gap and be gone. No harm no foul. Right or wrong, agree or disagree, it's a technique.

I'm more concerned with cage drivers that don't get the word it might be legal to lane split and then they develop road rage. I sure like the TDOT billboards telling drivers to watch for motorcycles. See them every year on the interstates. Does the state of AL do something similar to educate drivers about the existence of motorcycles?
Title: Re: lane splitting in Alabama
Post by: springer on February 19, 2019, 06:29:48 AM
I'm more concerned with cage drivers that don't get the word it might be legal to lane split and then they develop road rage. I sure like the TDOT billboards telling drivers to watch for motorcycles. See them every year on the interstates. Does the state of AL do something similar to educate drivers about the existence of motorcycles?
The state? No, not really. ABATE has put up billboard and other stuff. PM Kris Cook about that.