Should Lane Splitting Be Legal?

April 21st, 2014

Tango lane splitting

We live in a society of single-family homes spread through countless suburbs surrounding big cities. We work in those cities, often driving many miles and spending hours commuting from our suburban homes to our urban workplaces.

In places like Los Angeles, the commute consists of congested freeways and long lines of stop-and-go traffic. In most cities, a driver’s only option is to wait out the traffic and arrive whenever the brake lights finally fade and the pavement opens up.

In California, though, there’s another option—assuming you have the right vehicle.

Lane splitting is exactly what it sounds like. On a motorcycle, a driver creates his or her own lane right between stopped cars and blasts on through to the destination. The practice can be dangerous for motorcycles, but it also saves time, emissions and money.

In California lane splitting is legal, and it’s not just motorcycles that have the right to do so. Narrow cars can split lanes as well, which gives drivers the safety of a car but the convenience of a motorcycle. Check out this video of a Commuter Cars Tango splitting lanes on the 101 in Belmont, Calif.

Looks fun, doesn’t it? This should this be legal everywhere!

In congested cities, there are two options for getting drivers to their destinations faster:

  1. Build more roads.
  2. Get smaller cars on existing roads.

If we could fit 2 cars in each lane instead of one, traffic would move faster and more efficiently while saving commuters a lot of time and money. The odds of getting a majority of commuters into narrow cars anytime soon aren’t good, so for now, we should reward owners with the option to split lanes when it’s safe to do so.

What do you think: Should lane splitting be legal for motorcycles and narrow cars like the Tango?

-tgriffith

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