A motorcycle accident on Pacific Coast Highway early last week caused big delays driving into the city during the morning rush hour. Though details were hazy, it appeared the rider was splitting lanes of stop-and-go traffic and got into an accident near the intersection of PCH and Las Tunas in far Eastern Malibu. As Malibu commuters know, motorcycle accidents are fairly common, both on PCH and canyon roads. Malibu’s beauty and climate attract bikers from all around the world, but traffic means it is not always the safest place to ride.
With the motorcycle rider suffering serious injuries, The Malibu Times decided to delve into the controversial practice of lane splitting.
Lane splitting is the practice of a motorcyclist passing between traffic lanes or rows of moving or stopped cars flowing in the same direction.
As of January 1 of this year, with the enactment of AB-51, the practice was formally recognized as legal across California. The California Highway Patrol is now charged with developing formal guidelines.
Although legal in California, lane splitting is not recommended by many law enforcement officers.
Officials from the Malibu-Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station, which patrols PCH in Malibu, said there are procedures and requirements that are supposed to be followed by motorcyclists wishing to lane split. The department said it’s generally not recommended to lane split at more than 10 miles per hour over the flow of traffic. For instance, if traffic is moving at 15 miles per hour, it is not considered safe to squeeze a…
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