Motorcyclists slowed down by California's freeway traffic may soon benefit from the first law in the nation to let them zip between cars in a practice known as lane-splitting. The state Assembly passed the measure today and sent it on to the Senate, reports the AP. It would let motorcyclists go between cars up to 15mph faster than the flow of traffic, but they couldn't do so at speeds greater than 50mph, reports the Los Angeles Times.
As both stories explain, lane-splitting in California currently exists in a gray area, neither explicitly forbidden nor allowed. State troopers generally look the other way. Critics say the practice is dangerous and should be outlawed, but advocates cite studies showing that motorcyclists are more likely to get hit while idling in traffic than while splitting lanes. Plus, they say, the state will be able to put safety rules on the books. Other states, including Washington, are considering similar laws, but no state currently has one.