Californian bikers told how to filter

Nanny state or canny state?

CALIFORNIA, the only American state in which it is legal to 'lane-split' on public highways, has released guidelines on the practice to the state's bikers. 

The guidelines state that motorcyclists can ride between two cars, only at speeds of no more than 10 mph faster than the vehicles they're passing, never at full freeway speeds, or in any traffic going faster than 30 mph.

Sgt Mark Pope, statewide motorcycle safety coordinator for the California Highway Patrol, said: 'Really, it has been limited anarchy out there. Nobody has provided any guidance, so we decided it was time to figure that out. Basically, what we're most interested in is the speeds.'

Many have pointed out that lane-splitting is common practice across most bike cultures (including the UK where it is second nature to many), where bikers receive little-to-no formal guidance on the issue. 

Gabe Ets-Hokin, editor of Oakland-based CityBike magazine, is concerned the guidelines could represent first step toward more restrictions: 'Lane-splitting is a unique lifestyle to California motorcyclists, a subculture. If we can do it safely, what is the problem?'

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