So size doesn't matter? Volvo vs a 10 speed in a crash, who wins? Saying we're all the same out on the road is just not true.
You know that I was referring to who has to follow the rules of the road. A Huge semi tractor trailer rig with 3 trailers has to use turn signals and stay within the lane just as a 2 wheeled bicycle driven by little johnny.
And I'd much rather stay in a driver's line of sight than in his blind spot.
You mentioned that we, as motorcyclist, are taught to position ourselves so we are most visible to cars/trucks. True. This is one method, one tool as it were, we use to keep ourselves safe. Which is why I referred to my riding skill tool box. I've many, many tools I utilize when riding.
Although it may seem counter-intuitive and feel foreign if you've not been raised with it, but lane splitting is safe, and if done correctly, safer than sitting in a lane. Several studies have proved it. I've yet to see a study that says otherwise.
So I see lane splitting as another tool in my skillset that I can deploy when necessary, another option I can opt for to keep me safe. Isn't that a good thing? Aren't more tools and options better for us, even if you choose not to use them?
Having more tools for safety is a good thing. I agree with you. But to just cut in front of people is not a safety issue. It's a laziness and inconsiderate issue.
No law will hold you unlawful for zipping around the vehicle in front of you should you fear being crushed by an oncoming vehicle towards your rear. This is about cutting in front of people because of not wanting to take turns.
I see it like this... a large group of people are walking up a flight of stairs. Everyone takes their turn and waits for the person in front of them to take their step up. It is rude to jostle up between people in order to get in front of the line. Sure, you can say "excuse me, excuse me" and slip in between them. You may even not touch another person doing so. But in my eyes, it is rude, inconsiderate, and puts myself in more danger of bumping in to someone or causing someone, or me, to have an accident. Maybe that person I slide between misses a step because now they are worried about what I'm doing and they fall and break their ankle.
Personally, I feel like a sitting duck waiting in traffic, dependent that the 89 YO lady with cataracts coming up behind me doesn't suddenly see her maker in a glint off my silver Burgman. Think of how much trust you put in your fellow motorists every time you stop at a light. Your life is dependent on that person's health, eyesight, judgement, mood, vehicle maintenance, driving skills, etc. Sorry, I just don't trust my fellow man to always do it, correctly, every time.
But you don't need a lane-splitting law to get out of the way of an oncoming vehicle that you fear will plow in to you. But, if you are traveling along with a bunch of cars, you all slow down at the same time due to the oncoming stop light or sign. I feel the same fear even if I'm in my car or truck. We all do. But that shouldn't give me the right to plow between them in order to cut the line.
LS gives you an option. It gives you the power not to have to put your trust in others. You are no longer just sitting at a disadvantage, you're in control and moving forward out of harms way. Bikes have advantages over cars when they are in motion (quickness, maneuverability, braking, averting, etc.), but none when they sit. LS allows you to move, it allows you to utilize a bike's advantages. Sitting does not. It's difficult to describe to people who are uninitiated to the practice, but it really is, or at least can be, safer.
Finally, I'm sorry if it doesn't bring you comfort that bikes may ride differently than cars drive, but I'll choose saftey over comfort every time.
I agree with you in these points Liamjs. I actually feel a bit more able to respond to traffic conditions while riding my scooter then in the car due to the size difference and zippy-ness. But that is also why I try and give myself some room to maneuver if I'm the last person in the stopped line of vehicles. That way if someone is coming up behind me at speed, I can have room to zip around the vehicle in front of me.
But that "fear" should not be an excuse to increase the chance of accidents by riding between vehicles. There may not be studies, but logic says that if you put yourself between vehicles, the chances increase that someone's vehicle will get banged, or someone will try and bang your's. No one rides a perfect line. Cars and bikes weave. Cars can and do hug those lines. (I about got side-swiped by a car yesterday who wanted in my lane. Couldn't imagine how that would have played out should a bike have wanted between us)
I also fear that these laws increase animosity for bikes due to their cutting in line, the increased chance of damage to cars, and the scare factor of finding a bike going past your window when you don't expect it.
This law would also allow lane-splitting within the same lane. So, lane-splitting within single-lane roads?? This would allow passing vehicles who are stopped by passing them either on the shoulder side or on the side of on-coming traffic. That's NUTS!! Or am I reading that wrong?
The law will probably pass. But that doesn't mean it has to be followed. I'll choose to still drive like I'm in a car and take my turn.