For many individuals, commuting on a bicycle or motorcycle (rather than a conventional car) is an obvious choice. It is cheaper, healthier, and possibly even more enjoyable.
Is Lane Splitting Safe for Motorcycle Riders?
Obviously, lane splitting is an attractive manoeuvre for cyclists and motorcyclists. However, is it safe to do? Depending on whom you ask Here are the pro and con arguments for lane splitting.
Some claim that lane splitting is an entirely safe manoeuvre. It may even increase rider safety in certain circumstances. A 2013 study determined that lane splitting is safe at speeds of 50 miles per hour or less. Additionally, it appears that lane splitting reduces the risk of head injuries and rear-end collisions.
This information could lead one to believe that lane splitting is a perfectly safe manoeuvre that should be permitted everywhere. However, the truth is not so simple.
One argument against lane splitting is that when more motorcyclists split lanes, their space on the road is treated with less deference. In any case, if a motorcycle feels free to cut in front of other motorists, why shouldn’t the other driver feel the same?
The dangers of lane splitting are especially apparent in New York City. Due to the notoriously narrow lanes, there is even less space between vehicles. In addition, heavy traffic and aggressive driving exacerbate the dangers.
Is Lane Splitting Legal in New York State?
You are free to draw your own conclusions concerning the safety of lane splitting. The real question is whether lane splitting is permitted in New York.
The manoeuvre is not authorised in the state. New York’s Vehicle and Traffic Law 1252 addresses the issue as follows:
- Motorcycle riders cannot pass or overtake vehicles in the same lane.
- Motorcyclists are prohibited from travelling outside of marked lanes or between car rows.
- Unless accessing a parking lot or driveway, motorcyclists may not operate their vehicles on a sidewalk.
You are now aware that lane splitting in any form is illegal in the state of New York. So what happens if you are caught lane splitting?
A ticket for lane splitting can be costly in terms of both time and money. If cited for lane splitting, you may be subject to fines, surcharges, and even jail time. And the price increases with each ticket.
Do I Need an Attorney?
Whenever you are involved in a motorcycle collision, you should contact an attorney. This is especially true in situations involving lane splitting accidents. A lawyer familiar with New York law can inform you of your rights and guide you through your options for recovering compensation.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm
Contact Abrams Law Group for a free consultation if you’ve been hurt in an accident and require legal assistance.