California becomes first state to legalize lane-splitting

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation that takes a step toward condoning the practice of lane-splitting, in which motorcyclists drive between two lanes of vehicles.

The Democratic governor’s signature on Friday allows the California Highway Patrol to develop guidelines, but it stops short of explicitly authorizing the practice.

Lane-splitting is in a legal grey area in California, though law enforcement has long permitted it.

The CHP published educational guidelines on lane-splitting in 2013, but regulators later ruled the agency had no authority to make public policy.

The Assembly voted in May to explicitly allow it with a 50-mph speed limit, but the Senate watered down the bill before approving it unanimously.

The bill was written by Assemblyman Bill Quirk, a Hayward Democrat, and Tom Lackey, a Palmdale Republican.

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