ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Should motorcycles be able to drive in between cars when traffic is backed up?
There was a hearing Thursday for House Bill 917, that would require the Motor Vehicle Administration to allow motorcycles to “split lanes” when traffic is congestion.
The bipartisan sponsored bill would make it so bikers could drive in between cars up to 10 mph faster than the cars around them to avoid being hit.
House of Delegates motorcycle mama Kathy Szeliga, who took her bike into her 2016 campaign for Senate is promoting rider safety this session with a bill to allow lane splitting, driving between traffic lanes to maneuver out of and around backups.
“We’re not talking about screaming up 95 popping wheelies between cars that’s not what we’re thinking of, Szeliga said, “But that may be what the public thinks about when they start thinking about this concept because they have not seen it done before,”
Veteran riders insist accidents are not as likely when lane splitting than they are travelling in single lane traffic.
Shelli McLane has been riding motorcycles for 30 years.
“I’ve been down four times. Once was due to the guy I was riding with and the rest were due to the distracted driving of other people,” McLane said.
She said riders have better chances of surviving being sideswiped than rear-ended.
The bill supporters also realize there has to be a lot of public education before people are comfortable with the idea.
The Motorcycle Assocation Abate supports it.
Annie Sanford of the Abate of Maryland Motorcycle Association said research supports lane splitting.
But it may take more than research to legalize it.
It is not expected to pass this session, but Delegate Szeliga wants to get the conversation started.
“It will take a program to let people know this is safe and they have a responsibility to pay attention,” Szeliga said.
California currently has a law and five other states are considering it.
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