self-driving cars and lane splitting
Posted Feb 25, 2013 7:07 UTC (Mon) by giraffedata
In reply to: self-driving cars and lane splitting
Parent article: ELC: Google learns to drive
Driving between lanes is definitely legal in California,
Nope. The quotation from someone at the California Highway Patrol does uses the phrase "between lanes," but obviously doesn't mean that. If you read it in context, you see this author is using the term "lane" to refer to a line of cars. Yes, it's legal to drive between two lines of cars, but the normal definition of lane, and the one used in the motor vehicle code, is the pavement, not the vehicles on it. Strictly speaking, there isn't even any space between two adjacent lanes, but it could refer to straddling the border between the lanes. That's the way some motorcyclists do it, and it is not legal. A motorcycle, like any other vehicle, must drive entirely within a lane, following specific procedures to move from one to another. That's why the terms are "lane splitting" and "lane sharing" and not "lane ignoring."
As I understand it, the only thing about the California vehicle code that makes lane splitting legal is that there's nothing that says you can't, whereas in other jurisdictions there's something that says you can't pass a vehicle in the same lane. I.e. the California code doesn't give special license to a motorcylist to e.g. straddle two lanes.
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