As we documented back in January, lane splitting bills were introduced in Oregon, Washington and Montana, with good news incoming for Washingtonians. Senate Bill 5378 passed in the Washington State Senate this February 28th, which is exciting progress for the tired clutch gripping, stop and go, left hands of the Pacific Northwest.
The bill makes its next stop in the House Transportation Committee before moving forward to the floor of the House of Representatives. Should the bill pass all of the hurdles in its path it will allow for lane sharing at speeds of up to 25MPH and with a maximum differential speed of 10MPH. Bill 5378 is looked upon to set a precedent for the rest of the nation’s lane splitting laws, with California being the only state of its 49 comrades that allows lane splitting legally. Already known to most motorcyclists, lane splitting is the safer alternative to being stuck in stop and go traffic with distracted and frustrated drivers. A UC Berkeley study released in May of 2015 provided empirical proof of this by showing that when motorcyclists are able to lane split, they are far more likely to avoid injury or worse in congested traffic conditions.
A previous version of the bill faced the majority of its opposition, that lead to its quick death in the House previously this time last year, so make sure you reach out to Representative Judy Clibborn’s office at (360) 786-7926 to voice your support for this bill.