Reduce traffic congestion by legalizing lane-splitting for motorcycles
  • Petitioned 83rd Texas State Legislature

This petition was delivered to:

83rd Texas State Legislature

Reduce traffic congestion by legalizing lane-splitting for motorcycles

    1. Rhys Ulerich
    2. Petition by

      Rhys Ulerich

      Austin, TX

Traffic congestion in Texas continues to increase. One inexpensive, simple, effective, and immediate way to reduce traffic congestion is to permit motorcyclists to travel between two slow moving lanes of traffic.  Doing so adds capacity to every existing four-lane road in the entire state of Texas.  In California where "lane-splitting" is legal, common place, and has been found to enhance motorcycle safety, it is embraced as a significant component of traffic congestion reduction.

For exactly this purpose, Senator John Carona (R-Dallas) introduced 81(R) SB 506. The bill unfortunately died pending in committee at the close of that session.

By signing this petition, you are asking the members of the 83rd Texas state legislature, who meet in early 2013, to sponsor a bill identical to 81(R) SB 506 and then to vote to legalize lane-splitting for motorcycles under those terms.

81(R) SB 506 bill text, engrossed version:
http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs/81R/billtext/html/SB00506E.htm

81(R) SB 506 history:
http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=81R&Bill=SB506

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Encouraging response from Senator Kirk Watson

      Rhys Ulerich
      Petition Organizer

      Obviously the legislature did not pass such a bill this session. But there may be a glimmer of hope the next time around. I just received an email from Senator Watson's office:

      ".As you noted, legislation in previous sessions on lane splitting has been unsuccessful.... I will be requesting that the Lt. Governor direct the Transportation Committee to study this issue between legislative sessions and make recommendations to the next Legislature regarding lane splitting. So called 'interim' studies are intended to provide an opportunity for the legislative committees to complete due diligence on new ideas or those that have proven to need more analysis and discussion. Recommendations from these studies often result in legislation that has an improved chance of passage during the next legislative session."

      Full text, with much more context, is available at
      https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B9CTnE5eyCaRR2VJaWxQaUN6Mmc/edit?pli=1

      Thanks everyone for spreading the petition,
      Rhys

    2. Reached 1,500 signatures
    3. Contacted current House and Senate Committees on Transportation

      Rhys Ulerich
      Petition Organizer

      I've not received any reply from the representatives to whom I mailed the physical letters I mailed back in November. Not a peep. A quick search of the bills introduced thus far says no one has picked up the lanesplitting idea.

      Tonight I contacted every member of the current House and Senate Committees on Transportation. According to http://www.tlc.state.tx.us/gtli/sessions/dates.html we have until March 8th to get this idea noticed and introduced. Introducing legistlation looking like https://docs.google.com/document/d/1l-hibPrsnTj-TyslhvC7iSStAZIGLTUWnuA_h5e9szo/edit is what y'all have endorsed by signing this petition.

      I apologize for dropping the ball from November until now. Any and all help raising this issue to the members of the House Committee on Transportation or the Senate Committee on Transportation would be greatly appreciated.

      Go safe,
      Rhys

      Dates of Interest

      Monday, August 26, 2013 (91st day following final adjournment) Date that bills without specific effective dates (that could not be effective immediately) become law[Sec. 39, Art. III, Texas Constitution]

    4. Contacted anticipated 83(R) House Committee on Transportation

      Rhys Ulerich
      Petition Organizer

      Yesterday I dropped a cover letter, our petition, and a list of over 800 of your signatures into the mail for the eleven Texas Representatives I expect to be members of the upcoming House Committee on Transportation. My hope is that, by working with their staff, we can convince at least one will sponsor a new version of 81(R) SB 506.

      I'll let you know what I hear. In the meantime, please keep passing this petition along to folks who might sign it.

      Go safe,
      Rhys

    5. Reached 750 signatures
    6. Need help reaching out to House Committee on Transportation

      Rhys Ulerich
      Petition Organizer

      I'm excited to see we've crested 700 signatures. Please keep passing the word around. In the meantime, I could use your help.

      I've heard back from my Senator Kirk Watson's office. Watson's (very helpful) staff recommended finding a Texas house of representative member sitting on the Committee on Transportation who might introduce 81(R) SB 506-like legislation. Our chances of success go up greatly if we can get a bill going in each side of the legislature.

      The 82(R) Committee on Transportation members were:
      Rep. Larry Phillips (Chair),
      Rep. Drew Darby (Vice Chair),
      Rep. Dennis Bonnen,
      Rep. Yvonne Davis,
      Rep. Allen Fletcher,
      Rep. Linda Harper-Brown,
      Rep. George Lavender,
      Rep. Armando Martinez,
      Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon,
      Rep. Joseph Pickett, and
      Rep. Eddie Rodriguez.

      If you are represented by any of these folks and would be willing to contact their office by phone, please send me a message.

      Go safe,
      Rhys

    7. Reached 500 signatures
    8. Getting eyeballs using motorcycle dealership Facebook pages

      Rhys Ulerich
      Petition Organizer

      Hi all,

      We've gone from about 120 to almost 250 signatures in nothing flat. Quinton Teter had the brilliant idea of asking Woods Fun Center, a large powersports dealer in Austin, to post the petition on their Facebook page. They helped us out. Thanks Quinton and thanks Woods.

      If you've got a favorite motorcycle dealer with a Facebook presence, please consider asking them to post a link to this petition. They can either use the full URL or the must shorter http://tinyurl.com/lanesplit which redirects here too.

      Go safe,
      Rhys

    9. Reached 250 signatures
    10. Wrote Senator Watson

      Rhys Ulerich
      Petition Organizer

      Hi all,

      Still no word back from the AMA folks. In the meantime, I've contacted Kirk Watson (my representative who happens to sit on the appropriate committees) including passing along a list of your signatures. Thank you.

      If anyone is interested in contacting their own state representative, I'd be happy to provide a letter. Please contact me directly if you want one.

      Take care,
      Rhys

    11. No word back from the AMA, no luck via ABATE newsletter

      Rhys Ulerich
      Petition Organizer

      Hi all,

      I've not heard back from the AMA magazine folks-- I've tried contacting them a second time.

      In the meantime I tried getting a blurb into the ABATE newsletter. The manager of the newsletter responded quite quickly but said that ABATE was not pro-lanesplitting out of concern that introducing lanesplitting would somehow impact Texas helmet laws.

      Has anyone had any luck trying to publicize the petition via HOG?

      Lastly, would you please consider pushing out a link through your social networks? Riding groups, Facebook, Twitter, etc. I'd like to contact some representatives in the next two weeks or so and having some additional signatures in the near term would help the cause.

      Ride safe in the meantime,
      Rhys

    12. Reached 100 signatures
    13. Asked the AMA magazine to run a State Rights blurb

      Rhys Ulerich
      Petition Organizer

      Hi all,

      As the petition seems to resonate most strongly with motorcyclists (no surprise), it seems like a bit more publicity will generate quite a few more signatures. I've just emailed the AMA magazine asking them to run a small state rights blurb on the matter. I'll keep you posted on their response.

      Would someone be willing to do the same through HOG? It seems HOG has a much stronger network in the state than the AMA.

      In the meantime, please mention this petition to your riding buddies.

      Thanks,
      Rhys

    14. Reached 50 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Mitchell Garcia LIVE OAK, TX
      • 9 months ago

      The US Dept of Transportation did a study comparing motorcycle crashes in CA,TX,and FL. California fatal motorcycle crash(from being rear ended by a car) is 30% lower, since they allow lane splitting. That is a huge number!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Coltin Ayres MCGREGOR, TX
      • 9 months ago

      it would clear up more traffic and as long as there is guidelines to it, it will be safe.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • karamjit madan HOUSTON, TX
      • 9 months ago

      i ride motorcycle and tired of stuck in texas heat.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • james graves ARLINGTON, TX
      • 10 months ago

      Lane splitting speeds up traffic, and is safe to do. We should encourage as many people aws possible to use motorcycles as transportation. Including motorized bicycles etc.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • kyle contino WALNUT CREEK, CA
      • 10 months ago

      I am originally from CA, recently moved to TX and have been commuting on my motorcycle daily for over 5 years. I honestly feel unsafe confined to a lane during rushhours heavy traffic, opposed to my time splitting lanes and filtering to the feont of traffic in the Bay Area.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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