Legalize Lane Filtering in Illinois
Legalize Lane Filtering in Illinois
When I first started riding in 2011 I understood that throwing my leg over a motorcycle meant accepting a certain level of risk, and as every motorcyclist knows, the enjoyment derived from riding far outweighs this risk.
The issue comes from unnecessary risk. Motorcyclists in Illinois are currently prohibited by Illinois Vehicle Code 11-703 from slowly and prudently navigating their narrow two-wheeled vehicles between stopped or crawling traffic traveling in the same direction, and as a result, law-abiding motorcyclists are trapped between the bumpers of accelerating and decelerating traffic. This makes them susceptible to rear-end collisions, side-swipes due to being stuck in blind spots, and poor reaction times due to the lack of visibility around the traffic in front of them.
In California, the only state in America that does not prohibit the act of Lane Splitting/Filtering, the practice is taught to student riders and even encouraged by the California Highway Patrol due to benefits to safety, congestion, and environment. Lane Filtering is also practiced safely elsewhere in the world, including Europe, Asia and Australia.
I understand that the law may have had good intentions, taking into account a lack of understanding at the time, but recent statistical analysis and studies looking specifically into Lane Splitting and Filtering have the potency to clear whatever doubt one may have about its legitimacy.
- California, when compared to Texas and Florida, has a 30% REDUCED rate of rear-end collision deaths for motorcyclists because they have Lane Splitting.
- A University of California - Berkeley study showed that Lane Splitting is safe if done at speeds of 50 mph or less and if motorcyclists do not exceed the speed of other vehicles by more than 15 mph. Speed differentials up to 15 mph were not associated with changes in the frequency of injury; and
- Compared to riders who were not splitting lanes, lane-splitting motorcyclists were markedly less likely to suffer head injury (9% vs. 17%), torso injury (19% vs. 29%) or fatal injury (1.2% vs. 3%); Lane-splitting riders were significantly less likely to be rear-ended than non-lane-splitting riders (2.6% vs. 4.6%).
Looking at these statistics that observe California’s ability to Lane-Split at speeds above 20mph can easily be extrapolated to determine that legalizing sub-20mph Lane-Filtering would only see results that improve these values. Support for this idea could be found by referring to the EU MAIDS Final Report 2.0, which found that filtering is SIX TIMES safer than sitting in traffic.
What riders in Illinois are asking for is the Legalization and Regulation of Motorcycle Lane Filtering. The proposed regulations are as shown below:
- Lane Filtering is limited to speeds less than 20mph.
- Speeds shall not exceed a differential of 10mph if the traffic is moving.
- Lane Filtering is not allowed in school zones during school hours.
- Lane Filtering is only allowed when it is safe to do so.
Illinois is an excellent candidate to pave the way for the understanding and acceptance of Motorcycle Lane Splitting, and I believe that Lane Filtering is the essential first step we need to take to improve the safety of motorcyclists everywhere. Lane Filtering benefits everyone, and the legalization will show that the law can indeed reflect our unique needs and concerns.
In addition: It has been shown by a study in Belgium that if 10% of commuters switched to motorcycling and filtered, commuting time added due to congestion would be reduced by 40%. If 25% switched, congestion would be eliminated completely. We may not see 10% switch in Illinois but it must be known that Filtering benefits everybody, not only the motorcyclists. People have the false notion that if a motorcyclist Filters past them, they get put one back in line. In reality, every motorcyclist that Filters eliminates themselves from the equation, making traffic lighter for cars and trucks.
Thank you for your time. Consider sharing this petition with your friends, family, and community.
Please see the references below:
Rice, Thomas, PhD, Lara Troszak, MA, and Taryn Erhardt. "Motorcycle Lane-splitting and Safety in California." Motorcycle Lane-splitting and Safety in California (2015): n. pag. Lane Splitting Is Legal. 29 May 2015. Web. 3 Aug. 2015. http://lanesplittingislegal.com/assets/studies-surveys/lane-splitting-safety-california_may-29-2015.pdf
Acem. "In-depth Investigations of Accidents Involving Powered Two Wheelers." Final Report 2.0 (n.d.): n. pag. Maids Study EU. Web. 3 Aug. 2015. http://www.maids-study.eu/pdf/MAIDS2.pdf
"Lane Splitting Position Statement." Lane Splitting. American Motorcyclist Association, n.d. Web. 15 Aug. 2016. http://americanmotorcyclist.com/About-The-AMA/lane-splitting-1
"Leuven, Transport & Mobility. COMMUTING BY MOTORCYCLE: IMPACT ANALYSIS" http://www.tmleuven.be/project/motorcyclesandcommuting/20110921_Motorfietsen_eindrapport_Eng.pdf
"Illinois Motorcycle Accidents – Facts & Figures | Salvi, Schostok & PritchardP.C." Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. Salvi Law, n.d. Web. 03 Aug. 2015. http://www.salvilaw.com/legal-services/chicago-accident-lawyer/motorcycle-accident-attorneys/facts-figures/