Attorney James E. Swingley Illustrates Legality of Lane-Splitting

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Personal injury attorney James E. Swingley, in light of May being Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, educates motorists and motorcyclists on lane-splitting.

James E. Swingley

Motorcyclists who frequently lane-split should always assume people in cars do not see them, and be extra vigilant. While it is annoying to some drivers, the benefit to lane-splitting is that it keeps traffic moving, which is a goal of the CHP.

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, a time when all motorists are reminded to safely share the road with motorcycles and be extra alert to help keep motorcyclists and those in autos safe. Motorcyclists are also reminded to make themselves visible to other motorists. “This is especially true when lane-splitting,” said attorney James E. Swingley, founder of the Law Office of James E. Swingley. “California law neither allows nor prohibits motorcycles from passing other vehicles proceeding in the same direction within the same lane, which is referred to as ‘lane-splitting’ or ‘lane-sharing.’ This means it will happen on our freeways from time to time and it is not illegal.”

However, in 2014, the CHP removed its guidelines regarding lane-splitting for use by the public, choosing not to issue, use or enforce said guidelines. This means, if an accident should occur and the parties end up in court, it is up to witnesses or to the argument by attorneys as to when lane-splitting is or is not allowed.

“Making our highways safer is the responsibility of motorists and motorcyclists alike,” said Swingley. “This can be achieved by simply staying alert and using common sense and courtesy. Motorcyclists who frequently lane-split should always assume people in cars do not see them, and be extra vigilant. While it is annoying to some drivers, the benefit to lane-splitting is that it keeps traffic moving, which is a goal of the CHP. Motorcyclists are also rewarded because they are using more fuel-efficient vehicles.”

About James E. Swingley, Law Office of James E. Swingley
James E. Swingley focuses on personal injury plaintiff work, and has significant business litigation experience, representing both plaintiffs and defendants. He has also tried medical malpractice, legal malpractice, breach of contract and construction cases. For more information, please call (619) 233-1808. The law office is located at 2320 Fifth Ave., Suite 200, San Diego, CA 92101.

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