Ok let me give California's insight.
There is a huge misconception in California regarding lane splitting. A lot of people say Lane Splitting is Legal. This is untrue. It's not that lane splitting is legal, it's that lane slitting is NOT ILLEGAL. Meaning that nowhere in the California VC (Vehicle Code) is there ANY sections that govern how and where or even how fast lane splitting can be done at and there is no section prohibiting it. So when you hear somebody say that you have to lane split at a certain speed, only at a road with 4 lanes, only in the left lane of a highway, they are full of shit and don't know what they are talking about. THERE ARE NO LAWS GOVERNING LANE SPLITTING AND NO LAWS PROHIBITING IT. THERE IS NO WORDING ANYWHERE IN THE CALIFORNIA VEHICLE CODE. CHPs press release on how they recommend lane splitting be done was just that, a recomendation. And somebody successfully sued CHP and won the ruling and those recomendations were taken down SINCE THERE ARE NO LAWS REGARDING SPLITTIMG.
So when a cop writes a ticket for a lane splitting "violation", he has to resort to other sections in the vehicle code that apply to ALL motor vehicles. violations such as:
Wreckless or careless driving (this would cover splitting at unsafe speeds)
Exhibition of speed (revving between cars, even wheelies between cars)
Unsafe passing (this section covers situations where all motor vehicles cannot pass in certain circumstances, is not anything specific to motorcycles and it is actually does not apply to many situations so is rarely used. This covers things like not making passes 100 feet before railroad crosses, not necessarily unsafe passing on a highway)
Passing on the shoulder (illegal for any car to cross the white line shoulder to pass(which includes splitting on the white line))
Passing over the double yellow. (Illegal for any motor vehicle to cross a double yellow to pass (which includes splitting on the double yellow))
A lot of guys receive tickets from CHP (who can even be grossly misinformed themselves) and are written for an incorrect section such as unsafe passing and can very easily fight the ticket.
Now to find fault in a motor vehicle accident, one of these violations would have had to occurred. For example, if traffic is not moving and a motorcycle is splitting at 50 mph, that clearly falls under wreckless driving. So if the motorcycle clips a car, he's at fault.
Another example, if motorcycle is passing on the shoulder or even splitting on the white line and clips a car that moves over to stop on the shoulder, he's at fault since passing in the shoulder for any motor vehicle is illegal.
However, if he is deemed to be splitting lanes safely at a safe speed and not otherwise violating traffic laws, and he hits a car that makes a sudden lane change, most of the time the car will be at fault because there may be sections in the vehicle code that require cars to take certain actions such as: a turn signal to be on for 3 seconds before a lane change is done or the vehicle didn't use his turn signal at all which would also be a failure to yield violation or failure to signal violation. But then again in the same scenario, if the motorcycle skid marks start 100 feet back and the bike rear ends the car as opposed to getting clipped on the side, even with a sudden non signaled lane change, it's clearly the motorcycle was driving wreckless and would be found at least partly at fault.
So essentially when figuring out fault in motor vehicle accidents, cops need to assess what vehicle committed what traffic violations and which one of those contributed directly or even partially to the accident.
This is very hard to explain and I didn't want to take the time to look up exact vehicle codes but hope my point makes sense. A lot of you guys have been in accidents, pull out your police reports and read the officers narratives of how they determine and describe fault.
Last edited by RedAndBlack; 02-24-2015 at 11:01 PM.