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Author of motorcycle lane-splitting bill: some tweaks needed

A blog topic that timely addresses a noteworthy news event will occasionally need to be revisited following publication owing to material updates in the subject matter.

Such is the case with motorcycle lane-splitting, which we termed in our June 15 blog post "a big deal and a hot-button topic." We noted the status of legislation focused upon that roadway practice on the date of that entry, namely, that it was "weaving its way through the state legislature."

Not any longer.

In fact, a lane-splitting bill -- which until quite recently seemed poised to sail through the California Senate and be signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown following its easy approval in the state Assembly -- has suddenly stalled.

Why the sudden loss of momentum?

Persons closely associated with the author of AB51 (Assembly member Bill Quirk (D-Hayward), say that a bit of additional time is simply needed to fully consider all material aspects of the legislation.

The subject matter is "very complex," notes a spokesperson for the legislator, with more time required "to work out the details."

One ardent foe of the legislation -- an online group maintaining that lane-splitting is a dangerous practice and that the speed limits proposed in the bill were too lenient -- states that its author is backing off as a result of growing criticisms leveled at AB51.

That's not true, counter those in Quirk's camp.

The withdrawal of the legislation "had nothing to do with the opposition," says Quirk's chief of staff. He states that law enforcement concerns and questions prompted the bill's pull back and further consideration.

The bottom line: It's now back to the drawing board for would-be legislation that seemed imminently poised to become law just a short time ago.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Motorcycle lane-splitting bill is withdrawn," Charles Fleming," July 10, 2015

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