Oregon Could Be Legalizing Lane Splitting This Year

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The Oregon Legislative Assembly is set to consider a bill that would legalize the practice of lane splitting by motorcyclists.

Accordingly, House Bill 2314 aims to allow motorcyclists and moped riders the ability to ride between vehicles in traffic, under certain sensible conditions.

HB 2314 builds upon the failures of previous attempts to pass lane splitting in the State of Oregon, and there are some important distinctions in this bill that set it apart from previous attempts.

As regular readers of Asphalt & Rubber surely know by now, legalizing lane splitting in Oregon will help reduce traffic congestion, help make motorcyclists safer on the road, and help lower the amount of pollution from transportation.

If HB2314 is passed it would allow lane splitting under the following conditions:

  • Lane splitting would only be allowed on highways, with a posted speed limit of 50 MPH or faster
  • The surrounding traffic must be stopped, or moving 10 MPH or slower
  • The motorcycle or moped may only travel 10 MPH faster than the flow of traffic
  • Riders may not split lanes under the following conditions:
    • between a traffic lane and the curb and bicycle lane (on either side)
    • between a traffic lane and a row of parked vehicles (on either side)
    • in a school zone

Obviously, HB 2314 is limited in scope to affecting only motorcyclists commuting on Oregon’s crowded highways, but the bill is a start to a more comprehensive lane splitting plan in Oregon, which could at a later time include city streets.

Currently, the bill has the support of 19 sponsors, from both sides of the aisle, and in both chambers of the legislature. Tomorrow (Wednesday), HB 2314 heads to the Joint Committee On Transportation, which will decide if the bill can proceed to a vote on the House floor.

We strongly encourage motorcyclists in Oregon to reach out to the representatives in this committee to show your support for HB 2314. They are as follows:

Co-Chair Senator Lee Beyer Email
Co-Chair Representative Caddy McKeown Email / Twitter
Co-Vice Chair Senator Brian Boquist Email / Twitter
Co-Vice Chair Representative Ron Noble Email / Twitter
Member Senator Cliff Bentz Email / Twitter
Member Senator Lew Frederick Email / Twitter
Member Senator Sara Gelser Email / Twitter
Member Representative Paul Evans Email / Twitter
Member Representative Lynn Findley Email
Member Representative Rick Lewis Email
Member Representative Susan McLain Email
Member Representative Brad Witt Email

The effort to get lane splitting passed in Oregon has been pushed forward by Portland’s Sang-Froid Riding Club, which in the past hosted the city’s Alley Sweeper ride, and currently runs the Bol d’Oregon six-hour endurance race. We give them many thanks for taking on this important issue on behalf of Oregonian motorcyclists.

Source:  Oregon House Bill 2314 via Lane Share Oregon