New California Law for Motorcyclists: “Do Whatever You Want, I Guess”

SACRAMENTO, CA –  After decades of putting actual thought, energy, and effort into trying to make motorcycle laws align with all of the other laws of the road, and with what makes the most overall sense from a public safety standpoint, the Golden State has quietly put into effect a law that finally ends the debate on the subject. The We Don’t Care Initiative (WDCE) took place sometime in the past five or ten years, but no one really knows exactly. Joel Heramm, a pending intern professor at UC Davis , and a longtime board member on the Society of Highway Safety, explains what it all means in essence: “Have you ever thrown your hands in the air and said, ‘I don’t care anymore?’ It’s like that. The State of California does not recommend that a motorcyclist ride on top of a double yellow line between a carpool lane and a fast lane, but they are not going to make a big deal out of it, either.”

Heramm paused for a minute, because he was texting someone else, but then he continued: “That goes for other stuff, too.  Yes, a carpool lane is designed specifically for two or more passengers in a car. But if a motorcyclist is running late and wants to do his own thing and ride in that lane, it is what it is. California’s official opinion now is actually exactly that – it is what it is.”

And while a recent study in Berkley showed that lane splitting is safe, those findings raised a lot of eyebrows. One of those scoffers was Ben Cartford, a paramedic from Hysperia, Ca.  “Lane splitting is safe? Oh, okay. Is that why I spent an hour and forty five minutes last night trying to remove a car door from someone’s  esophagus?” 
While studies show that many California denizens side with Cartford, believing that motorcycle laws are lax and that lane splitting is extremely unsafe, a line has been drawn. “A white dotted line,” quips Cartford. 

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