Legalize lane sharing in Oregon
What is lane sharing?
Lane sharing motorcycles safely ride between lanes, when traffic is stopped or moving very slowly. Also known as “filtering” or “lane splitting”, the practice is legal in California and nearly every other country in the world. The typical speed differential between motorcycle and traffic is less than 10 mph.
Oregon's proposed bill limits lane sharing to conditions where traffic is stopped or moving less than 10 mph. Two-wheelers may travel at most 10 mph faster than traffic. These conditions maximize rider safety, as documented by data. Lane sharing is currently not legal in Oregon. Here are details on the proposed bill.
What about lane sharing in Oregon?
Lane-splitting motorcyclists are injured much less frequently during their collisions.
— 2015 UC Berkley study
Research conducted by California shows that motorcyclists in accidents are “considerably less likely to suffer head injury, torso injury, extremity injury, and fatal injury” than riders who were not lane-sharing.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests that lane sharing may reduce accident frequency, noting that "there is evidence … that traveling between lanes of stopped or slow-moving cars ... reduces crash frequency compared with staying within the lane and moving with other traffic."
Lane sharing makes riding safer
Lane sharing reduces congestion
Lane sharing reduces traffic congestion during traffic stoppages and slowdowns, benefiting both riders and drivers: each lane sharing rider is one less vehicle stuck in traffic. The benefits of lane sharing are free: no new infrastructure, structures, or signage is required.
The Portland metropolitan area was recently ranked as the eighth-most traffic congested urban area in the U.S., tied with Chicago and Washington, D.C. Slowdowns are worst when lane sharing would benefit commuters the most: during the morning and evening rush hours.
Lane sharing will reduce the number of automobiles on Oregon roads, and lower the time vehicles spend idling in traffic.
Lane sharing also encourages the use of more fuel-efficient alternative vehicles, including electric motorcycles. Typical gasoline-powered motorcycles and scooters travel 50, 60 or even more miles per gallon.