Oregon lawmakers are considering whether to allow lane-splitting on state highways. The practice would enable motorcyclists to cross between lanes on congested roads.
While a similar measure didn’t make it through Oregon’s legislature in 2015, the bill came back in 2019 to address the state’s congestion problems. Oregon’s population is currently soaring in places like Portland, Salem and Bend.
Advocates say lane splitting may seem counter-intuitive for drivers, but that legalizing lane-splitting could help reduce the amount of congestion on state roads.
What could Oregon lane-splitting look like?
The bill could allow lane-splitting on permitted roads with speed limits that are at or above 50 mph. It could also enable motorcyclists to do it when traffic moves slower than 10 mph.
If the measure passes, Oregon could be the only other state aside from California that permits motorcyclists to weave through congested traffic.
Some say it could even reduce vehicle crashes
In a recent study from UC Berkley, researchers took information from California’s state highway patrol and found that lane-splitting reduced the number of traffic crashes. But that’s only when motorcycles weren’t going much faster than other vehicles on the road.
Could motorists soon see lane-splitting on Oregon roads?
Not everyone is on the same page. Some agree with the data that’s been provided on the subject and others remain skeptical as to how it could impact driver safety. While advocates for lane-splitting continue to push the state legislature, the bill’s future remains uncertain.