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I got pulled over the first time in my life on a motorcycle, it took had 27 years to get pulled over. The funny thing is that the officer said I did something unsafe but I disagreed and thought what I did was safety inspired. This is what I did, I had come to a stop light on a single lane median separate road with a right turn as an option.(right on red is legal in Pa but not for trucks on this turn) There were 2 cars in front of me and a pickup truck at the lead, total of 3 vehicles. I came to a stop behind the truck and the 2 cars then I saw there were no cars coming across the intersection while we were waiting for the traffic light to turn so I decided to ride pass the cars on the right that are stopped and then traffic light turned green and the truck who I didn't pass on the right yet decided to take the right instead of going straight and turned on his turn signal at the last second. No big deal he made the right and I followed. We both cross the bridge and I turn off the main road and come to another stop light. The light changes and I see red and blue lights behind me so I pull over immediately. The officer had a look of surprise when i took off my helmet. I don't think he expected a 44 year old on a red/white/blue CBR. He told me he observed me sliding past the cars on the right and I said yes I did that. He told me it was illegal. I said it was in the interest of safety because I was being proactive about being rear-ended. In any case he told me how dangerous it was and I said I would never do it again(which is true, I won't) However, I brought up how I was reducing risk for myself and lane splitting statics show it to be the safest practice. Then he reminded me that it wasn't legal here in PA. I didn't say it but cars regularly pull on my right if I am turning left or going straight.
Well, after he checked my license he told me I am not getting a ticket and let me go with the verbal warning.
He never told me what law I was breaking but I am wondering if I really was at all
 

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I got pulled over the first time in my life on a motorcycle, it took had 27 years to get pulled over. The funny thing is that the officer said I did something unsafe but I disagreed and thought what I did was safety inspired. This is what I did, I had come to a stop light on a single lane median separate road with a right turn as an option.(right on red is legal in Pa but not for trucks on this turn) There were 2 cars in front of me and a pickup truck at the lead, total of 3 vehicles. I came to a stop behind the truck and the 2 cars then I saw there were no cars coming across the intersection while we were waiting for the traffic light to turn so I decided to ride pass the cars on the right that are stopped and then traffic light turned green and the truck who I didn't pass on the right yet decided to take the right instead of going straight and turned on his turn signal at the last second. No big deal he made the right and I followed. We both cross the bridge and I turn off the main road and come to another stop light. The light changes and I see red and blue lights behind me so I pull over immediately. The officer had a look of surprise when i took off my helmet. I don't think he expected a 44 year old on a red/white/blue CBR. He told me he observed me sliding past the cars on the right and I said yes I did that. He told me it was illegal. I said it was in the interest of safety because I was being proactive about being rear-ended. In any case he told me how dangerous it was and I said I would never do it again(which is true, I won't) However, I brought up how I was reducing risk for myself and lane splitting statics show it to be the safest practice. Then he reminded me that it wasn't legal here in PA. I didn't say it but cars regularly pull on my right if I am turning left or going straight.
Well, after he checked my license he told me I am not getting a ticket and let me go with the verbal warning.
He never told me what law I was breaking but I am wondering if I really was at all
He may not have used the words 'lane splitting' or 'lane filtering', but that is what he was describing when he said "he observed me sliding past the cars on the right". Obviously had there been a right turn lane you would have been perfectly fine, but being that it is just a single traffic lane you were technically 'lane filtering', which perhaps isn't quite the same thing in concept as 'lane splitting', but falls under the same traffic laws. Fortunate that you just got the verbal warning (which I think for that situation, most decent cops would have done the same).

Have to say, that's a very depressed looking part of town in the pic. :serious:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I couldn't believe he didn't give me a ticket, at no time in my life have I been pulled over and didn't receive a ticket.

BTW-it is worst part of Bethlehem, PA, it is the south side. Every university I ever worked for has always been in the worst section in town but here it is not the kind of bad you have to lock your bike up in the day time.
 

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Good on the officer, he made the right call by letting go with a warning. I can't say whether right or wrong, but I know you meant no harm to yourself or anyone else.

Don't you just love it when those police guys show their human side every once in a while? :D

Have to say, that's a very depressed looking part of town in the pic. :serious:
Eh, put a balloon there... It'll brighten things up a tad. :p
 
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[long post, examples etc, basically supporting the idea here
of riding according to the situation - for, motorcycles -
experienced etc, just scroll on bye :)

agree on riding for your own safety, even if that isnt within
road rules, typically designed for cars/trucks, which are trapped
within their car spaces on roads based around car spaces..

admit to breaking basic road rules here, and not suggesting
others esp novices ride outside basic rules etc..
i genuinely believe [lifetime road riding] that my safety
potential is enhanced by riding in free road space..

ie, not behind other cars/busses/trucks etc..
altho this is sometimes necessary, and unavoidable,
there are also various situations where you can,
overtake them, aside from typical overtakes..

eg, one turn i take is at lights into a T intersection
[with offset lightsabout 10-15m further along the T,
making a squared off S shape either way]
light duration this entry side is short, resulting in
a pile up of cars at this [single lane] light, all turning right..

anyway, what i often do is time my run between this light
and the other ofset light [this gap between flow of cars]
then overtake them all, including on or barely over,
double lines at the lead-in to the lights..
ie, no cars coming the opposite way..

so i ride the center line to the front, then wait
blinkers on, in first, clutch it [as usual]
in front of the first car..

then when the light goes off i turn right
into free road space..
otherwise, i would need to wait in line there
for maybe three shunts of groups of cars thru
the brief period of green, all the while
open to being rear-ended by some prawn
behind me, also waiting impatiently
in her metal box, texting etc..

i see this as a form of filtering, now legal here [NSW]
altho,, not, part of the new filtering law..
filtering is based on narrow single track vehicles
passing thru narrow road spaces obviously impossible
for cars.. filtering laws recognise this reality..

similarly, at another T i use, cars bank up there as nervous
drivers sit waiting for breaks in traffic both ways before
venturing out.. almost all cars are turning right here,
and left turners stop on the left if any, so i simply overtake
the line [or 'filter' next to it] then either tail the first car
if it moves out, or take the right turn from its left side,
when theres a motorcycle space to ride out into..

again, my rationale aside from not wasting precious life
moments,, is to not be sitting behind stopped cars
waiting for some distracted driver to rear-end me..

filtering laws dont allow for filtering on the inside of
lines of cars between then and lines of parked cars..
rationale being you might not see pedestrians crossing..
well i do see them if there, and if passing busses
trucks or vans [blocked visibility] always
slow right down before continuing past them..
ie, the rule assumes you wont be looking
or taking care to avoid obvious threats..

the other rationale is cars might open doors onto you,,
which was also put forward as a reason to not, have
general filtering law changes..
ive never had a door opened on me, that i didnt see
before it hit me.. again, assuming driver-mind
in the motorcyclist..

thus at virtually every set of lights, and some other
turns, corners, roungabouts, i filter to the front..
never, having anything, on my mind other than,
the immediate moment, and all those distracted
drivers who cant be trusted..
including in front of and behind you..

at virtually every turn and set of lights etc,
there is free open road space ahead..
aka motorcycle space..

while attempting to be good road citizens
i believe that road rules while often valid,
have not been designed around motorcycles,
thus we must or should ride according to
our own assessment of every situation,
with priority being, our survival
and safety,, beyond any technicality
of any - changeable - road rule...

filtering laws here recognise experience
as a real factor, by restricting novices and
provisional riders from filtering..
only full license holders may filter..

they cant and wont change other road rules
on the basis of special situations for motorcycles..
so we must or should ride according to our own
safety and best interests, regardless..

while collecting may fines long ago, mainly speeding,
i havnt been booked for ages, including for any
types of ''filtering' or suchlike use of road space..

we have obvious disadvantages.. we must take care..
but,, we also have advantages [!] we should also
take advantage of our different situations
on our narrow, short, agile and quick,
motorcycles...
 

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While shisoshin makes very good points ^ here, the reality for those of us here in the United States (except in the state of California) is that lane splitting or filtering is still illegal. And so if you choose to do it in any of the other 49 US states, you have to be willing to accept that you could be caught by a LEO and cited for it (or if you are lucky like Jkilla71 here, and get by with a verbal warning). As many of us know from first hand experience, being cited for a Moving Violation can be expensive, both in the cost of the assessed fine as well as possible higher insurance premiums.

It may not be fair or right, but for now until other US states change their laws on lane splitting/filtering, it is what it is. Cops don't care whether or not you think a particular traffic law is wrong, nor should they. The discussion/argument for making lane splitting & filtering legal needs to be taken up with those who have the power to make & change the laws, not with those who's job it is to enforce said laws as they are written.
 

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The secret is to look around before you make a questionable move. Anything is legal if there are no cops around. I do stuff like this all the time. I even turn left on red lights where there is no traffic around and I am familiar with the traffic light patterns. We don't have cameras that take photos and issue tickets...yet. I figure the less time I am stopped at a red light waiting, the better...within reason. The only thing I might have done differently in your situation was, once I decided to turn right, I would get out a little into the intersection in front of the truck...quickly, so he could see me. He wouldn't be fast enough to move over in any case and if he tried, I would turn quickly and get ahead of him. Had a cop seen that, I would probably get a ticket. So far I have never got a ticket on a motorcycle in 50 years or riding. I wouldn't recommend doing what I do to anyone else though.
 
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