Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spin Control

Senate OKs some ‘lane splitting’ for motorcycles

OLYMPIA -- Washington would allow motorcyclists to go around cars in slow-moving traffic under a "lane-splitting" proposal approved by the Senate Friday.

Supporters emphasized Senate Bill 5623 doesn't allow the kind of lane-splitting permitted in California, where motorcycles maneuver at high speeds between cars on freeways. As a trial project through July 31, 2018, motorcycles can only use the left lane or shoulder to go around traffic at  no faster than 25 mph, and can't be moving more than 10 mph faster than the rest of traffic.

Opponents still questioned the safety of allowing motorcycles to pass in the same lane or shoulder, but Sen. Tim Sheldon, D-Potlach, said it was designed to ease traffic congestion: "I don't think there's going to be a lot of crazy driving in the far left lane."

The bill was sent to the House on a 34-15 vote 

The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.