8 Ball In The Wind

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Lane Sharing Video Misrepresentation Revealed

The practice of lane sharing has been opposed in Washington state by some agencies in the government.  The Washington Traffic Safety Commission even used a you-tube video that ended in a crash after being clipped at that point.  Below is the same video showing the crash but with the additional footage still attached.

As you can see in the video, after the crash, the rider stands back up and eventually receives a ticket from a law enforcement officer.  Shaken but unharmed.  The rider making the video then continues on lane sharing safely to her destination.  Yet that isn't what the WTSC wanted to portray, so they used the video clipped to immediately after the collision before the rider stood up.

The Washington State Patrol also opposes lane sharing in Washington.  The reasons for their opposition have changed since January and now seem to follow a convoluted seesaw path between they feel; it is unsafe and would cause more crashes (which to them equates more fatalities), and that more people would violate the law by lane splitting at high speeds recklessly.  As is shown in the video below, which was actually used by WSP to oppose the practice.  So because some people who are already breaking the law would continue to do so, the WSP seems to be opposed to the law passing.

Again the video was edited to show the crash, making it appear as a severe if it fatal accident.  Yet in reality, the rider was standing and walking around in just over a minute of the impact.  It would seem that the intent of using the edited version instead of the full version was for purposes of shock value and to create a false perception of the inherent danger of lane sharing.  It also seems interesting that the rider was obviously traveling at a much higher speed differential than would be allowed under either of the current lane sharing bills in the Washington legislature.  Was that again, a deliberate decision on the part of WSP officials when choosing this video?

Even though they have been given multiple studies from around the world showing the safety benefits of the practice, WSP amd the WTSC still oppose lane sharing.  Perhaps the words of  the retired SGT. David Kinaan (who retired as the Supervisor of the California Highway Patrol Academy Motorcycle Training Unit) published in an article on lane sharing in the April 2014 issue of American Motorcyclists magazine might help alleviate some of their concerns; "As a young motorcycle cop, I learned many lessons from my training officer that helped me throughout my career.  Among them were lesson about lane splitting.  He explained to me that lane splitting was safer than stopping behind traffic.  While there was the potential for a sideswipe collision while lane splitting, there was equal potential for a rear-end collision when stopped behind traffic."

The moral here is simple; don't believe everything you read, and even less what you see.  Do your own research and verify the information.  Due-diligence is the only way we as a community can stand united against those who would use their bureaucratic mindset to oppose us, and attempt to deny us the ability to choose how we protect ourselves while riding.

Catch you on the road sometime...

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