This iteration of Ask MC comes from Shasta. Â Despite her dubious acquaintances (she alleges to have found MCPD through HMHQ), she has a question about metered on-ramps and motorcycles.
Here’s my question: I am waiting at a metered light to enter the freeway at a two-lane on-ramp. The sign says “Two cars per green.” As I get to the light with one car ahead of me, a motorcycle splits the lane and pulls up even with the first waiting car.
Am I now car number three? Â Would I be subject to a violation if I went through the light following the car and the lane-splitting motorcycle? Is the motorcyclist legally entitled to pull to the front of the line? Thanks!
photo Â© 2007 Eric Schmuttenmaer | more info (via: Wylio)Let’s work backwards on this one. Â First, is the motorcyclist legally entitled to pull to the front of the line? Â There is no vehicle code (at least in CA) that precludes lane-splitting. Â If we assume that the motorcycle arrived at the front of the line by lane-splitting, then I would say there is no violation there and he/she is good to jump to the front.
Now, to the meat of your question…does the presence of the motorcycle alter the order in which you (or the other driver for that matter) would proceed on the green metering light? Â I am not aware of any code that would open you to a violation in this particular scenario. Â That doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist however. Â That vehicle code is wicked thick, but it is primarily founded on common sense. Â With that in mind, I’d say you have two options:
1. Play it safe. Â Let the other car and the bike carry on and wait that extra ten seconds to make damn sure you’re not violating any laws and subject to a potentially healthy fine.
2. Take a chance. Â Obviously, you didn’t lane-split to get to the head of the line. Â If anyone would be subject to a violation, I’d figure on the motorcycle. Â The other point is that motorcycles are exempt from carpool violations, so they may be exempt from metering obligations as well.
Thanks for the question, Shasta!
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