MD filtering (lane splitting) bill hearing 28 Feb 2019

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MD filtering (lane splitting) bill hearing 28 Feb 2019

Postby tatort » Thu Feb 21, 2019 2:57 pm

shamelessly taken from an AMA bulletin:

Lane-splitting bill hearing scheduled Feb 28!

Contact your delegates today!

State Delegate Kathy Szeliga (R-7th) has introduced a bill that would allow lane splitting in Maryland, as well as require state agencies to create guidelines for safe lane splitting and how to incorporate the practice into rider education.

Szeliga's H.B. 917 has bill has been referred to the House Environment and Transportation Committee and has been scheduled for a hearing at 1p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28.

This is the first time a lane splitting bill has been introduced in Maryland, so it is critical for legislators to hear from motorcyclists about the practice and why it makes riding safer and reduces congestion for other road users.

Send your state delegate a message supporting H.B. 917 before next week's hearing!

Take Action: ... MyVlg&lp=0

Read the AMA's lane splitting position statement here: ... plitting-1
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Re: MD filtering (lane splitting) bill hearing 28 Feb 2019

Postby thanatos1224 » Sat Feb 23, 2019 11:16 am

Gertrude's back end is way too wide for splitting a lane. I guess I would have to run without the panniers. Too bad Va is not looking into this too as it would be awesome on the beltway and I-66 traffic.
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Re: MD filtering (lane splitting) bill hearing 28 Feb 2019

Postby higdon » Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:57 pm

There was a hearing on this bill last Thursday, February 28. A video of the hearing is here:

The relevant clip begins at 3:06:48 and continues for half an hour. Delegate Kathy Szeliga (Baltimore), a rider herself, is the sponsor of the bill. She appeared with the AMA government affairs rep and two citizens, one from ABATE. The visual used to introduce the committee members to the legislative proposal was typical "death by PowerPoint." Mark Twain used to tell prospective lecturers that they should, before doing their show-and-tell in a public forum, first give the proposed talk to a dog. It was clear that Del. Szeliga's staff had not taken that advice. The presentation did improve dramatically with the brief statements by the AMA rep and a quite knowledgeable citizen-biker.

There were half a dozen questions from committee members. Most were at least neutral. The concern, naturally, was safety: This looks bad, so therefore it must be. The proponents did, I thought, as good a job as possible at responding positively and effectively to questions of that sort.

I spoke to Del. Szeliga's office this morning and asked about the disposition of the bill. I was advised that it had not been put to a vote by the committee but, upon the discretion of the chairman, placed "in a drawer." This apparently a term of art that is roughly equivalent to consigning proposals to limbo. For all practical purposes, HB 917 is dead for this session. I questioned whether that was better than having it put to a vote and defeated by an overwhelming majority. Even that is not clear. But Del. Szeliga is sincerely behind this and intends to keep trying to advance it. Similar bills are pending this year in six or more other states.

My own take on this is somewhat darker. This committee is currently chaired by Del. Kumar Barve whose district is in Rockville/Gaithersburg. I remember this guy from 1991-1992 when he was one of the few votes in the Maryland House to force motorcyclists to purchase catastrophic health insurance. I remember being so angry at such irresponsibility on the part of an elected official that I considered making it my life's work to see that his first term in the House would be his last. Unfortunately, I forgot about him. But here he is again, like Banquo's ghost, and in a position of real power now. I didn't talk about about Barve's attitude toward bikes with Del. Szeliga's receptionist, but I sincerely doubt this particular leopard has changed his spots in the intervening years.

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Re: MD filtering (lane splitting) bill hearing 28 Feb 2019

Postby eap » Fri Mar 08, 2019 2:28 pm

Thanks for the follow up!
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Re: MD filtering (lane splitting) bill hearing 28 Feb 2019

Postby phil.ager » Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:17 am

FWIW, I too contacted Delegate Kathy Szeliga's office to express my support for her effort to legalize lane-splitting!

I knew it would not fly; progress is slow when it comes to laws dealing with traffic & motorcycles. #-o Better luck next session.

David: me & Karen have both lane split in Europe & in CAL traffic. This included fully loaded and expanded saddlebags (which actually are Not Much Wider than a GS's handlebars... Everywhere it's Legal and everywhere we've done it, the traffic has been crawling in congestion and the cars actually separate themselves (somewhat) when they see bikes approaching in their sideview mirrors. {In CAL this is allowed only between the "Fast" lane and the next one over; they do it everywhere in Italy & France including break-down lanes.} We also rode with caution because we're not very confident or fully trustworthy, and we rode with our emergency flashers on (not to mention Skeen LED lites flickering there in California after sunset in 2017 when there were fires in the valley leading to Yorba Linda). It saved us tons of time, and out there, the people are "mostly supportive" of Lane Splitting. There's always a jerk here & there - you just have to be ALERT... I hope MD will eventually be the second state to Legalize the practice!!! [-o<

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Re: MD filtering (lane splitting) bill hearing 28 Feb 2019

Postby thanatos1224 » Sat Mar 16, 2019 12:53 pm

"placed in a drawer" politicians .... Thanks for following on this as just yesterday when I was sitting in a 6 mile back up due to a three-car around 50 exit on I-66. I thought how nice it would have been to ride between all these parked cars and get on with my day. Cheers

P.S. Hey Sun Devils...
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