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Letters: Divided on lane splitters

January 25, 2013

Re "On 2 wheels, it's open road," Column, Jan. 19

In his justification for motorcycle "lane splitting," Doug Smith writes as if all motorcyclists are supremely careful drivers. He ignores the numerous hazards this practice poses to automobile drivers.

If Smith wants to take his chances of becoming road kill, he might want to consider the consequences to drivers who are unable to see motorcycles in their blind spots. Motorists who end up harming lane splitters have to live the rest of their lives knowing they changed or even ended a precious life through little fault of their own.

Lawmakers must take a serious look at the number of accidents and fatalities resulting from this practice of beating traffic. Automobile drivers who weave through traffic can be cited for reckless driving; motorcyclists should suffer the same consequence to protect everyone's safety.

Lucie Bava

Cheviot Hills

Thanks to Smith for his piece. Rarely does a short column change my mind about something, but his did. I had believed lane splitting was and should be illegal, but Smith's defense of the practice was compelling.

In addition to the benefit of using unused pavement, the tandem benefits of lower fuel consumption and less air pollution are ones for which we should all be grateful. Going forward, I'll try to heed Smith's driving advice and will offer a respectful salute rather than a New York salute to lane splitters.

Dan Brooks

Santa Barbara

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