Motorcycle riders score big victory
By Andy Nguyen (andy@theacorn.com)
The Simi Valley Acorn
September 23, 2016

DOING THE RIGHT THING—Research has shown that lane-splitting at moderate speeds is safer for motorcyclists than riding behind a vehicle.

DOING THE RIGHT THING—Research has shown that lane-splitting at moderate speeds is safer for motorcyclists than riding behind a vehicle.California is the first state in the nation to legalize lanesplitting, a controversial practice by motorcyclists that advocates say decreases the likelihood of a fatal accident.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 51 into law last month, spelling out the do’s and don’ts of lane-splitting in the California Vehicle Code.

Lane-splitting involves “driving a motorcycle . . . that has two wheels in contact with the ground, between rows of stopped or moving vehicles in the same lane, including on both divided and undivided streets, roads or highways.”

Previously, the practice was considered neither legal nor illegal and was accepted by both riders and law enforcement.

Thousand Oaks resident Chuck Pedersen is the legislative affairs director for the California chapter of the American Brotherhood Aimed Towards Education, an organization dedicated to protecting the freedom of motorcyclists on the road.

Pedersen lauds the passage of the bill and is glad there’s finally a law that says lane-splitting is OK.

“We would get road rage sometimes when we’re doing this and people don’t understand why we’re doing this,” Pedersen said. “I’ve had a situation where I was on the 5 Freeway in Hollywood and a guy tried to force me into a semi-tractor trailer.”

The longtime motorcycle rider said lane-splitting isn’t only about saving time.

“It’s now our right of way,” Pedersen said. “Now, when these accidents occur . . . we expect the insurance companies to look at police reports and say that it was the driver’s fault and not the motorcyclist’s.”

A study conducted by UC Berkeley’s Safe Transportation Researchand Education Center in 2014 found lane-splitting at moderate speeds was safer for motorcyclists than riding behind a vehicle. Lane-splitting would help reduce the risk of rear-end collisions, the study said.

With the new law, the California Highway Patrol is now working with the Department of Motor Vehicles, Department of Transportation and Office of Traffic Safety to establish a set of guidelines for lane-splitting.

Motorcycle safety experts will also be consulted.

Pedersen said he hopes the new legislation is a precursor to the legalization of lane-splitting by other states, especially neighboring Arizona and Nevada where bikers like to lane-split because they must endure triple-digit temperatures while stuck in traffic.

“This bill has a lot more potential than we can see right now today,” he said.

Until the new guidelines are set, motorcyclists are being asked to do as they did before the law and exercise their best judgment while riding in traffic.

“If we feel someone is lanesplitting and it’s unsafe and we’re able to articulate that, then we can cite them,” CHP Officer Gregg Musgrove said. “It just clarifies everything.”

In his experience, Musgrove said, motorcycle riders generally have proven to be respectful of other drivers when lane-splitting.

“You can’t live in Southern California and be on a freeway without lane-splitting,” the officer said.


10/01/2016
8:00 am to 6:00 pm

Annual Hogfest BBQ
combined with the first David Higgins memorial Poker Run

 

Editorial from the Simi Valley Acorn

 The number of registered motorcyclists in California continues to grow at a steady pace, and anybody who’s ever driven a street bike, a sport bike or a cruiser knows the flat-out thrill that goes along with it. Revving up and hitting the open road brings an utter exhilaration that’s hard to describe.

Problem is, much of the motorcycling that’s done in Southern California occurs on crowded freeways where riders can feel claustrophobic. It can be dangerously hot on the asphalt, too, and riders want to get through the whole mess as quickly as possible.

Stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic, our intrepid two-wheel pilots often try to scoot around it, but they can’t unless they resort to the practice known as lane-splitting.

Last month, motorcycle lane-splitting officially became part of theCalifornia Vehicle Code thanks to an Assembly bill signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The bike that comes within inches of ripping off your side-view mirror during slow-and-go traffic can now do so under cover of the law—and as dangers lurk, we hope bikers take their newfound freedom seriously.

From an insurance standpoint, a rider who lane-splits and gets involved in an accident is no longer automatically considered guilty. That seems only fair.

So is the newly approved, free-wheeling practice good or bad?

It depends on whom you ask.

A 2014 study conducted by UC Berkeley’s Safe Transportation Research and Education Center found lane-splitting at moderate speeds was safer for motorcyclists than riding behind a vehicle. Lane-splitting would help reduce the risk of rear-end collisions, the study said.

But common sense tells us that motorcyclists put themselves at risk when they zip ahead between cars. Many riders do it while going too fast, which reduces reaction time for both them and their fourwheel counterparts only inches away. We’re in favor of lane-splitting as long as riders are judicious and safe. Unfortunately, many are not.

As motorists, we should never try to thwart lane-splitting by intentionally swerving to the middle. That’s rude and it’s dangerous.

At the same time, motorcyclists are advised not to lane-split unless traffic is truly congested. Riders who feel compelled to split lanes even when traffic is moving swiftly are flaunting their ability and thumbing their nose at the less agile cars and trucks.

As traffic continues to increase on the 118, 23 and 101 freeways across the eastern county, everyone should drive safely—and ride safely, too.


10/01/2016
8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Warrior Heart Poker Run To Benefit Drew (Nick) Mendes  HFOT recipient.  Registration Begins at 8 am

(Photo by Lucas Carter)

Legacy Run tops $1 million for 3rd straight year

The American Legion Riders have done it again.

For the third straight year The American Legion Legacy Run has raised more than $1 million in scholarship money for the children of fallen military personnel and disabled veterans.

The 11th annual charity motorcycle ride, sponsored by USAA, raised $1,155,363 for The American Legion Legacy Fund. The Legacy Fund provides college money for the children of U.S. military personnel killed on active duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001, as well as the children of post-9/11 veterans with a VA disability rating of 50-percent or higher.

“Words can’t describe how proud I am,” said Bob Sussan, chairman of The American Legion Riders Advisory Committee and chief road captain for the Legacy Run. “It’s hard work, but these are the fruits of our labor. It’s because of the dedication to the kids.”

Nearly 300 Legion Riders and their passengers left Indianapolis on Aug. 21 and traveled 1,300 miles through seven states in five days – traveling through Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia before ending up outside of Cincinnati. More than $555,000 was raised before or along the ride, while another $600,000 was donated Aug. 30 on the floor of The American Legion National Convention in Cincinnati.

The Minnesota American Legion donated $148,367 in Cincinnati, while the Missouri American Legion contributed $90,834. Additional donations came from the Florida American Legion ($72,480), the South Carolina American Legion ($53,400) and the Wisconsin American Legion ($48,000).

Gold Star father Dan McLaughlin took part in the Legacy Run for the second straight year. Sussan said having McLaughlin with the Riders makes the five days even more special. “He sees why we ride, and I think it blows him away,” Sussan said. “He witnesses the esprit-de-corps, dedication and commitment to the kids. Those things are what make this worthwhile to all of us.”

In 11 years, the Legacy Run has raised more than $7 million for the scholarship program.


10/08/2016
8:30 am to 3:00 pm

SAVE THE DATE! Saturday Oct 8

American Legion Riders Chapter #111 (Sonoma County) will have their 7th Annual Fallen Warrior Memorial Ride and BBQ Saturday October 8, 2016.

This year we honor US Army Pfc Caesar Viglienzone, KIA 1 Feb 2006 in Iraq.

Caesar Viglienzone was born in Hawaii while his father was serving in the US Navy and moved to Santa Rosa at age 9. He enjoyed Sonoma County Life: canoeing, abalone diving, BMX riding, skate boarding, playing drums, harmonica and guitar. After High School he enlisted in the US Army and was assigned to 101st Airborne and deployed to Iraq. Caesar was KIA by an IED Feb 1, 2006 along with two other soldiers in the vehicle.

Check-In: Cafe Noto 650 McCelland, Windsor Town Green

(Windsor is just North of Santa Rosa on Hwy 101)

Registration: Starts 8:30am
Ride Departs: 9:30am
2 hr Hour Scenic Ride in Beautiful Sonoma County
$20 Rider, $10 Passenger
Tri-Tip BBQ: Villa Chanticleer Picnic Groun

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10/01/2016
8:00 am to 6:00 pm

Annual Hogfest BBQ
combined with the first David Higgins memorial Poker Run

 


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10/01/2016
8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Warrior Heart Poker Run To Benefit Drew (Nick) Mendes  HFOT recipient.  Registration Begins at 8 am


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10/01/2016
8:30 am to 4:00 pm


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10/08/2016
8:30 am to 3:00 pm

SAVE THE DATE! Saturday Oct 8

American Legion Riders Chapter #111 (Sonoma County) will have their 7th Annual Fallen Warrior Memorial Ride and BBQ Saturday October 8, 2016.

This year we honor US Army Pfc Caesar Viglienzone, KIA 1 Feb 2006 in Iraq.

Caesar Viglienzone was born in Hawaii while his father was serving in the US Navy and moved to Santa Rosa at age 9. He enjoyed Sonoma County Life: canoeing, abalone diving, BMX riding, skate boarding, playing drums, harmonica and guitar. After High School he enlisted in the US Army and was assigned to 101st Airborne and deployed to Iraq. Caesar was KIA by an IED Feb 1, 2006 along with two other soldiers in the vehicle.

Check-In: Cafe Noto 650 McCelland, Windsor Town Green

(Windsor is just North of Santa Rosa on Hwy 101)

Registration: Starts 8:30am
Ride Departs: 9:30am
2 hr Hour Scenic Ride in Beautiful Sonoma County
$20 Rider, $10 Passenger
Tri-Tip BBQ: Villa Chanticleer Picnic Groun
Read more

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