"In 2004 House Bill 3159 attempted to make lane splitting legal in the State of Washington as it is in California.

The lesson learned here is that it’s not hard to get a House Bill on the docket, but without the support of groups like the Washington Road Riders Association, the AMA, ABATE or other legal beagles watch-dogging the bill through the house, nothing will happen. Many a great bill has died a quick death on the floor and this one will, again, most likely do the same.

It appears a body of local major motorcycle safety experts in the state are interested in seeing such a bill pass, but not under the current language proposed, which is similar to the California language.

Instead the the body plans an approach which will take more time than available to get it through the house in 2005. But look for the bill to come again big time in 2006. In order to make that happen the body will write more acceptable language for a new bill, rally not only members of the house, but also the State Patrol, so that when the bill is officially introduced it will have a fighting chance of becoming reality. This is how to do a bill right.

The 2006 bill will carry the language of being a ‘Lane Sharing’ bill rather than lane splitting. Passing such a bill is just the beginning. The most critical part of a win will be to educate the public that motorcycles moving between and sharing lanes of traffic during congestion with autos is perfectly legal. In a state where road rage is ever present, the media machine will have to roll big time in an effort to ward off the otherwise ensuing insanity of the road rage public."

Tom Mehren-SoundRider