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Is lane splitting morally acceptable?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by smileedude, Mar 31, 2015.

  1. So carrying on from the is lane splitting dangerous thread I thought I would pose a question on ethics.

    With lane filtering I feel ethically obliged to do so. When I filter to the front of the queue both I and the vehicle begin at the same time. Due to my acceleration capabilities I pose no loss of time to those between the beginning of the queue and those where I started filtering from, while those behind gain time because there is a net loss of 1 vehicle to wait for. I reduce travel time for everyone behind me and offer a net gain for society as well as offering myself real gains on time. Its win win.

    However with lane splitting I no longer pose this benefit. If I'm passing moving cars I am now splitting to a point to which the traffic starts moving at a speed I am no longer comfortable splitting and then I reenter traffic. At this point the vehicle behind me slows down to accommodate me costing them and every vehicle between there and where I begun splitting 1 vehicles wait in travel time. Here I have no longer benefited society but taken from it for my own benefit.

    Now this doesn't stop me from splitting but I thought I'd put it up for discussion. I argue that my net benefit offered from filtering more than makes up for my net takes from splitting. Then again I spend a lot of time splitting, I split for about half my commute every day.

    • Agree Agree x 1
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  2. Everyone would do it if they could. There's nothing wrong with taking full advantage of the traits of your chosen vehicle (within the parameters of your own risk appetite).

    If we wanted to be 'fair', we'd force car drivers to open their windows in winter and turn off their air conditioning in summer. We've sacrificed comfort and relative safety for speed, agility and compactness. Use them to your heart's content. If you want to talk about net cost to society, let's talk about how much space cars take up and how much they contribute to congestion.
    • Agree Agree x 12
  3. #3 smileedude, Mar 31, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
    It seems I've unwittingly started a thread on free market economics verse socialism.

    While also demonstrating the major flaw in socialism in that whilst I think like a socialist I act in the sense of a free market.

    Nobody tag ogdenogden
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  4. ^^^ agreed with the above, simply riding a motorcycle means we are ahead of anyone driving a car alone regarding ethics.

    As for the effect of splitting and rejoining traffic, yes it probably causes a little chain reaction. In fact 1km back down the road, it probably causes people to come to a stand still. But that's because people are idiots. And serves them right, they should be riding a motorbike :p
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  5. Is the solution to this dilemma to only filter from / to positions that would not slow other traffic? For example, only filter if you're likely to get to the front before the light turns green? Net gain to both you and the traffic, whereas if you didn't filter, you've only passed up an opportunity to make a positive gain without actually inconveniencing anyone else and therefore causing a negative effect.

    For what its worth, my bike is narrow & I'm inclined to exploit that. (y)
  6. the only real delay I see the car getting is if you weren't to filter to the front at the next red... if you're worried about it, you shouldn't be.. I neither filter nor split, but I'm happy for others to do so... you're small and the 'delay' is only what others make of it, if they're incapable of accepting a loss of `2m, they should seek treatment.... or further training.
  7. If you were in a car you would be permanently in the lane......

    Would it be ethical to be in a car and move over so a bike couldn't get through?

    Would it ethical to be in a car and sit a foot of the back of a bike because they have passed you and moved into your lane?

    No, of course not.

    Would it be ethical to stop them and drag them out of the car for this behavior or for being on the phone and give them a 'good talking to' and leave them on the side of the road?


  8. 1 car space isn't going to make a difference in their time. It's going to happen anyway with impatient drivers trying to get to the quicker lane. But unfortunately people don't think like that. "We want results now. If I can get to work 5 seconds faster it's worth cutting that old lady off."
    Or you could be providing a service to them by lane splitting the whole way then merging when the speed they reached has matched yours hence them never having to slow down and cause a chain reaction
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Every person you pass when splitting is a 1 car space for 1 car space swap. You pass 100 vehicles you gain 100 car spaces, costing them each one. I don't think that's technically any better than taking 100 car spaces off a single car (say by fronting into a spot in a car someone was reversing into).
  10. Your socialist perspective only holds water if everyone enters the system from the same base of virtue, ie at zero net social cost. The very presence of a car in traffic contributes more to the congestion than a motorbike, so there's no point agonising about inconveniencing a lane of cars in traffic when it's the presence of the cars that caused the traffic to begin with.

    Also, if you're so worried about the social cost of your re-entry into the traffic flow, then wasn't your initial departure from the traffic flow (ie when you started to split) a social good? It looks like a wash to me.
    • Agree Agree x 3
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  11. Well I often forget I'm not on a bike and whilst driving I'll try and filter/split. It gets pretty scary sometimes. Or I'll forget I'm on a bike and just wait there.
    I am my own problem
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  12. Top marks.
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  13. If you filter after splitting and before the traffic gets to an intersection or traffic light, you negate the disadvantage you imposed by splitting.
    The space you took up they can have straight back the second you commence filtering. Therefore if you split until the traffic slows then filter there is no loss to any driver and the cars behind you originally, retain their gain. Everybody wins and that is why God invented filtering, because it's good for people.


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  14. I know Moses came forth in his Triumph, but what did God ride?
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  15. in the side car.
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  16. A beautiful Italian
  17. "And God said unto Moses ... SMOKE THIS FOOL!"
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  18. I can't believe that you would ask such a heretical question, SmileyBloke! Letting us in (and being temporarily delayed for a moment) is the least that they could do in return for the enormous public service that we perform! How could you think of questioning this fine, noble, and utterly selfless action that we do for the benefit for all other motorists? ;)
  19. God rode whatever and whomever he wanted ;)
  20. Fourth? Who was on the podium?
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