Lane splitting: an occurrence more common in Malaysia than it is in many parts of the developed world, that involves motorcyclists that split themselves between two lanes amidst heavy traffic situations.
In Malaysia, it is normal practice for a motorcyclist to split a lane, especially when the roads are jammed up – that itself is a major appeal of riding a bike here. In many parts of the United States, for example, the practice of it has been outlawed, dubbed illegal for the danger it poses to bike riders themselves.
Why? Well, here’s a video that makes for one good example.
Locally, the debate continues, although no legal action has been taken against the act, maybe because as Malaysians, we love to share: share our food, share our things, share our space, whatever. Or at least the idea of it.
It is particularly annoying, though, when a motorcyclist doesn’t feel the need to share the same courtesy with a car looking to change lanes, despite signalling way in advance. Poor form? Right on.
Even more so, when a motorcyclist endlessly honks whilst lane splitting to traffic, just to prevent anyone driving from even thinking about switching lanes – hey, cars pay for their right to be on the road too. Car drivers themselves should equally remember that a motorcyclist isn't as protected from the environment as they are sitting in a cosy cabin and shaded from the elements. No harm in letting a few motorcyclists go by and waiting for a convenient time to make your lane change.
But why do some foreign authorities ban in it their states, then? If you haven’t noticed, it just isn’t the safest thing you can do – something again, is demonstrated by the video above.
So, while lane-splitting hasn’t been outlawed in Malaysia, here’s a gentle reminder to be a lot more careful on the road, and do try to remember that sharing Malaysian attitude while you can.