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Discussion Starter #1
Two questions for you all:

1 – Will I get a ticket?
2 – Do I have a viable defense?

Here’s what happened.

I was driving west on Red Auerbach Way today. Traffic was backed up from point B on the map below to past point A. Auerback Way has no lane markings at all. Starting at point A vehicles jostle for position so that they are where they want to be at point B (traffic lights). If there is a truck carrying steel or concrete pipes, the truck will take the entire right half of the road and traffic will pass on the left. When it stops at the lights at point B the truck is the only vehicle that can fit in the road. Otherwise typically two cars can fit at the lights.

As I came around point A on the map I could clearly see that there was plenty of room between the two columns of cars leading up to the lights. From point A to point B there were approximately 25 cars in each column.

Since there are no lane markings, I decided to ride in the space between the two columns and did so at less than 15 mph. There was plenty of room to ride. I have thought of this before and felt since there were no lane markings, “lanes” have been determined by the size of the vehicles in the road. Truck? One “lane”. Cars? Two "lanes". Cars and a motorcycle? Why not three "lanes"?

About half way to the light I passed a Mass State police car on my left. I didn’t realize he was there until I was next to him. I kept going. I know he had his blue lights on but I’m not sure if he turned them on when he saw me coming or already had them on. Regardless I kept moving, passed another 10-15 cars and came up to the traffic light. The light turned green, I went as did about 5 other cars until the light turned red and the state cop was stuck at the light.

There’s a chance that he grabbed my plate number but I kind of guess that as soon as I passed the next car my plate was hidden and he may not have had a chance to read it. But assuming he did, what are the chances of getting a ticket?

Also, does my defense work? No lanes so technically I wasn’t lane splitting.

Some sections of the traffic laws in Massachusetts:

"Section 4A. When any way has been divided into lanes, the driver of a vehicle shall so drive that the vehicle shall be entirely within a single lane, and he shall not move from the lane in which he is driving until he has first ascertained if such movement can be made with safety. The operators of motorcycles shall not ride abreast of more than one other motorcycle, shall ride single file when passing, and shall not pass any other motor vehicle within the same lane, except another motorcycle.”

So what this tells me is that I can’t pass another vehicle in the same lane “when any way has been divided into lanes”. Otherwise, it’s OK?

“The driver of a vehicle may, if the roadway is free from obstruction and of sufficient width for two or more lines of moving vehicles, overtake and pass upon the right of another vehicle when the vehicle overtaken is (a) making or about to make a left turn, (b) upon a one-way street, or (c) upon any roadway on which traffic is restricted to one direction of movement.”

This says I can pass on the right if the roadway is “of sufficient width for two or more lines of moving vehicles” and moving in the same direction.

Now I recognize that (a) the cop can be an a-hole for any reason and (b) cagers of any stripe don’t like seeing motorcycles pass them in traffic so for either of those reasons I could get a ticket.

What do you think?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
One thing to add. If you search for this location on google, the earth map that you get clearly shows lane markings. Let me be clear... there are no lane markings on the street now. The street was dug up and patched but lane markings were never replaced.
 

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Who knows...

Remember that police officers are not absolute experts on the law.. they have to enforce it, but are not lawyers so they can interpret things incorrectly at times. If he got your plate and chooses to pursue it, you may receive a ticket I suppose. If what you posted above is accurate and you take it before a judge, he/she may throw it out. I'm certainly no expert, but that's my take.
 

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"Section 4A. When any way has been divided into lanes, the driver of a vehicle shall so drive that the vehicle shall be entirely within a single lane, and he shall not move from the lane in which he is driving until he has first ascertained if such movement can be made with safety. The operators of motorcycles shall not ride abreast of more than one other motorcycle, shall ride single file when passing, and shall not pass any other motor vehicle within the same lane, except another motorcycle.”
“The driver of a vehicle may, if the roadway is free from obstruction and of sufficient width for two or more lines of moving vehicles, overtake and pass upon the right of another vehicle when the vehicle overtaken is (a) making or about to make a left turn, (b) upon a one-way street, or (c) upon any roadway on which traffic is restricted to one direction of movement.”

This says I can pass on the right if the roadway is “of sufficient width for two or more lines of moving vehicles” and moving in the same direction.
Better read that again. You passed the cop on the right, it was not a one way street, not restricted to traffic in one direction and the cop was not making a left hand turn. He has you dead to rights if he got your plate number. If it is like most places he could just review the tape in his front facing camera to get your plate number. Good luck.
 

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another thing is that the only state in the US that allows lane splitting or filtering is California, so by riding between the cars he can ticket you...
 

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Will you get a ticket? It's hard to tell, but probably not. My guess is that they will just let it go unless they are very bored.

Do you have a defense? Unless they got a good look at your face or have your face on camera, you can always claim you have no recollection who was riding your motorcycle that day, but you are certain it wasn't you. (I would consult a lawyer before using that defense)
 

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^^^ That would be my guess.

Or, I left my bike with some friends that day to work on it. It could have been any one of several people that was out test riding it. I don't know who was on it and it's not up to me to prove the state's case and find out.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Better read that again. You passed the cop on the right, it was not a one way street, not restricted to traffic in one direction and the cop was not making a left hand turn. He has you dead to rights if he got your plate number. If it is like most places he could just review the tape in his front facing camera to get your plate number. Good luck.
It actually IS a one-way street. Nashua Street on the other side is the one-way street going in the opposite direction and the two are separated by a meridian. So it IS permissible to pass on the right.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
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The two lanes of traffic defined the right of way as "two" lanes. Therefore you were not in a lane and not allowed to pass.

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What constitutes "two lanes of traffic"? The fact that there were two cars side by side? Without markings I think you are saying the width of the vehicles on the road determine the number of "lanes". If that is the case, three vehicles would create three lanes, which is my argument.
 

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One thing to add. If you search for this location on google, the earth map that you get clearly shows lane markings. Let me be clear... there are no lane markings on the street now. The street was dug up and patched but lane markings were never replaced.
Sooo, how many marked lanes USED to be painted on those roadways?

Here too we have quite a few "single lane" designated roads but because they are older roads they are rather wide, and yup at intersections it isn't unusual to see TWO rows of cars stacking up at the light in one lane. Left one turning left and the right one going straight or turning right. Sometimes there even seems to be enough space between those 2 rows for a motorcycle to squeeze between, but clearly that would be frowned upon by a cop (if he saw you doing it)

But "ignorance can be bliss" and if they're too slow in repainting the lane markings after the road construction then you might have a foothold from which to fight a ticket. Don't be surprised if you lose the fight though.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Sooo, how many marked lanes USED to be painted on those roadways?

Here too we have quite a few "single lane" designated roads but because they are older roads they are rather wide, and yup at intersections it isn't unusual to see TWO rows of cars stacking up at the light in one lane. Left one turning left and the right one going straight or turning right. Sometimes there even seems to be enough space between those 2 rows for a motorcycle to squeeze between, but clearly that would be frowned upon by a cop (if he saw you doing it)

But "ignorance can be bliss" and if they're too slow in repainting the lane markings after the road construction then you might have a foothold from which to fight a ticket. Don't be surprised if you lose the fight though.
As long as I can remember there have been no painted lanes on this road. It is one of many ways I drive home so I can't say for sure. Google earth shows painted lanes however I can tell you that as of yesterday that entire stretch of roadway has no painted lanes.
 

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It probably wouldn't hurt to go out and take some pictures of the area before they get some lines painted. (Preferably without two lines of traffic in the picture)
 

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Personally, I would be more concerned with an evading charge than a ticket for improper lane usage. If the siren didn't start up, he probably wasn't too concerned about stopping you and just gave up.
 

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Personally, I would be more concerned with an evading charge than a ticket for improper lane usage. If the siren didn't start up, he probably wasn't too concerned about stopping you and just gave up.
Because there's hospitals in the area I've seen ambulances drive up this street in the middle with cars moving to each side. If he really wanted to chase me he could have done that. But since he really didn't attempt to do that, plus I was stopped at the light (and the next light), he could have caught up if he really wanted to. I don't think evading is in the picture.
 

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lines painted on the road or not, riding between two rows of cars driving (or even stopped at the light) down the road is filtering/lane splitting no matter how you want to look at it, and unless you are in California, it's illegal
 

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What constitutes "two lanes of traffic"? The fact that there were two cars side by side? Without markings I think you are saying the width of the vehicles on the road determine the number of "lanes". If that is the case, three vehicles would create three lanes, which is my argument.
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Arguments that a judge might use could include: Based on the map showing the road morphing into two continuous lanes, there are two lanes of traffic. Based on the position of the cars, there were two lanes of traffic. In addition, you may not have signalled for 100' before changing lanes.

Because other drivers occasionally make three lanes or one big lane is based on exact circumstances. Your arbitrary movement was entirely of your own choosing.

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