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Old 03-06-2006, 10:29 PM   #1
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Thumbs up *The definitive laneSHARING thread*

I know, I know, we have been over this topic 100,000,001 times (actually that would be a conservative estimate), but apparently, there are people getting their training wheels off each day and fresh n00bs are entering the pond on a regular basis. So, I got this PM and I figured I'd go ahead and start a DEFINITIVE LANSHARING thread in this forum where we can link all of the facts, rumors, innuendo, the MY BROTHER TOLD ME stories and such.

Please, please try to keep this thread on the topic of lanesharing (for those that missed it, I have stopped referring to it as spl!tt!ng and anyplace you see spl!tt!ng referenced, it is a quote, and not from me, or it is out of habit and I slipped up) as I am hoping we can try to keep this topic and the legalities involved all in one neat little basket for reference and those that stumble upon the LEO forum looking for "just the facts" so we don't have to re-invent the wheel

For those that don't know, I am a huge proponent of lanesharing and it is worth noting that some states that have previously BANNED the practice are now considering making it LEGAL to help relieve heavy traffic and congestion, meanwhile one P.O.S. CA legislator is trying to outlaw it here (see link below).

That said, here we go!

Quote:
Undisclosed Author wrote on 03-06-2006 06:48 PM:
Hey bud,
I was wondering if you could help me out. I'm having a discussion on another board about the legality of lanesharing in CA. I've tried searching the VC for the codes that pertain to it but am coming up short. Can you shoot me in the right direction?

Thanks for any info.
The simple answer is.. if someone says it is illegal, please ask them to show you where it says lanesharing is prohibited, outlawed or even discouraged in the vehicle code.

It's not.

There is a law prohibiting lane straddling, that is 21658(a) CVC. This is one law commonly cited when people are riding the bots-dots and are effectively occupying both lanes simultaneously and the citing officer feels their actions were unsafe. Other sections commonly cited are unsafe passing, unsafe speed, following too closely, failure to signal lane change and a few others, all as applicable. I am not saying lanesharing cannot be done unsafely, I'm just saying that when it is done safely, it is 100% legal in CA.

Many states have laws specifically outlawing the practice and describing it exactly. In CA, they tried to pass such a law (waaaay before my time) and the CHP came out against it as well as the AMA. The reason the CHP protested the legislation, or so I am told, is because they rode air-cooled Harleys and most everyone at that time was on air-cooled bikes (Harley's/Indians, BSA's and the like). The wide and relatively new freeways of LA were becoming jammed up and the police found lanesharing a safe and easy way to get around quickly and easily. I am told, for that reason, it has remained unregulated and therefore lawful in CA.

When done safely, lanesharing (or filtering, as it is called in Europe) is a traffic reducer, assuming all of those bikes would represent more cars and trucks, immobilized in gridlocked traffic. Allowing traffic to flow safely between stopped or slowed vehicles make sense.

I copied this (below) from an informational website and it sums it all up pretty well. There are also a couple of other threads on this topic and a link to laneshare.org (see links below) with lots more information.

Meanwhile, grab a bag of Fritos and enjoy this:

Is lane-sharing legal?
Here's the text (verbatim) from the CHP's site: "Lane splitting by motorcycles is permissible under California law but must done in a safe and prudent manner." The text used to also include "The motorcycle should be traveling no more than 10 mph faster than surrounding traffic (without exceeding the speed limit) and not come close enough to that traffic to cause a collision." but has since been removed. Perhaps they wanted to give cops more latitude to interpret what they thought was safe so they removed it.

Lane sharing on surface streets is probably not addressed in city or county laws so I would do this with caution, as individual cops will decide whether or not they like what they see. As with most prudent riders, I share lanes as necessary on surface streets if I don't see any cops, but I stop immediately if I spot one.

You can also find more on lane-splitting in the DMV Motorcycle handbook (see page 20 in the current handbook).

Can I laneshare to the front of a metered onramp?
In the magazine "Friction Zone," a reader asked "Is it legal to lane split to a metering light? In some areas there are two to three lanes when taking the onramp to the freeway. I normally laneshare right up to the limit line, come to a complete stop, and proceed at the same time (but at a lower speed) as the car I am sharing the lane with and then move in behind him. Am I doing anything wrong?"

The answer from Sergeant Price: "Splitting traffic is not specifically addressed in the California Vehicle Code. However, nothing prevents two vehicles from sharing the same traffic lane until it becomes unsafe. Therefore, you can split traffic on an onramp to advance to the front. However, once at the front of the line, there are usually regulatory signs that limit the number of vehicles allowed to enter the freeway on each successive green light. Usually these signs state "One vehicle per green each lane" or "Two (or three) vehicles per green each lane."

"In the first scenario, this means if there are two metered lanes for traffic, then only one vehicle from each lane may enter the freeway when the light turns green. A motorcycle sharing a lane with another vehicle is in violation of the posted provisions of the sign.

"In the second scenario a motorcyclist would not be in violation of the provisions of the sign since he would be sharing the lane with another vehicle and more than one is allowed for each lane. Be sure to read the signs in your area."

Also see:
http://www.laneshare.org

Lanesharing/Passing Question: http://www.bayarearidersforum.com/fo...ht=lanesharing

Lanesplitting Law: http://www.bayarearidersforum.com/fo...hreadid=148399

The future of lanesharing: http://www.bayarearidersforum.com/fo...ht=lanesharing

Senator Lowenthal's Proposed Legislation to outlaw lanesharing in CA: http://www.bayarearidersforum.com/fo...ht=lanesharing

You can also search "lanesharing" and/or "lanesplitting" in BARF and Google for more information. If you do find something worthwhile, please reply to this thread and add it here!
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Old 03-06-2006, 11:28 PM   #2
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Thanks for a very thorough and thought out description on lane sharing. I know far to many riders that abuse or missuse this practice. I am also aware that there are certain speeds where lane sharing is and is not permitted. Maybe not written, but, motor cops use as a "guide". What is your take on the speed issue?
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Old 03-07-2006, 09:45 AM   #3
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Is lanesharing legal on single lane highways?
my question relates specifically to the 80 west flyover to the bridge, it's an HOV single lane flyover(ramp) from the far left of 80 westbound just at the 580/880 split.

thanks in advance
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Old 03-07-2006, 10:04 AM   #4
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A lot of people think that you can't share on one-lane roads, that you need a multi-lane highway in order to laneshare. Those are the ones who straddle the bots dots, and weave back and forth between the 1 and 2 lane without signaling
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Old 03-07-2006, 03:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by tuxumino
Is lanesharing legal on single lane highways?
my question relates specifically to the 80 west flyover to the bridge, it's an HOV single lane flyover(ramp) from the far left of 80 westbound just at the 580/880 split.
If there is room to share, you can share. One lane or multiple lanes. It is just that with one lane, you have fewer places to go if something goes wrong. Be safe, consider your skills, the bike's capabilities, the various conditions, the other driver's awareness and skills and how badly you NEED to get by them right then. Act accordingly, remember all the choices being made are not up to you and accept the consequences if you screw up.

Life is not a video game. No reset button, Save Game or "god mode." At freeway speeds, you die or maybe become a paraplegic, if you are lucky.
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Old 03-07-2006, 03:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Steve Stansb
Thanks for a very thorough and thought out description on lane sharing. I know far to many riders that abuse or missuse this practice. I am also aware that there are certain speeds where lane sharing is and is not permitted. Maybe not written, but, motor cops use as a "guide". What is your take on the speed issue?
I have heard cops say "10 over max" "20 over max" I am certain there are times 10 over is unsafe and there may be times 30 over is safe. I don't think you can put an arbitrary speed on it. It is a judgment call. There is nothing articulated in the law regarding passing speeds, it is all pretty vague, if addressed at all.

Sorry I can't be of more help.
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Old 03-07-2006, 07:51 PM   #7
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Thanks. I looked back and wasn't very clear with my question. My understanding is that lanesharing is mainly for in congested traffic and not when everyone is traveling at freeway speed or better. Some CHP motor cops let lane sharing bikes go up to 45/50mph. After that, they feel it is not warranted and is unsafe for all. Definitely not at 65/70/75mph. I was also stopped by a city motor officer after he saw me go between 3 cages, at a red light, to move up to the front. He told me that it was illegal in California to do that. I asked for the CVC or city code, which he did not give, but then, he didn't write me up either.
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Old 03-07-2006, 09:45 PM   #8
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i have a question i dont think has been covered or i may have not been able to decipher between the lines of your decription mm4l but say traffic is moving at 55 and you are in 4 lane and theres a car in front and a car in 3 blocking you in can you legaly split them even though you are not breaking the speed limit>? and doing it in a safe manner?
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Old 03-07-2006, 10:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Steve Stansb
Thanks. I looked back and wasn't very clear with my question. My understanding is that lanesharing is mainly for in congested traffic and not when everyone is traveling at freeway speed or better. Some CHP motor cops let lane sharing bikes go up to 45/50mph. After that, they feel it is not warranted and is unsafe for all. Definitely not at 65/70/75mph. I was also stopped by a city motor officer after he saw me go between 3 cages, at a red light, to move up to the front. He told me that it was illegal in California to do that. I asked for the CVC or city code, which he did not give, but then, he didn't write me up either.
Congested, uncongested, it does not matter under the law because there is no law pertaining to same. No law says it is legal and no law says it is illegal. Additionally, no law says you can/'t do it if it is/not congested.

What cops ignore, allow, warn on or stop for is based solely upon their subjective opinion as to whether the act they viewed was safe or unsafe. The burden is upon them to find an appropriate code to articulate what they felt was improper, unlawful or moreover; unsafe in those actions.

If you are cool with them and explain how you felt it was safe, or more importently, did not intend for itto be or appear unsafe, but could "learn" from their "guidance," I'm sure most cops will not work as hard to figure out what to cite you for and just give you a bit of a lecture. Unless of course, you don't want the lecture and are the type that feels officers should have no discretion (and believe it or not, there are even people here that profess to feel that way), in which case, you can let them know you don’t want the lecture, don't appreciate a warning and you will see them in court. Then you can argue your case with the judge.

Quote:
Originally posted by XXshawnXX
i have a question i dont think has been covered or i may have not been able to decipher between the lines of your decription mm4l but say traffic is moving at 55 and you are in 4 lane and theres a car in front and a car in 3 blocking you in can you legaly split them even though you are not breaking the speed limit>? and doing it in a safe manner?[/B]
No need to read between the lines. If there is room to share, you can share. You may legally share one of the lanes with one of the cars and pass them or ride along side them, as you see fit, so long as it is done in a safe manner.

If this is not clear, please start at the top and re-read the entire thread. If that doesn't help, read the associated threads.
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Old 03-08-2006, 08:24 AM   #10
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its clear i was just making sure. double checking as a matter of fact. thanks
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Old 03-08-2006, 01:29 PM   #11
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Another article someone sent me:
http://ezinearticles.com/?Lane-Split...Area&id=129144
From ezine, worth the read.

Another one... great stuff. http://www.motorcycle.com/mo/mclaw/split.html
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Old 03-09-2006, 10:36 PM   #12
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I have a few details that I would like clarification on: (Sorry I'm so wordy.)

Straddling

If I'm sharing the lane and my handlebars are hanging over the line a bit, (to keep from smacking that huge-ass SUV) is that straddling, and is that illegal? I like to ride about 12"-18" off the line while sharing. This provides good visibility ahead, but this leaves my right handlebar slightly over the line. (I want to retire my SV and get an R1200GS, but if Straddling is illegal, I may have to rethink that one.) How can you not straddle these days, with so many Super-sized vehicles on the road?


Rubbing shoulders

As I was coming into work this week on 24, there was a wreck in the middle bore of the Caldecot tunnel. This had traffic completely f**ked. As I shared lanes between 1 and 2, I witnessed some rather desperate lanesharing tactics. First this Hardley cut me off as he wrangled his Hog over to lane 1 from lane 3. Then he would slow to a snail's pace whenever he couldn't squeeze his largeness between the cars, never looking behind to see me patiently waiting for him to kindly yield the lane. Then we both came upon an even slower, more ignorant rider taking up the #1 share lane. Finally, I decided to move over to the number 3 and 4 lanes (leaving the clusterf**ck of Harleys behind.) since 1 and 2 were coming to a close soon anyway.

As I progressed on, I noticed Mr HD gave up on waiting for the slower HD to move aside, and he headed off down the left shoulder, the rest of the way to the tunnel. Meanwhile sharing the #3, next to 4, I saw another bike passing everyone on the right shoulder (instead of taking the Gateway exit-only lane where he came from). What a mess.

Last year, during the Blue Angels show, there were dozens of bikes (mostly HDs) riding the right shoulder along the Embarcadero (instead of trying to share between the cars, which would have been impossible).

I tried riding on the shoulder a couple of years back and I was ticketed by CHP for passing a Big Rig on the right shoulder at the last East-bound entrance onto the Bay Bridge. It was right where the two commute lanes merge into one. I did it safely, but crossed the right-side white line in the process. (Geez, who wants to sit behind a Big Rig there anyway?) Moto-LEO finished up citing a carpool violator and came after me. My advice is don't do that when LEO is around. :-)


Alleviating Congestion

I really appreciate the safety and extra visibility a nice big buffer between me and the vehicles ahead of me, especially at speeds over 60MPH. I like to be about 3 -4 seconds behind the vehicle ahead of me in light-fast traffic, and 2 seconds in heavy-fast traffic. Sometimes I will move up to within 1-second of a vehicle if I want to to let them know that I would like them to yield the right of way for me to pass.

Way too often in heavy-fast traffic a cager will move into my 2-second safety zone leaving me with less than a second behind him. I then have to slow down a bit to regain my safety buffer. But if I don't tighten up my buffer, I will get cut off again. Riding too close behind cars doesn't allow for the visibility necessary to avoid some road hazards, and that is unsafe. And cagers driving too close behind me can't stop before running me over in a hard braking situation. So I am stuck between a rolling rock and a hard place that wants to roll faster than the rock ahead.

Sometimes the flow of traffic is slowed by mindless drivers in the left lane, keeping pace with cars next to them. Then faster traffic approaches from behind and starts to compress behind the slower vehicle ahead, leaving me feeling venerable to the crazy cagers weaving their way between cars and tailgating at high speeds.

If I see a large gap ahead of a Clueless Cager who won't yield to compressing traffic piling up behind, I will start to devise an evasive action plan. While riding behind CC in tight formation I assess their driving behavior, and determine if they will ever yield to faster traffic. Then I determine if the traffic coming up from behind is going to pose a threat to me by tailgating. If the threat of being run over grows, I will pass the clueless cager in the #2 when there is enough clearance between cars to do so, and leave the congestion behind. While passing in the number two is not advisable, sometimes it has to be done when a pokey cager is adamant about staying in lane 1, and also to get out of an unsafe situation brewing behind. Sometimes this is done at speed grater than 60MPH, which at first glance may appear unsafe. While ordinarily not safe, I feel it is safer that getting stuffed in a pack of high-speed SUVs that can't stop for shit.

Aside from the choice of going home to Mommy and sucking my thumb, is my choice and method for passing in this situation considered illegal? What if instead of passing in the #2, I share (at 65MPH) the #1 lane with the pokey cager, in order to remove myself from the unsafe risks brewing behind? Is that illegal too?


Obviously this is a much needed thread. Thanks MM4L!
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Old 03-10-2006, 06:15 PM   #13
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Steve, Thanks for your well thought out post.

Straddling is not defined in the CVC. Station wagon, tire tread, highway, crosswalk, daylight, chop shop, amber and even business are defined, but straddle or staddling are not defined.

I get the following definition at dictionary.com:
sraddle (strad·dle) ( P ) Pronunciation Key (strdl)
v. strad·dled, strad·dling, strad·dles
To stand or sit with a leg on each side of; bestride: straddle a horse. To be on both sides of; extend over or across: a car straddling the centerline.

Like most of these types of issues, it would be up to the officer if they felt having a portion of your bike (even a mirror) extending over the lane deliniation would be considered straddling. I think it is pretty clear that in a single track vehicle, it is difficult to have contact points in both lanes unless you are traversing. But, for all intents, I could see how an officer would argue that if you were riding the bots-dots, that you are straddling the two lanes. If you are riding to the left or right of the lane deliniation, that portion that is hovering within the other lane (over the line) could strike a vehicle operating lawfully within that other lane, and therefore could be seen as straddling.

I am more of a "spirit of the law" kinda cop and I think as long as you don't strike anything in that other lane, you should be okay. The problem arrises when you do (make contact), say with a mirror or errant arm in the other lane, particularly when that mirror or arm is NOT crossing over the line and you are.

So, to answer your question; Yes, hanging over the line could be cited as straddling and could be listed as a PCF (primary collision factor) if a collision occurred.

Riding in the bicycle lane or over the fog line is a clear violation of 21755 CVC ("The driver of a motor vehicle may overtake and pass another vehicle upon the right only under conditions permitting such movement in safety. In no event shall such movement be made by driving off the paved or main-traveled portion of the roadway.")

This is one particular CVC section that can be of value in an affirmative lane sharing defense. But it is a double edged sword; If you cross over the fog line, you have driven off the roadway and are in foul territory for a 21755 violation. This issue is addressed in another thread: http://www.bayarearidersforum.com/fo...hreadid=155389

As for the strategies you listed, each case is different. You don't have control over how the CC will react, but their reaction may result in an accident while sharing. An officer will need to articulate what you did that was unsafe and equate your actions to a specific CVC section. In many cases, this is easier said than done. I have seen (and admittedly, done) many dangerous things on motorycycles. Applying the proper violation is quite a challenge.

On it's face, what you explained sounds reasonable and it is something I have done both on and off duty. That does not mean people have not been stopped for it and cited before.

If you get stopped and are able to engage the officer in a rational explaination of your reasonable actions, you should try to impress upon him/her why you felt your actions were the safest choice given the conditions and situation you had unfolding. They are probably going to say/respond that backing off would have been the safest and most reasonable solution. You will need to have some response to that besides "Yeeehaw!" or "Back off, what kind of pussy do you think I am? Back off... sheesh!"

Be careful, because what you say may come back to hurt your case, if it goes to court. Keep calling it sharing (not splitting) and stay mellow. If the officer does not have any idea what CVC section they are going to cite you for, they may be more willing to listen to you explain. If they won't let you talk/explain, don't push it, you need to understand that if they don't want to hear you explain, then there is likely nothing you can say that will help your case. What you don't want to do is get a confused and upset officer and end up talking yourself INTO a ticket by either saying too much or saying the wrong thing. Trust me, it happens all the time. Unsafe speed (for conditions, basic speed law), unsafe passing, unsafe lane change, straddling... these are the most common infraction violations cited for lanesharing. Reckless driving can be used if they can articulate 3 specific violations being committed consecutively or concurrently. Now we are talking misdemeanor territory, SR-22 and often a license suspension.

I hope this helps. If you have any further questions, please list them specifically. Remember, if you describe an act as "safe" or "done safely" then I have to assume you are saying a resonable officer witnessing the act would agree it was safe. What you feel is safe as a rider and what they may perceive are two entirely different things, especially if they are in a cage and have no Moto-experience!
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Old 03-10-2006, 09:38 PM   #14
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Thanks MotorMan. You ARE The MAN!

By the way, I was pulled over the other night night by a Lafayette LEO (where Taylor splits off from Pleasant Hill Rd. North-bound) He was very nice, and decided not to cite me after I told him why he stopped me and what the posted speed limit is through there. He appreciated my honesty and apparently has a fondness for bikes.

I have found throughout my life, that a polite, honest attitude with LEOs works wonders. Always be courteous and respectful, and you have a good chance of driving off ticket-free or at least a smaller ticket that what they could write.

One last thing. After many years of sharing experience, I don't do this anymore, but if I were to accidently bust a mirror, should I stop and offer up my insurance? If I keep on going, is that classified as a Hit-and-Run?

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Old 03-11-2006, 03:55 PM   #15
motorman4life
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In accordance with 20002 and 16025(a) CVC, you are required to provide your insurance and other information (see below)whenever there is an accident resulting in any damage, regardless of fault. Failure to stop is hit and run, if there is any damage or injury, even if it was not your fault.

You can make up prepared cards to carry with you and hand to the driver if there is damage. Stop, check for damage/injuries. Ask them if they want to provide their info (exchange) or if they agree to blow it off. "I'll fix mine, you fix yours, okay?" If you get a positive repsonse and there are no injuries, you are in the wind.

If there are no injuries and they want to exchange info, hand them a prepared card that has what is required (below) and take off before the cops get called or arrive (particulalry if it is your fault). If they choose to make a counter report, per 20015, there can be no official determination of fault (per 20015 CVC). If total damage is under $750, then no DMV (SR-1) accident report is required.


16025. (a) Every driver involved in the accident shall, unless rendered incapable, exchange with any other driver or property owner involved in the accident and present at the scene, all of the following information:
(1) Driver's name and current residence address, driver's license number, vehicle identification number, and current residence address of registered owner.
(2) Evidence of financial responsibility, as specified in Section 16020. If the financial responsibility of a person is a form of insurance, then that person shall supply the name and address of the insurance company and the number of the insurance policy.
(b) Any person failing to comply with all of the requirements of this section is guilty of an infraction punishable by a fine not to exceed two hundred fifty dollars ($250).

20002. (a) The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting only in damage to any property, including vehicles, shall immediately stop the vehicle at the nearest location that will not impede traffic or otherwise jeopardize the safety of other motorists. Moving the vehicle in accordance with this subdivision does not affect the question of fault. The driver shall also immediately do either of the following:
(1) Locate and notify the owner or person in charge of that property of the name and address of the driver and owner of the vehicle involved and, upon locating the driver of any other vehicle involved or the owner or person in charge of any damaged property, upon being requested, present his or her driver's license, and vehicle registration, to the other driver, property owner, or person in charge of that property. The information presented shall include the current residence address of the driver and of the registered owner. If the registered owner of an involved vehicle is present at the scene, he or she shall also, upon request, present his or her driver's license information, if available, or other valid identification to the other involved parties.
(2) Leave in a conspicuous place on the vehicle or other property damaged a written notice giving the name and address of the driver and of the owner of the vehicle involved and a statement of the circumstances thereof and shall without unnecessary delay notify the police department of the city wherein the collision occurred or, if the collision occurred in unincorporated territory, the local headquarters of the department of the California Highway Patrol.
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Last edited by motorman4life; 08-22-2008 at 01:58 PM..
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