California Motorcycle Laws

In California, motorcycle laws have been put in place to protect riders’ rights, and new laws monitor the requirements and how their implementation affects motorcyclists. These motorcycle laws are designed to keep both riders and other motorists safe, and knowing them can ensure a smooth and enjoyable ride. 

Age Specifications

There are specific laws in California regarding what age an individual can ride a motorcycle. At 15 and 1/2 years old, an individual is allowed to get their motorcycle instruction permit. After six months, they can take a knowledge test to get their official M1 or M2 motorcycle license. There are a few additional requirements that must be met before you are able to obtain your license, as described by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

There is also a California Motorcyclist Safety Program (CMSP) course that all motorcyclists should complete. While it is required for individuals under 21 years to complete this course before applying for their permit, individuals over 21 years of age are only encouraged to complete it. The program is a great way to get some hands-on motorcycle riding experience, and successful completion may waive the need for a DMV skills test.

Helmet Laws

A significant emphasis has always been placed on wearing a helmet, as it can only benefit you and help ensure safety. Studies show that wearing a helmet has decreased the number of traumatic brain injuries and even death. All motorcyclists are required to wear helmets operating a motorcycle. It is important that the helmet is in compliance with the U.S. Department of Transportation. Wearing an ill-fitting helmet or one that is not compliant poses a great risk to your safety and well-being, especially in the event of a motorcycle accident. 

If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, it is important to speak with an experienced Van Nuys motorcycle accident attorney to learn about the damages and compensation you may be able to recover. 

Lane Sharing and Splitting 

Lane sharing and splitting is extremely common with motorcyclists. It is not uncommon for motorcyclists to share lanes alongside other vehicles and weave in and out of traffic while vehicles have come to a stop. While not legal in all states, lane splitting is legal in California. This allows for motorcyclists to easily pass through traffic, just as if they were any other motor vehicle. Although it is legal, it is important to be conscientious and safe when lane splitting, as it can be very dangerous if done without precision and care.

Motorcycle Passenger Laws

There are no specific age requirements for motorcycle passenger laws in California, but there are certain conditions. One condition is that the passengers must have their own footrests and seats. It is imperative that the passenger’s feet be able to reach the footrest for safety purposes. Additionally, every motorcycle passenger is required to wear a helmet while riding.

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