As the weather slowly but surely warms up, the motorcycles start to come out. It only makes sense that nicer days bring out the bikes because who wouldn’t want to be outside, enjoying the weather. Motorcycles are also very nifty when it comes to dealing with traffic and getting to places faster. As the weather gets better, the tourists come out, and the motorcyclist get to their destinations quickly, despite the traffic. However because they are only two-wheeled vehicles they aren’t seen very well. On top of that, most people don’t realize that there are some motorcycle laws that differ from regular vehicle laws.
According to the California Department of Motorized Vehicles (DMV) there are a few variations between getting your motorcycle license, and your regular license. The biggest difference is that you’re required to take a certified training course specialized for motorcycles. This course will test your knowledge on motorcycle laws, your riding ability, and skill level. The course will also push you to make smart choices when it comes to operating your motorcycle.
Most motorists don’t realize that lane splitting is actually legal to do in California. Lane splitting is when a motorcyclist rides on the white lane between two cars, or when they’re sharing a lane with another vehicle. Lane splitting can be dangerous, especially if you’re not paying attention, or are not skilled. This should only be executed when necessary, such as during heavy traffic.
Motorcyclists are required by California law to wear helmets when riding a motorcycle. This includes any passengers at any age. The helmet also has to be approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT). You can tell if it has been approved if it has a DOT sticker or engraving. Any other motorcycle gear is highly recommended, but not mandatory. You can technically wear a swimsuit and flip flops while riding a motorcycle, however if you get into an accident, prepare for major road burns.
Operating a motorcycle is extremely fun and freeing. However it is also extremely dangerous. Between getting caught in peoples’ blind spots, and not having a protection, motorcycle crashes are some of the most deadly. That is why California has laws about helmets, and other safety precautions regarding riding motorcycles. Enjoy taking your bike out and about in California; just be aware of the rules, laws, and your skill set.