California has taken heat from motorcyclists in the past for some of its not so friendly motorcycle laws. The state legislature approved another bike law earlier this month, but the normally disgruntled bikers in California are looking at this one a little differently.
Jarrad’s Law, which went into effect Jan. 2, 2011, came about as the result of Jarrad Cole’s tragic death back in August of 2007. Jarrad’s father was teaching the 18-year-old how to ride, and had dashed back to the garage to grab some orange cones when he heard the motorcycle rev up sharply, followed by a loud bang.
Jarrad had crashed into a retaining wall and severed his aorta, which resulted in his death. After a year and a half of intense grieving, Jarrad’s younger brother decided he wanted to create something positive from his brother’s death. As a result, Sawyer Cole and friend Michael Kelleher helped write and support the law that went into effect this month.
Before Jarrad’s Law was enacted, any Californian 15-and-a-half-years-old or older could legally ride a motorcycle on the street after successfully passing a written exam and obtaining a learner’s permit — which Jarrad did. There was no restriction to the type of bike that could be ridden by the teen. A youngster could pass that written test, get a permit and then hop on the fastest production bike available and blast off down the highway.
The new law requires riders under the age of 21 to complete 15 hours of formal training in addition to the written test. And other states are starting to follow in California’s footsteps. Oregon, for instance, is rolling out a similar law, but requiring any rider under the age of 31 to complete formal training. In Europe laws like these are fairly commonplace, restricting youngsters to smaller cc bikes (125cc or less) until they reach the age of 21.
And while many motorcyclists are seeing this as a common-sense law, there are others who continue to label it as yet another infringement on their rights. Good law or bad? Tell us what you think?