Jarrad’s Law Takes Effect In California

//Jarrad’s Law Takes Effect In California

Jarrad’s Law Takes Effect In California

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?

About the Author:

Patrick Garvin began his stint with J&P Cycles at the start of 2008 after doing some installs for us at Daytona and Sturgis for two years. Currently, Patrick splits his time between the eCommerce team and purchasing, finding new and exciting products for our website and catalog. When he’s not at his desk, he’s zigzagging across the country with J&P’s event crew. Patrick has an obsession with going fast on just about anything, a trait he shares with his 6-year-old son Race. You can usually find both of them wrenching in the garage or ripping through the fields on dirt bikes. Emma, his beautiful wife of 7-plus years, puts up with his antics and keeps his head screwed on because he certainly wouldn’t be able to find it without her.


  1. Joseph July 1, 2016 at 11:21 am

    Bad Law just another liberal wanting to tell you how to live your life and that they are more qualified to tell you how to live your life than you are. This law is a stupid law for stupid people who want the government to tell them how to live their lives so when something goes wrong they have someone else to blame and it’s not their fault. I CALL BULLSHIIT be responsible for yourself and keep your nosey laws to yourself I do not need them or want them they are for stupid people who are lazy

  2. Tim June 18, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    I think its a good law. there are people out there with no license driving around. I took the motorcycle saftey course and it was very informative and i learned alot. not everybody passes it but once you do you can go get your class m, without any test. it was three days long and i think it creates some better riders. it teaches you how to be aware of things around you and teaches you how to avoid certian things. yes everybody else on the road is not thinking about that rider. with the course we can become better riders and plan for emergencies and maybe keep us from getting into an accident. can’t stop them all but maybe it will save someones life.

  3. Daniel Jeffers March 10, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    So some kid wants to pass more laws, training programs, money spent on more what ever is not going to stop accidents, thats why there called accidents. I lost several loved ones in motorcycle, car accidents because of people doing dumb things.I think its time for people to look at their self and stop blaming everything else on what they could have prevented in the first place, more laws & etc, won’t stop accidents they just keep happening. common sense is the answer. Sorry about your Bro.

  4. ms March 8, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    The MSF class was great, and I recommend it; of course it offers only the absolute bare minimum of information and skills, but it still gives you a leg up on the deathrace that is California traffic.

    In theory, it would be nice if drivers of 4-wheeled vehicles were required to take a similar class, but I would be happy if they were merely forced into some sort of anti-road-rage “Motorcycle Awareness” counselling prior to being permitted to drive on highways.

  5. Charlie Pelot March 8, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    sorry for dup post, got error 404 on the first didn’t know if it went through

  6. Charlie Pelot March 8, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    I agree with both sides of the question and the responses. However, I feel that the law should be extended to all those who use the roadways 4 as well as 2 weelers. Make it mandatory that ALL drivers must pass a practical as well as a written test to get a drivers license as well as the M endorsement. We will not change the minds of those “good doers” who think that legislating a particular segment of the population will help. Go ahead and do it BUT MAKE IT MANDATORY FOR EVERYONE.

  7. mike rose March 8, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Good grief…another stupid law to legislate common sense. Give it a rest, PLEASE!

  8. Alex February 18, 2011 at 10:38 am

    A lot of people mention using common sense instead of this law. Unfortunately everyone has a different take on common sense. This law is common sense! It is a sad and tragic thing if the untrained rider takes himself out, but even worse if he/she takes somebody else out, especially ME! Yeah this law will not eliminate the stupidity but if this law makes it safer for ME to ride out on our crazy roads then I’m all for it. I ride with paranoia regardless. I just don’t want me to be the casualty because someone didn’t know how to properly operate this awesome piece of machinery.

    For people who want total freedom go buy yourself an island! Anytime you have masses of people you are going to have laws to protect us from the idiots. This law is a positive thing, as the negative thinkers will always see the glass half empty in everything.

  9. STEVE SHEPHERD February 18, 2011 at 12:04 am


  10. Fran Peter Archuleta February 15, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Working on people. Like law, medicine, dentistry and other professions require training and testing to avoid damage to others. Requiring training for people ways to avoid killing oneself is a pretty easy concept to approve.

  11. Danny February 13, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    Jarrod made a stupid decision. Instead of waiting on his father to return with the safety cones, he decided to take off on his bike. The resulting crash killed him. So, his brother has no one to blame but Jarrod. If Jarrod’s father had done his job as a parent, this accident could have probably been avoided. He should have given his son much more training, before allowing him to get on the bike. Now, like everything else, some idiot comes along and decides because the poor kid got killed that we need the government to step in and tell us when we can legally ride our bikes. Well, I say it’s way past time we stop whining and complaining that the government isn’t doing enough and revert back to taking care of ourselves. Training is great! But, we shouldn’t have it forced on us, just because of some eager kid’s decision that got him killed!

  12. Alan February 12, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    What a Great Law! You simply can’t learn everything you need to know to ride safely today without some instruction and practice. In the late sixties it was much less dangerous because there were so many less vehicles on the road so we got away with learning as we went but folks still got run over by drivers in cars and trucks. I know nothing that compares to a
    motorcycle on the open road and it’s easy to let your mind wander with all there is to see, training can help you keep your focus on all the things that are happening around you at ALL times and keep you aware of your Bikes condition so you aren’t surprised or hurt by a lack of knowledge. If you’re gonna ride, you owe it to your Loved ones to do it RIGHT and stay Safe.

  13. Ed East February 12, 2011 at 5:17 am

    I believe that every young and old beginners should take a riding course, not just for themselves, but for everyone that loves them, Family and Friends. I am in favor for the Law. Bravo Zulu to the new Law. Just remember that in some parts of the country bike season is soon around the corner, Keep a look out for Bikes!!!

  14. Ray February 11, 2011 at 6:45 am

    You know I would have to go with my heart which tells me that I would not survive the death of my son or daughter in any vehicle. Training doesn’t insure safety or even that your youngster isn’t going to let it rip, but it does put the correct information and reasoning behind why one should ride in this manor. Any improved skill level is good at least I would take comfort in knowing that with the training they have the tools to be a better rider. Theres no harm in that, I have never been in favour of just taking a written test, which gives you the right to jump onto a high power machine with no practical training. Hop on your bike turn the throttle and go — WOW — you know the feeling what a rush and when your indestructible — well you know what happens next. I also believe that no matter what your age or choice of vehicles that training and graduated licensing is for the well being of everyone who shares our roadways.

  15. Sasko February 10, 2011 at 7:38 am

    I agree with Old Salt, but like to add “Please, can we keep motorcycling as simple as it was ment to be”.If others have suggestion of improvement let them take that path while giving others non-mandatory choices.Yeah I always wear a helemet even in states where they aren’t mandatory.Simple, my choice. Sasko

  16. Bart February 9, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    anybody with a regular drivers license can drive a 43 foot diesel pusher motorhome with air brakes and no endorsment. SCARY. I’m an RV tech.I”ve seen a 83 year old crippled man driving one of these.sorry about Jared but out with the government and their M/C laws.Idits help keep the population down

  17. Lars February 9, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    I agree with the written tests required in states prior to issuing a license. Poor Jarrad passed the tests he was required to take and it was his father’s responsibility to train him from that point. No one wants to hear or say it but his father had no business leaving him unattended on that bike if he was so inexperienced or immature that he would gun it and pop the clutch.
    It’s not government’s responsibility to do the parenting by making new laws after its constituents do stupid things. Let us learn by our own mistakes. I’ll bet Jarrad’s younger brother wouldn’t be left alone on a bike if he was too immature or experienced because his father learned by his past mistake- neither would the parents of any of Jarrad’s parents friends. Lesson learned.
    If older riders- people experienced enough to know their ability level and when they need help- are dumb enough to head out on a bike without the proper safety riding gear and some instruction from someone who knows and they are injured or killed, bummer, but that is STUPID. We live in a world where the rule of survival of the fittest applies. People who know the injured/ deceased will have learned their lesson.

  18. Martin Rinne February 9, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    As usual, people are trying to legislate maturity and common sense and can do neither. Just one more freedom taken away. In MO a rider has to pass a skills test already.

  19. Heidi February 9, 2011 at 11:06 am

    It looks to me most comments are loosing the point of the new founded law. We are only talking about 15 hrs. 15 hrs. is two days of learning, getting the feel of riding with professional instructions, awareness of street laws….and most importantly, creating that safety bubble around you and your bike at all times.
    I am up for education and awareness at any time !

  20. Joe February 9, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Tragic story! But every time someone gets killed we the people get a new law.Come on already.Wheres the common sence?

  21. Ross G Kiihn February 9, 2011 at 10:05 am

    The main thing a new rider has know is automatic handling of the bike’s controls. If he/she has to think about where the clutch, or brake is or how it works, it’s too late. With a new rider I like to put the bike up on the center stand, the rear wheel off the ground, and let him/her get completely familiar with everything while the engine is running. Unfortunately, most new bikes don’t have center stands anymore.

  22. Oldskool February 9, 2011 at 10:04 am

    More Gobment in our biness I rode for 40+ years without a stinking license, the guy you buy the bike from don’t care if your licensed or not “uckem buy a
    bike don’t get insurance snag the tags off of parked cars don’thit nothing or drive like an asshole and if you get caught oh well, tell the judge your from mehico and they let you walk

  23. Roadhog February 9, 2011 at 9:32 am

    I’ve been riding for 45+ years and have seen my share of idiots on bikes. I think safety training should be mandatory in every state

  24. Conrad February 9, 2011 at 1:11 am

    Lets get real people, If an 18 year old can give their life for this country, then they should have the right to ride whatever kind of bike they want to ride.

  25. Captain Ron February 8, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    This law is only common sense. Most of us know about the power most touring bikes have, and to let an underage, untrained rider get on one of our bikes is tantmount to helping them kill themselves…

  26. Bill February 8, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    It has been mentioned many times here…COMMON SENSE!! People wanting laws to protect them… from themselves really.. best think it over real hard. More laws cost more money, period! I for one am tired of some pencil pusher telling me what is best for me, and then collecting a pension after one term in office and getting his a– kicked out. “WE” have to start being responsible for our own actions.. plain and simple!!

  27. Richard February 8, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    I think they should have mandatory training for pedal bikers. They run red lights and expect on-coming traffic to stop and get out of their way, even though most states have laws sayig they mustobey the traffic laws just as a motor vehicles do.
    At some point in time, each individual must take the burden of responsiblity on themselves and not wait for the nany to come and wipe them.
    If they wanted to avoid a Jarred situation they should require the reversal of the throttle direction. Jarred most likely died because he popped the clutch and then held on for dear life thus keeping the throttle open causing the crash at high speed.

  28. Bunker February 8, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    Only one problem with the story above…
    You cannot take off down the “highway”
    on a permit. Permits are limited to side
    streets, no passengers, and daylight only.

  29. Jimmy February 8, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    I think it isn’t fair, if you can die for your country, you should freely be able to die in a M/C accident too. There are more dangerous things on out hi-ways than a you person on a M/C. Some old geezer behind to the wheel of a pickup that doesn’t have the breaking power stop the RV trailer he is pulling if he had to stop quickly. He didn’t have to got to a training course to pull a trailer, but to operate a M/C or drive a commercial vehicle. Seems as the laws are stiffer on things that not everyone deos compaired to what everyone does, like drive cars. More people are killed by average cars and trucks than by M/C and other special license. Make everyone take training courses, even the old geezer than wants to take his overweight RV down the road with an undersized pickup.

  30. Joe February 8, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    I think if your under 18 ,training and the smaller CC is a good idea. But if your 18 or older shouldn’t have to.When your 18 you can join the military and get killed,why not buy the bike you want. Also for the guy who wants mandatory health ins. to save taxpayer money maybe he should worry about all the illegals bleeding the system!

  31. oldsalt78 February 8, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    Why does everyone feel the need to do something noble when one of theirs goes out and does something unintelligent. Good intentions are going to put us all in straight jackets by the time it is all over. Do we restrict car drivers to cylinder number and size based on experience? No. Do we tell a person what type of plane they can fly once they have a license? Well, yeah. Some things are common sense. However, the ability to make a choice is one that should not be relinquished by enacting a law. We are about freedom in this country and it should be a choice. Obviously, the ones making poor choices won’t be around long to make another. I do agree about the waivers for medical and such. If you want to be a vegetable don’t ask me to pay for it.

  32. Shari Gray February 8, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    I have been riding dirt bikes since I was eleven years old, and started racing them when I was 13. But when I was ready to take on my husbands Harley and ride the roads with the crazy California drivers I decided to take a MSR course first. I already had my class m license but I had never riden the streets before. I had my step-son take the course with me and he did better then I did. Well since then I can say Im now an experianced rider of the roadways as well as the dirt. I recommend everyone take a safety course before taking on the crazy cell phone drivers out there today.

  33. Dan Murphy February 8, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    Rhode Island until now, I believe, has been the only state for years that has a mandatory 16hr course for ALL NEW RIDERS regardless of age. It consists of 8hrs of classroom and 8hrs of course/road time with a licenced instructer. I rode for 10yrs before I decided to get a legit motorcycle endorsement and had to take the course. I must admit not only was it very educational but lots of fun also. It does cost $99 in R.I. but it was money well spent. Just when you think you know it all, you learn something new. RIDE SAFE!

  34. curt February 8, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    I started riding mini bikes at 10 at 16 my first street bike was a 500 cc I did fine until at 17 and a half a guy in a surburban pulling a drag car trailer blew a stop sign and I had to lay it down to avoid t boning him I came out with only a few stitches and bruises and a broke toe. Cars infringe on motorcycle rights daily I am thinking the attention should be focused where it belongs on 4 not 2 wheels I lost alot of friends and brothers this year by no fault of their own helmets and training would not have saved them. ride a safe as we can we put ourselves at risk we all know it so back the laws off and give us the freedom to enjoy it while we can.
    Thank you
    Doubletake Cycles

  35. Don Trainor February 8, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    Let’s not forget auto’s what stop teens driving fast cars… laws should not be singled out on one group or vehicles. All new drivers should be under this new law..

  36. Mike Ebert February 8, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    In VA training is manditory for under age riders and I don’t care if your beard covers your privates and your hair covers your arse. if you’ve never ridden you should get safety training. Too many kids (even big ones) think they are invincible. One stupid move at 80 on a bike and your in the paper, obit page.

  37. Frank Albanese February 8, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    I’ve been riding for 40 years and in comparison 15 hours is certainly a small price to pay in order to save a life.

  38. biker5 February 8, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    I sold a friend of mine a 750cc Yamaha. He had never rode a bike before. When he left my house at about 5 mph, wobbling all over the street, i new i had made a mistake. About 3 mos. later he brought a 1000cc sport bike. Not long after that he had a high speed crash and died instantly. Formal or some kind of training is a good thing.

  39. eric February 8, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    We have motorcycle related crashes every year the end with fatalities. Semi-relevant findings are released as part of the annual statistical reports i.e. helmet vs no helmet, alcohol related or not, single vehicle/multiple vehicle and so forth. The ONE HUGE statistic that is not discussed is the number of individuals that were licensed in the first place! Having a law does not ensure compliance – otherwise there would not be a single felon in the country in possession of a firearm! This is a fine idea, but laws do not ensure compliance, only post facto punitive reactions.

  40. Gordon February 8, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    I spent 5 years in europe and drove my bike through France, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Luxembourg,Netherlands, etc. I encountered different driving styles in each country but the country were I fear riding my bike the most is the Good Ol’ USA. Drivers here suck and suck BIG TIME! Most countries in europe make getting a license expensive and difficult. Our American cry-babies boo-hoo because the test is soooooooooo hard. The problem here is that we do not teach people how to drive, we teach them how to pass the drivers test. BIG DIFFERENCE in the two. My proof is out there on the roads of America. I think that my personal safety outweighs your “Loss of freedom to be an idiot”.

  41. chuck weyant February 8, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    Aren’t any of you sick and tired of the damn government babysitting you? I for one only need the government to protect my borders. I don’t need them to provide a retirement, provide my health insurance, provide unemployment insurance, censure my TV or movies, or a whole lot of other stuff. I’m an American who up until recently, had the freedom to protect myself, make my own decisions, fail or win at life, etc., etc. Stop expecting government to offer kneejerk answers to life’s heartaches; everytime they try, we give up a little freedom here and a freedom there. Government is not the answer — you are. Screw kneejerk laws. Grow up and take personal responsibility! This is, after all, supposed to be America where “freedom rings.”

  42. Alien February 8, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    As a 40+ year rider, I started with a 125cc, which I got into the most trouble. It’s just me being a teen. As I progressed to a 250cc, 441cc, 550cc, 750cc to my current 1100cc 650lb cruiser, I found out that the weight of the cycle was a major change. People (baby-boomers) buying their first bike (being a 600-700 lb cruiser) has created the rise in motorcycle average mortality rate.
    I’m sad to say, IMHO, that the Jarrad story is one of a parent knowledge issue, not a training issue.

  43. Andrew February 8, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    I live and ride in California. There are more than enough laws for riders to follow. They don’t prevent these types of accidents.
    We have laws that require children to wear helmets on bicycles, skateboards, and scooters. They can’t work when parents don’t make their kids wear the equipment, and the cops don’t enforce it.

  44. Mark February 8, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    This might come as a surprise to some of you , but dirt riding and street riding are different. Ask my nephew. He started riding with us on a PW50 when he was 3. His totaled 750 Shadow has less than 500 miles on it. His comment to me in the ER was “you were right, the street is different”. I started riding 45 years ago, in the dirt. I learned the hard way because we didn’t have class here at that time. I could have saved a lot of road rash and broken bones by taking a class. Education is a good thing, in fact I take a refresher course about every five years because I forget stuff. Some people really need a good, experienced teacher. I see no problem with that particular law even though I am a “small government” supporter.

  45. Mark February 8, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Some of the bikes out there today scare me, and I started riding, by myself, in 1967. I agree with size restrictions though a 125 might be a little small. Maybe 250-350 range. Yeah I know you’ve been riding since you were 4 years old, but the streets are a different world. Ask my nephew’s son. He started riding with us on a PW50 when he was 3. His totaled 750 Shadow has less than 500 miles on it. It’s a different world on the street. I started riding in 1967 when I was 12. I’ve been riding ever since. I had a near fatal accident in 1973. I take a refresher course about every five years. It’s amazing what you forget and I ride about 20k a year. A little extra training and experience won’t hurt anyone.

  46. Colin Walker February 8, 2011 at 10:59 am

    When I was a kid in England (long long ago) new drivers had to have a plate on a Bike/Autos . It was about 6″x6″
    white with a large “L” on it. That “L” was very visable and gave you pause to know this person did not have a full driving permit so be careful !!

  47. ewc February 8, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Having ridden for over 50 years, and learning everything the hard way, I think that if I had been required to have formal training on a small bike I would not have made some of the mistakes that caused me road rash, early on.
    I started out on a Cushman and learned, the hard way, not to lean it too far or I would crash, I learned that if you use the rear brake only, you will hit stuff, ( things that formal training could have taught me without leaving hide and blood in the pavement). i took an advanced course after over a million miles and found out that half of what I thought was good riding was just beginning to know how to stay alive on two wheel.
    ‘Nuff said!

  48. Sandyjo February 8, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Doesn’t matter how many laws you make.Common sense is first.The kids running stop signs & red lights will still do it.Where are their parents? Most of them are not allowed to out on public streets to start with.The parents don’t care just as long as the kids are not bothering them.We don’t need big brother giving us more laws.A lot of them are writing bad checks,dui’s,drugs & so on.Do we really want them to tell us how to ride.Think about it.Common sense is a big factor in this & our daily lives.In Ohio we have to take a test-written & driving & we have riding schools.Thats enough.

  49. fleabite February 8, 2011 at 10:19 am

    As a former ABATE president, I’m sure my opinion on this one won’t be very popular with my fellow motorcycle rights advocates, but I’m all for this.

    However, along with the required training for a motorcycle license, a motorcycle awareness provision should be added to all driver’s license exams as well.

  50. mike February 8, 2011 at 10:17 am

    i have a 16 year old and it would kill me 2 see somthing happen 2 him like this but i would never let him get on a big cc bike or any bike if he didnt know how 2 ride or pull the cluch in you dont tell the kids 2 mow the yard with out showing them how 2 first start on a dirt bike learn how a motocycle works dont buy a 1000cc sport bike 2 learn on use your head take a class if u need 2 any bike can kill u small bikes have there place but not on the hwy maybe u should ban brick walls or bad decesions

  51. Jim Foley February 8, 2011 at 10:12 am

    Here in Pa. we have free training by the state. Everything except boots and eyewear is supplied. It is not mandatory but the majority of new riders take the course, I also can get you a 10% discount on your insurance! Also offered is an advaced course for experienced riders,also earning an insurance discount. I wish this had been available to me when I was learning . I don’t believe bike size should be legislated, especially by engine size! Some small displacement bikes are rockets. Good sense is always the best answer!

  52. Asonoftexas February 8, 2011 at 10:11 am

    We are the parents , give us training to teach our kids and as we teach we will learn too. More laws are not needed, we are the parents not Big Government. No parent wants to endanger their child. Give us the info. and let us decide if and when our kids are ready. Educate , do not think to rule over us.

  53. Son Of Freedom 2 February 8, 2011 at 9:43 am

    There shouldn’t be a need for this sort of well-meaning but poorly-executed law. The skill set should be taught as part of basic driver’s ed, the same as for the car. Teach it all at once, be done. No goofy law, no problem. Everybody learns everything. If they don’t want to ride later, they don’t have to. They will still have the knowledge, and maybe will think a little differently while driving the car. Life could wind up a little better for those of us who do choose to ride. And Big Brother takes a step to the rear.

  54. stixx February 8, 2011 at 9:13 am

    The problem with that law is, the way manufacturers are building bikes now, a 125cc bike will accelerate plenty fast enough to kill you. A bike will only go as fast as you twist your wrist, it’s not about the size of the bike, it’s about being in control of your machine and knowing what it will do. A bike will only do what you tell it to do…take some responsibility.

  55. Bob Edwards February 8, 2011 at 8:46 am

    Novice riders and drivers need training before hitting the road. It works. In TN our motorcycle training is wonderful, with many locations. This bill did not pass here, because of money problems as most States now have. We would need more locations and more instructors. Mandatory training will overload our training stations and will push them into long waiting periods for anyone taking the course. 7 or 8 month waits. Hopefully we will not have more unliscensed riders on our roads if this passes. Who wants to wait 7 or 8 months before they can get into a classroom? If passed here, TN needs mandatory driver ed to go along with it.

  56. Gary February 8, 2011 at 8:41 am

    I think most of you are not thinking about how this might affect you on the road. I do alot of riding and have almost been run off the road by a rider with little or no riding skills. I think you need to take a look at the big picture and not look at how this will inconvenience you.

  57. jesse emory jr February 8, 2011 at 8:11 am

    good laws are needed for motorcycle saftey. a law that has adult men on a 125cc bike is not the answer. we need to do a better job on training,maybe in high school and do have hill,curbs and practice through old parked cars. these kids need classroom work on motorcycle saftey whether they ride or not. size does matter,so a 800cc bike the first year would be good with no passenger allowed. adults that cant afford training classes, should save their money until they can. helmets gloves and boots are also needed and they arent free either.

  58. Dennis February 8, 2011 at 7:35 am

    I Think this is a good law and I also wish Indiana would make these Moped drivers take some kind of training also , we have these kids who can drive around town on anything 50cc and under without any training , or knowledge of the traffic laws dart around without insurance and when one gets hurt they want to sue.Many grown people ride bikes and I think children should be limited to them alos till they can obey the laws of the Highway and can afford Insurance.

  59. WJH55 February 8, 2011 at 5:47 am

    If they wanted to make the roads safer for everyone, the maximum speed limit should be 20 MPH. I took the rider safety class and it was excellent. But to make it mandatory is ridiculous. What about the people(teenagers)on farms in Montana, the Dakotas, etc, where there might not be a rider safety class? Where do the intrusions into our personal lives end? It’s called personal responsibility.People take an accident and try and legislate it out of our lives. Where does it end? Some people hate motorcycles. What if they want to ban them? It’s “safer”. I’m pretty tired of people telling me what’s “safer” for ME.

  60. Bob February 8, 2011 at 5:38 am

    Makes sense to me. In fact all first time riders and even long absent riders should take a skills course. Just makes sense. Cali got this one right.

  61. Michael Whitehair February 8, 2011 at 4:52 am

    The good thing about this law is that it will feed the ecomomy. Younger riders will be forced to buy smaller CC bikes that they don’t want to start with just to get on two wheels. Then as they “Age out” purchase what they really want to ride.. As in everything there are young people and older ones too(!) who are responsible and those that are not.. Anyone else besides me seen those smaller bikes doing wheelies down the road..

    Give a person a fish they eat for a day… Teach a person to fish they eat for life.. Stop using dynamite to get rid of a zit.. Address the real issue.

  62. jeff andrews February 8, 2011 at 3:56 am

    A lot of riders start with dirt bikes at age ten or younger. By the time they’re 16 they have aquired more riding skill than any of the 30 plus year old “new” riders. Riders safety-skill classes and skill tests are already required in all states for a cycle license. We do’t need more laws……………..

  63. A Fernandez February 8, 2011 at 1:55 am

    I feel for the family who lost their son and on some level it may sound good but riding classes as a mandatory lawas a cal resident and riding since 13 now 45 people are all for giving away their rights simply because of anothers unfortunate tragedy as a truck driver also this should be covered in drivers ed walking across the street can kill you there is difinatley a problem with drivers today not just on bikes or cars or trucks the fact you need to pay better attension to what you are doing as well as others too an remember driving is a privallige not a right if people could simply grasp that we would have better drivers

  64. David Youngclaus January 21, 2011 at 6:49 pm


  65. Steel Pony January 20, 2011 at 8:21 am

    Depending on your parenting skills does not make me feel any safer on the road.

    I took the MSF course and believe standardized instruction is the way to go. It’s got nothing to do with infringing on your “rights”. It’s about keeping everyone safer on our roadways, riders and cagers.

    I favor the law.

  66. ERIC JOHNSON January 18, 2011 at 10:21 pm


  67. Tom Gerrick January 18, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    The law is good, but not on target. The age isn’t the factor, but the skill level. Regardles of age, make these restrictions for first tmers, for first year of riding. 125cc is crazy though, maybe 500cc would make more sence.

  68. Dicky January 18, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    My youngest son learned how to ride on my RoadKing of all things…. Kind of the same type of story but with a much happier ending. He took off on it one day, and looked like a natural ever since. My wife and I were amazed at his skill, and he really truely respects motorcycles, learning something new every ride he takes. –Taking a 700lb motorcycle around the property (farm) when you just turn 17 in an unnerving feeling for a parent. But so is jumping 10′ into the air with dirt bikes…. He has a sportster now, and likes riding the RK over the sportster for obvious reasons, mainly because its easier to ride. He has taken all the required courses, and under a law similar to his he would be illegal. I say the legislation needs to be well thought out, and drafted in such a way that you have to qualify through the same course centers on the bigger bikes…regardless of age. I won’t let him ride with most other adults, because there are a LOT of underqualified riders out there that have big machines withn little skill, and big wallets.
    By the way, I could care less what Europeans have for laws. I work with them everyday, they are miserable about all the laws big brother tosses on top of them. They look at us with all of our freedoms and are in dis belief that we are letting it errode like they did not too long ago.

  69. PAUL WALLIKANN January 18, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    i’ve ridden a bike for 30 yrs before i took a riders course. The Course not only keeps you up to date on laws but innovative driving habits. I though I knew it all till I took the course.
    You may think your a good driver but not everyone has good common sense. And here are things that could happen that you never thought could. I wouldn’t want my kid to die because of something he didn’t know about motorcycles.

  70. Stephen Tenhet January 18, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    PARENTING!!! I will parent my children and give them a bike when they are ready. I don’t need the government to take that responsibility away from me and make my judgments for me. I joined the Navy at 17, so under this law – while I could fight, serve, and vote… I couldn’t ride a bike… without 15 hours training… maybe between deployments!!! More NANNY State nonsense. But we expect nothing less from CA.

  71. Herb January 18, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    As a former riding instructor, and someone with over 34 years of riding experience, I have to agree with this law. Far too many people have learned to ride around a level parking lot and then assumed they know what to do in traffic; they don’t! Many don’t even think about how to come to a stop on a hill, nor take off from that stop. Many dirt bike riders are skilled with the machine, yet need to learn a new set of observation priorities. Most importantly, the new rider must develop a degree of proficientcy and experience, like 1,000 miles or more, before riding a passenger!

  72. Dan Long January 18, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Great Law! Not having this law would be an infringement on many people’s rights. Just like not having a helmet law is an infringement on many people’s rights. I think that if you do not want to wear a helmet, then you should be required to get health insurance so that the taxpayers don’t have to pay your hospital bill if you get in a wreck and are hospitalized. To even go further with this idea, if you do have health insurance, you still must sign a waiver stating that if you get in a wreck and are hospitalized, after you max out what your insurance pays in the hospital, you don’t want any more treatment. Why should I have to be forced to pay for your injuries just because you don’t want to wear a helmet or are to stupid to get take some motorcycle classes and learn how to ride safety. I will say it again, not having this law is an infringement on MY rights!

  73. Dave January 18, 2011 at 10:53 am

    great idea! Wouldn’t want our 18-21 yr old bunch doing anything dangerous……like going to war…..but can’t ride a bike? Ridiculous idea! Maybe for under 18 yrs old!

  74. Robert J. Stanley January 18, 2011 at 10:48 am

    I think this is a good law. I live in Illinois and I think that a similar law has been in affect for some time. At least as far as age. I have always agreed with the fact that you had to be eighteen or older to ride a motorcycle over 150cc, (Illinois). But I think that it should also be carried over to cars. At sixteen you can’t ride a motorcycle larger than 150ccc but you can drive a 500HP car.

  75. Karl January 18, 2011 at 10:33 am

    I have to agree that this is a good use of legislation. When I look back at the stupid things I did on my bike back in my twenties, it is amazing that I have survived. Nobody, taught me; I built and climbed right onto my 1979 FLH. When you are young, you feel bulletproof; I wish there was someone around to teach how to ride properly and safely when I first started to ride.

    I am almost 50 years old now and have been riding since I was in my early twenties; the more I learn, the more I realize that there is still much more to learn. Anytime you start thinking to yourself that you have it down perfect or you get too confident, you are in trouble; at hwy speeds that trouble comes up very quick. I have been considering taking an advanced riding skills class, I think I will go find one to sign-up for. You are never too old to learn something new.
    Thank you for taking the time to post this story.

  76. TRUE AMERICAN January 18, 2011 at 9:43 am

    The article couldn’t say it any better. In Europe laws like these are fairly commonplace, restricting youngsters to smaller cc bikes. I don’t live in europe!!!I live in the USA and I think we told europe(England) to screw off quite awhile ago because of their laws. Now we are creating the same laws they have??

  77. Mike Engel January 18, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Wisconsin used to have two tier licensing 500cc and less, 501cc and up. I agree with the training for novice riders, if they have to have it for an auto it should also be required for a motorcycle as it is a totally different style of driving as we riders know. I still hate being told what I can and cannot do but only practice will make safer riders and a motorcycle will kill an inexperienced rider along with anyone you is stupid enough to ride with them.

  78. Mike January 18, 2011 at 9:31 am

    Another useless law someone is trying to make a name for themselves with. COMMON SENSE…does ANYONE have it anymore. Just because something is capable of doing something does not mean you should do it!! I suppose next they will ban any cars with a motor bigger than a lawn mower for anybody under 21….OOOPs I probably shouldn’t even suggest that either. Someone might think thats a god idea too.

  79. EVO-6 January 18, 2011 at 9:30 am

    Most other countries have alot the restriction based on similar events. We assume in the USA we are immune or smarter than that. I think it is a good idea to restrict the in experienced to lower cc’s or less powerful bikes. We, as Americans tend to jump right in most activities with out doing the proper research or getting the proper training. On the other hand I am also against any law that protects me from ME. This type of thing can and has spun out of control with legislation.

  80. Alan Lashway January 18, 2011 at 9:20 am

    As long as the formal training is free of charge there is nothing wrong with the law. If however the biker has to pay to attend this training then it is a hardship that some can not afford and is an infringement of their rights.

  81. Elaine January 18, 2011 at 9:07 am

    this is a good law, to bad people don’t have enough common sense to do this on there own. I took the classes before I got on a bike and tell everyone that ask me to teach them to ride to TAKE THE CLASS!

    Its the best way to learn to ride safely, there is more to riding than looking cool and you learn that in the class. Be smart, be safe.

  82. Peter January 18, 2011 at 9:00 am

    I think that training should be required for all motorcycle riders regardless of age.

  83. Roger Gillson January 18, 2011 at 8:39 am

    I think it is a good law I see Kids in the Town where I live on Mopeds running Stop Signs and passing anywhere They want.

  84. donald dailey January 18, 2011 at 8:07 am

    people giveing our rights away sound like a bunch of california’s bs to me

  85. Iowa Biker January 18, 2011 at 8:05 am

    I think Iowa should adopt this type of law as well, I would like to see the Lower CC requirement as well.

  86. Jeff Stiles January 18, 2011 at 8:05 am

    I def think its only smart to have formal training on any machine. Some people just dont have what it takes and formal training could wewd some of those folks out instead of death weeding them out.

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