May was motorcycle safety month and us here at Bigger & Harman, APC
would like to remind you of a few recent changes in California law before
you dust off that motorcycle and take it out for a ride. Additionally,
there are five safety tips we would like you to take with you whenever
you ride this summer, so you will return home safely and without a ticket.
1. Always Wear a Helmet
It’s the law! California Vehicle Code (CVC) 27803 requires all motorcyclists,
motorized bicycles, motor-driven cyclists to wear a helmet, rider and
passenger, no matter what age. The law even makes it illegal to ride wearing
a helmet with a driver who has no helmet. Although it’s not required,
it is wise to choose a helmet with a visor that covers as much of your
face as possible. A good visor can help deflect road debris and insects
that could otherwise get in your eyes while driving.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in their
Morbidity and Mortality Report on motorcycle safety stated,
“Helmet use consistently has been shown to reduce motorcycle crash–related
injuries and deaths…” and drivers and passengers killed in motorcycle accidents make up roughly
14 percent of all fatalities, even though motorcycles make up less than
one percent of registered vehicles on the nation’s highways.
2. Be Seen
Wearing a helmet can also help you to be seen, as most riding helmets are
made from reflective material or have reflective tapes and logos. A helmet
gives you a larger footprint and makes you more visible in traffic. In
addition, wearing reflective gear or adding reflective tape to your bike
or clothing helps you to be seen. Keep your headlights on at all times
With more and more distracted drivers on the road, i.e., cell phone users
and text senders, GPS users, and in-vehicle video watchers, taking the
attention of drivers away from the other vehicles on the roads, motorcycle
drivers are at more risk.
3. Always Drive Defensively
Driving defensively means keeping your eyes on the other vehicles and considering
motorcycle safety measures. Good motorcycle drivers keep the same space
between them and other vehicles as a car driver would. They must be aware
of motorists attempting to pass or those driving recklessly or in an abnormal manner.
4. Always Ride Cautiously
Lane sharing is now officially legal in California. That means that a motorcycle
can use the space between other vehicles to keep moving when possible.
With the number of traffic jams on CA highways increasing, the CA Legislature
and the Governor thought it prudent to authorize lane sharing to help
unsnarl traffic, at least for motorcyclists. However, for this program
to work, it requires all of us, motorcyclists and other vehicle drivers
to use courtesy and common sense. Additionally, it is illegal to open
a vehicle door or use any means of blocking a motorcyclist to keep them
from passing you.
5. Take a Safety Course
Not only will the
CA Motorcyclist Safety Program (administered by CHP) give you some great insight into staying safe out
there on Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), I-5 & I-15, or just cruising
around town, it could reduce your insurance premiums. An annual refresher
course will help you to think motorcycle safety, as well.
Bigger & Harman, APC
When you have been ticketed for an unsafe lane change or another infraction
either on a motorcycle or in your car, in LA, Bakersfield, SLO, or another
SoCal county, call the expert team of traffic ticket defenders at Bigger
& Harman, 661-349-9300, or email:
firstname.lastname@example.org. The initial consultation is free, confidential, and without obligation.
Se habla Español 661.349.9755.