Motorcycle Laws Questions
Motorcycle Laws Questions
Sometimes it’s not so clear as to what you can and can’t do as a motorcycle. In an effort to clear up misconceptions and fuzzy issues, we have included a short selection of frequently asked questionswhich should be helpful to Southern California motorcycle riders. Whether you live in Los Angeles, Riverside, Lake Elsinore or Temecula, and whether you drive a Honda, Harley, Yamaha or a Ducati, the answers you’ll find here should apply to you. If you or a loved one have been involved in a Los Angeles or Riverside motorcycle accident and have questions concerning your legal status after your accident, please contact us at the California Attorney Group today. We can set up an initial consultation and begin to advise you on your rights immediately. Call us at (866) 650-0505 or visit us online at CaMotorcycleAttorney.com.
Buying and Licensing a Motorcycle
How can I buy an out-of-state motorcycle? – Unless you are buying a Ducati or buying a bike with more than 7,500 miles on it, you may have trouble bringing a bike in from out of state. Other than this brand, the new bikes will need to pass or find exemption from California Emissions standards.
Where does my motorcycle license plate need to be? – Although California law does not dictate the exact location of where your license should go, there are specific rules for placement: it must be on the rear of your motorcycle, in a place that allows visibility as well as legibility, and between 12 and 60 inches from the ground.
If I’m not from California, do I need a new license to ride my motorcycle in California? – If you’re visiting California, over 18 and possess a motorcycle license in your home state or country, then you should be able to ride. However, of you have recently moved to California and plan to stay for 6 months or longer, you will need to apply for a California driver’s license
Do I need a motorcycle license to drive a three-wheeled vehicle or motorcycle with a sidecar? – No. Although 3 wheeled vehicles and motorcycles with sidecars are considered motorcycles for some legal issues, a driver of the vehicle only needs a Class C license, rather than the Class M license needed to drive a motorcycle.
Can I ride my pocket bike on the street? – Since pocket bikes are gas-powered vehicles that fail to meet requirements for vehicle identification numbers, they are not eligible for registration. This makes them illegal as a street vehicle, even if the rider has a motorcycle license.
Parking Your Motorcycle
What are the specifics of motorcycle parking when it comes to parking spaces? – Although this may vary from county to county, it is typically illegal to park next to, but outside of a parking spot, even in an “out of the way” area.
Can I park my motorcycle on the sidewalk? – Unless the sidewalk is part of private property, in which parking on the sidewalk would be at the discretion of the property owner, no vehicle is allowed to park on a public sidewalk.
Can I share a metered spot with a car or another motorcycle? – When parking in a metered spot, your motorcycle’s rear tire or fender must touch the curb, and time in the meter must be paid. If you are sharing the spot with another vehicle, a citation will be up to the discretion of the ticketing officer.
Driving Your Motorcycle
If a light is red, but will not turn green, can I run it? – Although a light may simply be taking a long time to turn, it may also be defective. In the case of a defective light, you will need to come to a full stop before cautiously crossing the intersection. In the case that the light is simply taking a long time to turn and you run the light, an officer can pull you over and issue a citation.
Can I ride my motorcycle in the bike lane? – There are only three instances in which this is legal: when passing through the lane to park and exit a parking space, or to exit and enter a driveway that the bike lane obstructs, or in order to prepare a turn into an intersection.
Can I split lanes on my motorcycle? – California is the only state in which lane splitting is legal. As long as there is adequate space, a reasonable degree of safety, and as long as you do not exceed surround traffic by more than 10 mph, you should not be stopped by a traffic officer or subject to any legal repercussions. But again, safe driving is advisable in this case especially.
Can I split lanes on my motorcycle at a metered onramp? Again, yes, as long as there is adequate space, a reasonable degree of safety, that you do not exceed surround traffic by more than 10 mph, and that you abide by the meter lights and regulatory signage.
Can I do wheelies on my motorcycle on a public street? – Although there are no specific legal statutes or laws regulating wheelies or the amount of wheels needed to be on the ground at any time, this is still a grey area. An officer may use their discretion and issue a citation or other reprimand, citing reckless endangerment.
Can I carry my pet as a passenger on my motorcycle? – Yes, though the animal must be secured in such a manner that they cannot jump, fall or in other way be thrown from the motorcycle while they are being transported on motorcycle.
What is the youngest passenger I can carry on my motorcycle? – Although passenger age is not strictly cited in California law, passengers, like riders, must wear a helmet and must be tall enough so that their feet can rest of the vehicle’s footrests.
Miscellaneous Motorcycle Questions
What kind of officer can ticket me when I’m riding my motorcycle? – This is a question of jurisdiction, and the answer is that any law enforcement officer can stop a vehicle and issue a moving vehicle citation, regardless of whether you are on a freeway or city streets.
If my bike alarm sounds and I’m not around to stop it, what, legally, can happen? – From the moment a law enforcement officer arrives at your car, you have 45 minutes. After which, if you cannot be located or contacted, the officer can have your motorcycle impounded as a public disturbance.
Can I wear earplugs while riding my motorcycle?–Yes. Both custom and over-the-counter ear plugs are allowed for use while riding a motorcycle, as long as they allow the rider to hear both car horns and emergency vehicle sirens while using the ear plugs.
Can I wear headphones while riding my motorcycle? – Yes; as long as one ear is open and not obstructed by another earphone or earplug.
Can I smoke while riding my motorcycle? – Although there is no law explicitly makes smoking while riding legal, there are other provisions that seem to make it impossible. Specifically, a rider cannot throw a lit or unlit cigarette, cigar, match, flaming or glowing object from their bike. If you can smoke on your motorcycle without discharging glowing ash from your cigarette, then this may very well be legal, but may also be up to the discretion of the officer issuing the citation.
When can I wear a tinted visor while riding my motorcycle?–There is not specific provision in California law preventing you from wearing a tinted motorcycle vision at any time, day or night. For your own safety, it may be recommended that to increase your visual awareness of the road, you should not ride with a tinted visor after sunset or at other times when light is limited.
If you have any further questions or concerns regarding your legal status as a motorcycle rider, or have been in a Los Angeles or Riverside motorcycle accident, do not hesitate to contact the California Attorney Group today. Our skilled and seasoned motorcycle accident legal team has helped many riders find satisfactory legal decisions all over Southern California. Contact us today at (866) 650-0505, or visit us online at CaMotorcycleAttorney.com.
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