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What are the child passenger laws for a motorcycle?

While most people in California know the laws that adults must follow when they are cruising through the streets on a motorcycle, the laws concerning child passengers are less well-known. Extra safety precautions have been put in place by lawmakers to protect young people in the event of a crash. The California Department of Motor Vehicles has detailed the laws and regulations that you need to follow if you are transporting children on your motorcycle.


First, you must be sure that the child is wearing a helmet that is compliant with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s guidelines and needs to be correctly fitted to the child’s head. If the helmet is loose and you are involved in an accident, it could come off or cause additional injury.


Next, you need to be sure that your child is tall enough to ride the motorcycle and that your bike is designed to carry passengers. Your vehicle needs to have a seat and footrests for a second person and any riders must be tall enough to reach these. Proper clothing must also be worn. Children need to have a jacket made from heavy material to protect their upper bodies if they fall off the bike and gloves to protect their hands. Long pants and closed-toed shoes also prevent burns from the vehicle’s hot pipes and road rash.


You can also purchase riding restraints that will secure child riders to you as you drive. This information is intended for your education and should not be taken as legal advice.

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