John Del Santo mcbwaycool at yahoo.com
Wed Mar 23 20:56:20 PET 2011

by John Del Santo
They look  big enough to be adults,  they seem  like they’re old enough to be responsible,  and they are coming down the lane right next to your motorcycle.  While only four percent of the cars around you are driven by young people,  they are at fault in Sixty-Six percent of the deadly collisions.  We cannot assume that any of the drivers around us will make the correct driving decisions at any given time, but there are ways we can try to improve those statistics.
This is also an important decision time for you if there are children in your family who are reaching that driving or riding age.  As the new-driver laws stand at the moment,  www.dmv.ca.gov  someone age 15 1/2 to age 17 1/2  must first finish a Drivers Education Class before they can apply for a learners permit.  Once they pass the DMV written test and obtain a permit, The Permit does not become legal until they have taken at least one lesson with a State Licensed Driving Instructor.  I have seen the reason for this in my many years as a driving instructor…..when a new student gets “practice” with Dad or an older brother first,  and then starts the six-hours of mandatory training  with a professional licensed instructor.  The instructor has to waste valuable training time trying to correct improper techniques and misinformation already fed to the student.  Also keep in mind that many teenagers start off wrong if Dad or Mom are not safe
 and legal drivers…….If Dad speeds and Mom tailgates and doesn’t use her signals, how do you think the new driver is going to start his or her career on the road ?  Any teenager has been learning  how to drive for twelve or thirteen years, just by watching….You are setting an example for them every day of their lives.  Do it right and their lives may be longer.  Cellular/Text phones are Weapons of Mass Destruction and should be locked in the trunk. 
There is a new law for young motorcycle riders.  It is called “Jarrad’s Law”,  named after a deceased teenager who had a learners permit, but no proper training.  Fixing the Loophole in response, Jarrad's Law took effect in California on January 1, 2011. Now anyone from age 15  1/2 to age 21 who wants to obtain a motorcycle license must first complete a 15-hour safety course overseen by the California Highway Patrol’s California Motorcyclist Safety Program (CMSP) www.ca-msp.org .  From age 15 and 1/2 to age 18, they must also either have class C licenses or complete regular drivers education and training classes. After the motorcycle safety course, they must pass a written test to receive a permit. The learner's permit must be held at least six months to become eligible for an actual motorcycle license.  While operating a motorcycle with a permit,  a rider may not carry a passenger, ride on a freeway, or ride at night.  Have you read the
 drivers manual that the DMV gave to your son or daughter ?   Knowledge is Power.
 Those of us with young Drivers or Riders in the family, should try to put them out there with a better chance of getting to be old  Drivers and Riders.  
DISCLAIMER  :This guide attempts to provide accurate and authoritative information on this subject. If expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. 

John Del Santo
( 619 ) 223-0421   


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