Fine — not fix-it — for loud motorcycles

Skateboard helmet, scooter, bike lane laws change
By: Gus Thomson, Reporter/Columnist
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Roaring motorcycle riders cited for overly loud pipes are now being fined in California.

New rules put in place New Year’s Day dictate that riders with modified motorcycle exhaust pipes judged overly loud don’t just get a fix-it ticket.

They’ll also get a fine under a new law, according to the California Highway Patrol.

“A fine will become mandatory, not correctable, when loud motorcycles of other motor vehicles are cited,” Officer Chris Nave of the California Highway Patrol Gold Run office said.

Until Dec. 31, a motorcyclist or vehicle driver who was cited for modified or excessively loud exhaust or muffler systems could correct the violation to avoid a fine, the Highway Patrol said.

Another new law approved by the state Legislature in 2018 that impacts road safety mandates that anyone under 18 not wearing a helmet on a skateboard — as well as a bike, scooter or inline skates — will receive a fix-it ticket.

A citation is considered non-punitive and correctable if proof that the minor has completed a bicycle safety course and has a helmet that meets safety standards is presented within 120 days to an issuing law-enforcement agency, Nave said.

Helmets are, however, no longer required for riders 18 and over on motorized scooters. But it continues to be illegal to operate a motorized scooter on a sidewalk.

And Auburn Recology workers will be getting an added traffic safety feature this year in the form of passage of an Assembly bill that is intended to provide a safety margin for sanitation workers around the state while they are on the job picking up trash bins.

The law reads that when approaching or overtaking a garbage truck with its amber lights flashing, drivers must move into an adjacent lane, “if possible, and pass at a safe distance.”

If it’s not possible, drivers must slow to a safe and reasonable speed, the Highway Patrol said.