Jump To Navigation

Jarrad Cole | Jarrad's Law

One of the last bills signed by former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was Jarrad's Law in memory of Sacramento-area teen Jarrad Cole, who died tragically the summer of 2007 in a motorcycle accident.

On the day that 18-year-old Jarrad got his new Suzuki motorcycle, his father wanted to create a learning course on their quiet suburban cul-de-sac, so he entered the garage to fetch orange cones. Meanwhile, Jarrad, who was driving with only a motorcycle learner's permit that he received after passing a written examination, somehow lost control of the bike, flew off and landed in a neighbor's yard with fatal injuries.

Trying to make sense of and bring purpose to the loss of his brother - who had been poised to study international business as a new college student at California Maritime Academy - younger brother Sawyer Cole and his best friend Michael Kelleher created an ambitious high-school senior project to improve California motorcycle safety laws for young, new riders like Jarrad.

Because they thought it was too easy for novice riders to get a motorcycle learner's permit without sufficient safety instruction, Sawyer Cole and Michael Kelleher sought to increase the training requirements for young motorcyclists. With the help of lobbyist Michael Hawkins, and lots of time at the state capital promoting their cause, the two students were successful.

Prior Law Applicable to Jarrad

According to the California Legislative Counsel's Digest of Jarrad's Law, under the previous law, anyone over 17 and one-half years old could drive a motorcycle with only an instruction permit, except under any of these conditions:

  • At night
  • With a passenger
  • On freeways

Disturbingly, this meant that Jarred and other motorcyclists under age 21 could get instructional permits to operate motorcycles without successfully completing the substantial state motorcycle safety course that was otherwise required to receive actual motorcycle licenses.

Fixing the Loophole

In response, Jarrad's Law was passed in the summer of 2010 and took effect statewide in California on January 1, 2011. Now anyone from age 15 and one-half to age 21 who wants to obtain a motorcycle license must first complete a 15-hour safety course given by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) for $150. (From 15 and one-half to under 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.

Some have apparently opposed the new legislation as allowing too much governmental intrusion, like similar arguments people commonly make against helmets and seat belts. However, bill sponsor former Assemblyman Roger Niello, R-Fair Oaks, disagrees and feels there should be "a standard of competency on the public roads."

Indeed, taking chances on motorcycle safety with young, inexperienced riders is especially unwise considering the vulnerability of unprotected human bodies on two-wheeled, fast, small, light vehicles in traffic with cars, trucks and buses. According to the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration, motorcycle accidents cause 11 percent of traffic deaths annually, but motorcycles are only three percent of registered vehicles nationally.

Jarrad and Sawyer's parents, Lauren Forcella and Evan Cole, are publicly proud and impressed by the work of the two teens in Jarrad's memory and to protect future young riders. Forcella hopes the idea spreads to other states.

If you are in the unfortunate position of being involved in a motorcycle accident, be sure to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to learn about your rights and obligations.
New Immediate Representation | Tired of Insurance Hassles | We'll represent you right now | Click Here | Call Now Toll Free 1-800-300-8561

- Free Advice!
- Free Consultations!
- No Out of Pocket Fees!
- Contingency Fees!
- We Get Paid Only if We Win Your Case!

Free Case Evaluation Contact Us Now

Never a fee to speak with an Injury Law Center attorney

Injury Law Center | For Over 25 Years

What Our Clients Say

Client Testimonial:

"I am impressed the way your firm took care of me, and I am pleased with results. "
K.W. - San Jose, CA

"Great Settlement, Thank You."
R.H. - Milpitas, CA

"Mr. Bloxham treated me honestly and fairly - Thanks!"
A.T. - Pittsburg, CA

"I was disappointed in a previous attorney. Thanks for handling my sister's case - I appreciate the care that you took with her."
P.O. - Concord, CA

"Good Job, Thank You."
T.E. - Brentwood, CA

"Thanks for fighting for me, Mr. Bloxham. I appreciate your efforts."
B.K. - Concord, CA

"With my serious injuries, I appreciate that you were able to come to my home and get my case started right away - Thanks."
T.K - Walnut Creek, CA

BBB | Better Business Bureau | www.bbb.org

Click here to see our A+ Rating

Injury Law Center Law Offices of Jack Bloxham
  • Injury Law Center - Walnut Creek
    Law Offices of Jack Bloxham
    2099 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Suite 201
    Walnut Creek, CA 94596

    Walnut Creek Law Office

  • Injury Law Center - San Jose
    Law Offices of Jack Bloxham
    2570 N. First Street
    Second Floor
    San Jose, CA 95131

    San Jose, CA Law Office

  • Injury Law Center - Fremont-Hayward
    Law Offices of Jack Bloxham
    7100 Stevenson Blvd.
    Fremont, CA 94538

    Fremont - Hayward Law Office

Disclosure: Photos may not depict cars, places or situations related to clients or cases. Other photos may not depict attorneys or clients of the firm. The photos are intended only as dramatizations. Testimonials or endorsements, or statements regarding the outcome of a case should not be construed as a guarantee or warrantee or prediction regarding the result or outcome of your or anyone’s legal matter. Each case has its own unique facts, and the outcome of each case will differ.

The Injury Law Center - Law Offices of Jack Bloxham is a personal injury plaintiff law firm that represents clients in negligence and wrongful death litigation related to motor vehicle accidents of all kinds in the Greater Bay Area of Northern California; most notably in Alameda County, Contra Costa County, Santa Clara County, and Solano County. The Injury Law Center has offices in San Jose, Walnut Creek, Fremont - Hayward, and Oakland. If you are handicapped and unable to come to one of our offices we will come to you. We're usually just minutes away if you live in San Jose, San Francisco, Pittsburg, Richmond, Dublin, Concord, Fairfield, Benicia, Vallejo, Los Gatos, Napa, Pleasanton, Livermore, Antioch, Walnut Creek, Hayward, Fremont, Union City, Santa Cruz, San Mateo or other nearby Bay Area town or city.