Motorcycles: The Workhorse of the CHP

The California Highway Patrol is known worldwide as professionalism on two wheels. In 1929, all CHP officers rode motorcycles and, until 1963, all cadets were trained to ride motors. Currently, CHP motor training is a sought-after addition only offered to those who have already proven themselves on the streets. Area offices send potential motorcycle officers to the CHP Academy where they undergo 84hours of training and 240 hours of additional certification to join the elite 10 percent of CHP officers who ride on two wheels. Being sent for training does not mean graduation and about 50 percentfail the course on their first try.

While improvements in helmets and motorcycles have made riding safer, motorcycle officer’s exposure to the traffic around them, adverse road conditions, and the speeds at which they work put them at higher risk for injury. As of 2022, on-duty collisions have accounted for the deaths of 71 CHP motorcycle officers.