What Laws Apply to Motorcycle Riders?

NY motorcycle riding laws play a vital role in investigating motorcycle accidents. When establishing percentages of fault in an accident, legal violations typically point to negligence. In fact, the laws governing motorcycle use are more stringent than for most other vehicles. One major difference for motorcycles is that no-fault insurance does not cover motorcycle riders. They must carry liability insurance. In a serious accident, a motorcycle rider would have to sue the other driver for damages.

NY Motorcycle Riding Laws for Riding Equipment

According to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, motorcycle riders and passengers must wear the following equipment:

  • Approved helmets (based on USDOT safety standards)
  • Approved eye protection (goggles or a face shield)
  • Motorcycle equipment must include:
  • A passenger seat in the rear and footrest if carrying a passenger (no more than one passenger allowed)
  • Approved lights, including headlight, rear light, stop lamp and license plate lamp
  • Headlights and rear lights turned on during road operation
  • At least one red rear reflector
  • Brakes (on both wheels if manufactured after 1971)
  • Directional signals (if manufactured after 1985)
  • Turn signals (if manufactured after 1985)
  • Horn/warning device
  • At least one rear view mirror (recommended to have two, one on each handlebar)
  • Muffler
  • Handlebars or grips at no higher than the rider’s shoulder height

Lane Rules

No more than two motorcycles can ride side-by-side in a single lane. Motorcycles can use a full lane, but cannot ride beside a vehicle in the same lane. Nor are they allowed to ride between lanes or between traffic and parked vehicles. All rules of the road apply to motorcyclists, which includes turning, lane changes and passing laws.

Have You Been Involved in a Serious Motorcycle Accident?

If you have suffered serious injury in a motorcycle accident and believe the other driver was at fault, consult with an attorney as soon as possible. A motorcycle accident lawyer can protect your rights to recover compensation.