Motorcycles have similar rights and privileges as any other road user. Motorists need to understand the various motorcycle laws in their region to ensure safety on the roads. Road users need to understand the challenges faced by motorcyclists, such as visibility, size, and riding practices, and understand how to respond to them.
Whether you are driving a vehicle or a motorcycle, understanding the laws, restrictions, and requirements helps avoid accidents and traffic violations. Violations of traffic laws can lead to penalties that apply to all road users.
A passenger can use a motorcycle if it is designed to carry more than one person. The motorcyclist operator is prohibited from carrying a package that prevents them from using both hands to drive. If a passenger interferes with the sight or operation, it will interfere with driving and likely cause an accident. Passengers should not ride on motorcycles without a seat or in a manner that would prevent the rider from driving effectively.
When riding a motorcycle, the operator should wear proper footwear. It is commendable to put on closed shoes to avoid interruptions while riding.
Use of Lanes
Motorcycles can use a full lane, and vehicles should not be driven to prevent a motorcycle from full use of a lane. It is, however, illegal for a motorcycle operator to split lanes. Lane splitting involves sharing the same lane as a passenger vehicle or driving between two vehicles to pass them.
Motorcycles can ride two abreast in a single lane if it is wide enough to accommodate that. A motorcycle operator is required to keep the headlights and tail lights on throughout. The operator is prohibited from overtaking and passing in the same lane occupied by the vehicle overtaken.
Headgear and Eye Protective Devices
Motorcycle laws require all operators and their passengers to use approved helmets. The operator should have a windshield that is large enough to allow for eye protection. They should use approved eyewear that allows for clear vision. These headgears should be made in a way that protects the wearer and at the same time enhances visibility.
The helmets used should be evaluated for performance. Effective headgear equipment should pass the retention, penetration, and energy absorbance test. The only riders exempted from the use of headgear are those who operate three-wheel motorcycles that are enclosed.
Noise Restriction Laws
Most regions have noise restrictions from the loud exhaust in their residential areas. In some states, mufflers are required on your motorcycle, while in others, they are allowed with modifications.
Safety Tips When Using Motorcycles
Motorcyclists are required to follow various safety tips to ensure safety on the roads. These are;
- Use of appropriate clothing. Motorcycle riders are openly exposed while driving; hence it is commendable to wear heavy-duty and full-coverage clothing. Clothes made of leather or denim are recommended. You can put on gloves to enhance optimal protection.
- Motorcycles react differently, and during dry conditions, they can stop more quickly than cars. Riders should be cautious when stopping, especially during wet weather conditions. Operators are advised to slow down before stopping.
- All motorists need to check blind spots. Sometimes, motorcycles are not easily visible, especially from a long distance. It could also be difficult to judge the speed and distance of an oncoming motorcycle, leading to accidents.
- Proper motorcycle maintenance. It is also vital to keep motorcycles in good working condition for effective performance. Motorcycles with faulty parts such as bad tires and broken headlights are most likely to cause accidents.
The use of motorcycles is a convenient means of transport and can help you save time in traffic. However, it is necessary to follow motorcycle laws to enhance safety on roads.