Laws That Motorcycle Riders Must KnowMotorcycle riders are at greater risk of serious injury than the operators of automobiles since they are directly exposed to other vehicles and the road itself. To operate a motorcycle in New York requires a Class M or MJ Operator’s License or Learner’s Permit.
Here are some safety laws that motorcyclists in New York should know:

  • Motorcycle helmet use is required for all riders. Helmets must meet Department of Transportation federal motor vehicle safety standards;
  • Eye protection is required for all riders;
  • Daytime headlight use is required;
  • Headlight modulators are permitted;
  • A passenger seat and footrest are required for carrying passengers.
  • Motorcycle helmet speakers may only have one earphone.
  • Lights including headlight, taillight, stop lamp and license plate lamp are required;
  • At least one red rear reflector is required;
  • Brakes on both wheels are required if the bike was manufactured after 1971;
  • Directional signals are required if the bike was manufactured after 1985;
  • Turn signals are required if the bike was manufactured after 1985;
  • A horn or other warning device;
  • At least one rearview mirror (one on each handlebar is recommended);
  • Handlebars or grips must be less than 15 inches above than the driver’s seat;
  • Only two motorcycles may operate side by side in a single lane.

Because motorcycles only have two wheels, they are not as stable as other vehicles and are more susceptible to a lighter impact causing substantial damage than cars, trucks or buses. Motorcycles are also not as visible as cars, trucks, and buses because of their smaller size. As a result, other drivers may not notice motorcycles and fail to yield or cut them off, among other things. Motorcycles are also more susceptible to dangers from roadway defects and poorly maintained roadways. Potholes, sewer caps that have not been properly ramped and other defects in the road can cause serious motorcycle accidents.
Observing all applicable state and city laws will help ensure your chances of a safe ride each and every time. However, if an accident should occur, Bonina and Bonina, P.C. has successfully represented New Yorkers injured in motorcycle and motor vehicle accidents for over 50 years. Our experienced attorneys offer the necessary assistance to help you obtain compensation for your injuries. Contact us at 1-888-MedLaw1 or online so we may help you. The consultation is free, so call today!