A new year means new laws for riders

jan_article1Our country’s legal system is a fluid thing, with new laws constantly being added to the books and existing laws changing. This includes laws relating to riding motorcycles.

It’s important as a rider to keep up-to-date on any new laws in your state that may affect you as a rider. Many states have changed or are considering changing their helmet laws. Or your state may change the requirements to get a motorcycle license. If you don’t know the laws in your state, you may find yourself having to pay the price, literally.

Here are a few of the new motorcycle-related laws for 2013 that we have heard about here at MotorEagles.

  • Illinois

    There are three new laws that relate to motorcycles. Two of them may seem like a hassle to riders but one is a definite improvement on the old laws. The new laws:

    1. Impose a minimum fine of $1,000 for popping a wheelie while speeding.
    2. Limit motorcycle handlebars to the same height at the driver’s head.
    3. Allow riders to go through a red light after waiting a “reasonable amount of time” if the light hasn’t changed because the motorcycle is too lightweight to trigger sensors.
  • New Jersey

    If you take the road test on a scooter or motorcycle with less than 231 cc, you will get a restriction on your driver license that only allows you to ride a motorcycle that is less than 500 cc. If you want to ride a motorcycle that is more than 500 cc, you will have to take the road test again on a bigger motorcycle or take the MSF Basic RiderCourse. This new restriction does not apply if you take the course in place of the test. The state is trying to help reduce motorcycle accidents by plugging a loophole – letting people take the road test on a scooter and then buying any size motorcycle.

  • Oregon

    Motorcycle riders younger than 51 must complete a safety course to get their motorcycle endorsement.

  • California

    A new law prohibits local governments from conducting motorcycle-only checkpoints.

There may be other new motorcycle laws that went into effect on Jan. 1 so please be sure to check with your local bureau of motor vehicles if you have any questions.

If you know of any new laws in your area, please comment below so we can share that information.

For more information about MotorEagles, please visit our website.


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