As an insurance agency, we at NSURU are committed to the safety of all our motoring clients. Part of that responsibility is to make sure you are well acquainted with state laws, those formulated for the welfare of everyone with whom you share the road, as well as those pertaining to your personal safety. This is particularly important for if you're thinking of getting a motorcycle since, as the DMV motorcycle manual points out, "you are subject to the same laws and regulations as other motorists, but also to some special provisions."
First Things First
Like drivers, riders must pass both a written knowledge test and a road test to get the Motorcycle classification on their licenses. The majority of riders ride a 2-wheeler, thus they opt for an M2 classification, but for the growing number who love trikes, there is also the M3 for three-wheel bikes. Some of our clients are baby boomers who have been riding for decades but find a trike suits their present needs so they test for the M classification which is for those who are skilled at riding both conventional motorcycles and trikes.
Whereas drivers must buckle up for their own for safety, riders must wear approved helmets while riding. However, not just any helmet will do. It must be approved by either the Snell Memorial Foundation, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), or the Department of Transportation (DOT).
Eyes must be protected as well. If the helmet is a full-face helmet, the face shield is considered sufficient. But those who choose to wear an open-face half-helmet, or three-quarter helmet, safety glasses or goggles must be worn too. And for those who choose to ride with music, while the law prohibits earphones that cover both ears, earbuds or one single earphone are permitted.
As for the bike itself, it should have the following equipment, and it should all be in working order. This is not only for the rider's protection but because, like all other passenger vehicles, the law requires that motorcycles pass an annual inspection.
- a headlight
- brake lights
- rearview mirror
- exhaust system
- a horn, except in the case of trail bikes and endurance bikes
Heading out on the Highway
Certain parts of state law give preference to riders. Motorcyclists can ride in the HOV Lane whether they have a passenger on board or not. However, if they choose to carry a passenger, the bike must be equipped with a seat designed to hold two, and a set of foot pegs for the rider as well as the passenger. Speaking of two, unlike cars or trucks, it's perfectly legal for two bikes to ride abreast and share a lane; but only two, - anymore and they'd be breaking the law.
Whether you're a new rider or one coming back to riding after years away, we remind you that failing to follow state motorcycle laws can result in a traffic accident and difficulty in recovering damages. To find out more, and to find out if you have adequate insurance coverage, visit NSURU online or better yet, in person. After all, we're your insurance experts.