• A Brief History of Motorcycle Safety Laws

    motorcycle laws - JarveRiding a motorcycle offers a tremendous feeling of freedom, but there are also inherent dangers involved in riding in such an exposed way. Motorcycle crashes are much more likely without the benefit of bumpers or the protections afforded while riding in a car or truck. Motorcycle safety laws have changed over the years. For example, in 1975 helmet use was required in almost every state because federal highway funding was held back from states that did not enact such laws. But just one year later that requirement was removed, and other financial incentives offered to states have been pulled back as well.

    In the state of New Jersey, people who want to drive a motorcycle have to have a specific motorcycle license, and in order to get that they need to be 17 or older and pass both a written test and a vision test. There is also a road test that must be passed unless the rider completes a three-day Motorcycle Safety Education Program Basic Rider Course.

    Beyond these basic requirements, the state mandates that all motorcycle drivers and their passengers wear a helmet while driving on any state road. The helmets must be the appropriate size and must be secured using neck or chin straps, and it must have reflective material to ensure that it can be seen at night. Drivers are also required to have either a face shield or protective goggles unless their bike is fitted with an approved windscreen.

    The motorcycle itself must also have certain equipment, including at least one rear-view mirror, one working headlight and a taillight, brake light, license plate light and a rear reflector. The state does not permit handlebars to be higher than the driver’s shoulder height, and all bikes must comply with the Federal Motor Safety Standards as established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Finally, motorcyclists must register their bikes and purchase a minimum of $15,000 in liability insurance, $30,000 in insurance for total body injury for multiple people, and at least $5,000 in property damage insurance.

    Following these rules helps to protect both the rider from motorcycle injuries and those with whom they share the road. If you or someone you love is injured in a motorcycle accident and you need information on your rights, contact our office today to set up a free consultation.

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