An Overview of Basic New York Motorcycle Laws

An Overview of Basic New York Motorcycle Laws

New York bikers have a legal responsibility to comply with the various laws enacted by the state regarding the operation of motorcycles on streets and highways. The reality is that all types of motorists have a duty to comply with the law and to operate their respective vehicles in a reasonably safe manner. There is a set of basic New York motorcycle laws that bikers in the state should know and understand.

New York Helmet Laws

Admittedly, not all bikers are fully onboard with New York helmet laws. Whether you approve of these regulations or not, helmet laws are on the books in the Empire State. Simply, it is illegal in New York to drive or ride on a motorcycle without wearing an appropriate helmet. The state of New York defines an appropriate helmet as one that has been duly approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Lane Splitting Laws

A rather commonplace practice of some motorcyclists is what is known as lane splitting. Other terms applying to this practice include lane filtering or strip lining. In basic terms, lane splitting is when a biker rides between two lanes of traffic. This technique is used to allow a biker to maneuver through other vehicles on a particular roadway.

In New York, lane splitting is illegal. In fact, lane splitting is a misdemeanor in New York. Even a first-time conviction carries a potential penalty of up to 15 days in jail.

Street Racing Laws

The state of New York takes a dim view of motorcycle racing on public roadways. Depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding a particular incident of street racing, a biker or other type of motorist might be charged with a high-end misdemeanor or low-end felony.

A conviction for street racing may result in a significant monetary penalty of up to $750. A conviction for this type of offense, if classified as a felony, could result in a 30-day jail sentence.

New York Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

New York has minimum insurance requirements that must be maintained by a biker. Motorcycle insurance coverage needs to include a minimum of $25,000 for bodily injury per person and $50,000 for death per individual.

In addition, a motorcycle insurance policy must include minimum coverage of $10,000 for property damage. Bear in mind that these coverages represent the minimum amounts required by the state of New York in a motorcycle insurance policy. The reality is that the losses associated with a motorcycle accident can far exceed these minimum amounts in many instances.

If you have any questions about New York motorcycle laws, or if you have been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by the negligence of someone else, you should proactively schedule an initial consultation with an experienced New York biker attorney. As a matter of common practice, a New York motorcycle lawyer charges no fee for an initial consultation and case evaluation.