Be Aware of the Laws in New York for Motorcyclists

If you are planning to drive a motorcycle in the Southern Tier or elsewhere in New York state, it is important to have the proper license and stay aware of all of the rules of the road. 

A traditional driver’s license is not sufficient. Instead, you must have a Class M or Class MJ license or learner’s permit. As is the case with a regular car driver’s license, you must take and pass a written test at a state testing center in order to receive your learner’s permit. 

Getting Your Motorcycle License

There are also rules to follow with regard to your road test. You must be supervised by another driver who already has a valid motorcycle license and who needs to stay within your sight at all times, no more than a quarter of a mile away. While there is no mandatory minimum practice time required to take the road test, the state recommends at least 30 hours of practice with a learner’s permit. 

If you already have a driver’s license as well as an operator’s permit for the motorcycle, you don’t have to take a road test. Instead, you can sign up for a Motorcycle Safety Foundation-certified training course and receive a waiver. If you enjoy three-wheeled motorcycles, keep in mind that if you use one for your road test, you will only be licensed to drive that type of bike.

Rules of the Road for New York Motorcyclists

There are many specific rules of the road to follow when driving a motorcycle. At the outset, New York makes motorcycle helmet use mandatory for everyone on a bike, not just yourself. In addition, everyone on a motorcycle is also required to wear protective eye gear. In both cases, helmets and eye protection must meet standard safety guidelines and regulations. 

Many bikers enjoy helmets with speakers for Bluetooth connections to music, a wireless device or other items. Under state law, speakers must only be found on one side of the helmet. 

Mandatory Equipment for Your Bike

As a motorcyclist, you must have your headlight turned on both during the day and at night. Even if it is a sunny day, headlight use is mandatory, although headlight modulators are permitted. 

There are several other mandatory items for your motorcycle. Most of these are standard, like headlights, taillights, brakes, directional signals, rearview mirrors and a horn. If you are planning to carry passengers, you must have a passenger seat and footrest for them to be accommodated safely.

Motorcycles are exciting to ride, but their small size and exposure to the elements can provide much less protection in case of a crash. If you were injured in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another party, you could pursue a claim for your lost wages, medical bills and other expenses that you incurred as a result. To learn more about the legal recourse that you might have, please feel free to contact Jim and the experienced motorcycle accident team at Ziff Law.