Cyclists love the open road. They love the feeling of adventure and freedom that riding a motorcycle brings. There is a comradery that flows between all cyclists, but if you are riding in the state of Louisiana, you need to know the laws that motorcycle drivers must obey. So, let our motorcycle accident lawyers go over them now.
- While riding on or operating a motorcycle, you must wear a proper helmet. It must have adequate padding, a chin strap, and depending on your form of eye protection, it may need a visor.
- Eye protection is required. The options include:
A windshield that is made for motorcycles and is tall enough to protect your eyes, or goggles with a visor.
- Your handlebars can be no higher than your shoulders.
- The motorcycle must have a permanent and regular seat. This includes the seat for the driver and the seat for the passengers.
- You must ride astride the bike. This means anyone on the bike must have one leg on each side of the motorcycle
- You may not drive on the line or between lanes of traffic.
- You can only pass other vehicles on the left-hand side.
- If riding in a group, there can be no more than two motorcycles, side-by-side.
- You can use a modular lighting headlight (to make you easier to see), but only during the day. At night, your headlight must be standard.
- You must have both hands free at all times while operating a motorcycle
- You may not ride with children that are under the age of 5-years old.
- You must have a license to operate a motorcycle. This is not the same as your automobile drivers license. Just like you had to take a test to drive an automobile, you will have to take a test to operate a motorcycle. Once you have passed that test, your driver’s license will be changed, adding the motorcycle endorsement.
Registration, inspection, and insurance
- You are required to register your motorcycle with the state of Louisiana and obtain a license plate. There is a registration fee. You must also pay taxes on your motorcycle. If you have just moved to Louisiana, you must prove you paid taxes in the state you came from. If you cannot, you will have to pay taxes in Louisiana.
- If you just bought your motorcycle, you have 40 days to have it inspected (and obtain the inspection sticker), pay the taxes, and register the motorcycle.
- Your registration is valid for 5-years.
- You must provide proof of insurance that meets the Louisiana minimum. The DMV or your insurance agent can explain those if you do not know them.
- Depending on the parish you live in, you may have to provide an emissions inspection sticker.
These laws must be obeyed, and the police have a low tolerance for people who broke the law. Breaking a motorcycle law not only puts you in danger, it puts everyone in danger. Before you purchase a motorcycle, make sure you understand what is required of you. Safe operation and defensive driving are very important, and they might save your life.
For more information, speak to a motorcycle accident attorney today.