There is nothing more exhilarating than exploring the local scenery on a motorcycle. Enjoying the breezes off the gulf or heading inland to experience the open spaces can ease your mind and give you a fresh perspective on life.

However, riding a motorcycle poses significant risks to riders who do not have as much physical protection as the occupants of passenger vehicles. Traffic laws exist to keep everyone safe. Therefore, you can protect your health and driving record by obeying Houston motorcycle traffic laws. To learn more, contact a knowledgeable accident attorney today.

License and Insurance Requirements

Texas requires motorcyclists to have a Class M license to operate their bikes. However, the requirements vary depending on whether the motorcyclist is an adult or a minor.

Riders over 18

Drivers must have a standard driving license to be eligible for a Class M license. The applicant can then take an approved motorcycle training course and present the certificate of completion to the driver’s license office within 24 months. The DMV will waive the safety course requirement if the applicant has a motorcycle license from another state.

Riders Younger Than 17

Minors between 15-17 can apply for a Class M license if they have a provisional driver’s license or can prove they have completed 32 hours of classroom education in a driver safety course. They must also submit a Verification of Enrollment and Attendance from their high school, be accompanied by a parent, and pass a skills test.

Riders who are 15 may only operate motorcycles with a maximum 250 cubic centimeter piston displacement. However, riders can apply to remove this restriction when they turn 16.

Liability Insurance

All motorcyclists must have liability insurance with a minimum coverage of $30,000 for bodily injury to one person, $60,000 for injuries to multiple people, and $25,000 for property damage.

To learn more about license requirements for operating a motorcycle, reach out to a seasoned lawyer in Houston.

Necessary Motorcycle Equipment

Riders and passengers under 21 in Houston must wear helmets. However, adults can opt not to wear headgear if they have completed a motorcycle safety course or have health insurance that will cover motorcycle accident injuries. Likewise, Texas does not restrict motorcycle helmet speakers or require engine noise control. Motorcyclists may also use radar devices. Eye protection is not necessary unless the biker takes their motorcycle off-road.

A motorcycle’s handlebars cannot rise more than 15 inches above the seat. Additionally, bikes must have at least one rear-view mirror. Finally, if a bike was manufactured after 1975, it must have a daytime headlight, but all motorcycles must have a tail lamp and a stop lamp.

Laws Regarding Motorcycle Operation

Motorcyclists must obey all traffic laws that apply to other drivers on the road. For example, riders must abide by speed limits, signal lane merges and turns, and must not ride while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Texas law allows motorcycles the full use of their lane. However, riders cannot travel next to each other but can ride in a staggered formation if they maintain a safe distance. According to Texas Transportation Code §545.060, lane splitting is illegal in this state. Similarly, bikers may not pass other vehicles in the space between lanes.

Riders should remember that motorcycles are more vulnerable to poor road conditions than four-wheeled vehicles, so they should be conservative about operating their motorcycles in poor weather or on sloppy roads in Houston.

Contact a Houston Attorney to Learn More About Traffic Laws

Accidents could still happen even when you follow all the Houston motorcycle traffic laws. If you sustained injuries in a motorcycle accident, a hardworking attorney could help you hold the liable parties responsible.

You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Call today to discuss your situation with a seasoned attorney.