There’s nothing like the freedom of riding your motorcycle, feeling the wind in your face as you watch the world go by. While there’s the freedom to be found on a motorcycle, there’s not as much freedom when it comes to various laws governing motorcycles. If you plan to take a cross-country trip on your bike, it’s crucial that you know the differences in state laws and understand how those differences apply to your situation. Here are a few laws regarding motorcycles that tend to vary from state to state.
Keeping Your Eyes Safe
Whether or not your bike has a windshield, your state may have specific laws regarding eye protection. If you’re in a state that requires eye protection and your bike doesn’t have a windshield, you’ll want to be sure to wear a helmet with a visor or road goggles to stay in compliance. Aside from this main difference, states differ on the age at which a rider must wear eye protection, the speed that requires eye protection, and other specific details.
There are nearly as many different laws regarding motorcycle helmet use as there are different types of motorcyclists. Not all states require helmet use, and there are states that border each other whose laws differ on this topic. This means that if you’re taking a cross-country trip, you’ll want to take along a helmet so you can be sure to stay in compliance no matter which state you’re in. Penalties for non-compliance also differ greatly, from simple fines to penalties that may require lawyers to intervene on your behalf.
If you’ve found your bike’s built-in radio to be ineffective while on the road, you may have considered using headphones to listen to your favorite tunes. While this is allowed in a majority of states, it’s not allowed in all states. Given the reduced awareness this may cause, some states have decided that outlawing headphone use while on a motorcycle is the best way to keep motorcyclists and other motorists safe.
To keep noise levels tolerable for neighborhoods that are near highways, some states regulate the noise levels of motorcycles driving on their roads. Given the somewhat subjective nature of this topic, regulations here vary widely. Among the regulations are modifications that can be made to your motorcycle, times when noise is acceptable, and other similar regulations. Keep in mind that, depending on the city you’re in, there may be specific ordinances related to noise pollution that don’t apply to the rest of the state.
Though it can be frustrating when you encounter different laws regarding the same topic, it’s important to be informed of these laws before you take a trip. In any potential violation, ignorance is not a valid defense, meaning you need to be aware of the laws of the states you’re riding through and do your best to abide by them. Seek help from a local law firm, like those at Iron Horse Motorcycle Lawyers and other firms, to advise you on laws in your area and places you may be visiting. This will help you have a more enjoyable trip without any delays.
–Anica Oaks (Freelance Writer and Web Enthusiast)[fbcomments]