Texas Motorcycle Laws

Texas is known for its motorcycle culture. Due the geographic size of Texas, there are many open roads and different terrains that make riding an exhilarating experience.  Additionally, Texas is home to many large motorcycle rallies like the Lone Star Rally in Galveston, Texas.   In Texas, Bikers have the same rights and obligations as any other motor vehicle on the road. However, it is always important for your own safety and safety of others to know and understand Texas Motorcycle Laws.

 

Texas Motorcycle License

In Texas, to be able to legally drive a motorcycle you must have a valid class M License.  In order to obtain a Class M license, you must obtain a regular driver’s license, as well as, take a motorcycle safety course.

This motorcycle safety course teaches new or inexperienced riders the basics of how to ride a motorcycle as well as, how to handle a motorcycle in dangerous situations.  These courses break down the basic controls of a motorcycle and teach future riders some high-priority safety skills.  Additionally, you can expect your course to include several hours riding a motorcycle.

These courses need to be approved by the Department of Public Safety (DPS).  The DPS website has a list of approved safety courses.  Once you have completed the safety course you need to take the results to your local DPS office. If you have a motorcycle license from another state, you may be able to skip the safety course.

The final step in earning your license is to take a driving test and a written test. If you are over 18, the driving test may be waived. The exam will test your knowledge of all Texas motorcycle laws. Questions on this exam may ask you (1) how to properly swerve your motorcycle, (2) when is it appropriate to use certain signals on your motorcycle, and (3) what should you do about a flat tire, among other questions.

Minors between the ages of 15 to 17 are able to earn a Texas Class M License.  In order to receive their license, they must earn their drivers permit and then take the motorcycle safety course.

Additional Motorcycle Education

Additional motorcycle education is helpful not only if you have not ridden a motorcycle in sometime but also to help lower your insurance rates.  This course is called, Intermediate Motorcycle Operator Training Course.

Intermediate Motorcycle Operator Training Course is a day long and may be taken on your own street-legal bike. It is intended to make you a safer motorcycle operator.

Those with advanced knowledge of handling a motorcycle can take a DPS-approved Advanced Motorcycle Operator Training Course.

 

Motorcycle Laws

Motorcycle’s must obey all the laws that vehicles on the road must obey.  However, there are additional laws that motorcyclist must also obey.

Motorcycle Inspections

All vehicles in the state of Texas are required to pass an annual inspection.

This inspection ensures your motorcycle is up to the most current safety standards in the state. In addition to your inspection, there are also seventeen counties in Texas that require an emissions test in addition to the inspection.

When you bring your motorcycle in for inspection they will check the following:

  • Horn
  • Mirror
  • Steering
  • Brakes (system)
  • Tires
  • Wheel Assembly
  • Exhaust System
  • Tail Lampe
  • Stop Lamp
  • License Plate Lamp
  • Rear Red Reflector
  • Head Lamp
  • Motor, Serial, or Vehicle Identification Number

During your inspection, they will also verify that your motorcycle has a saddle for the rider.

Once your motorcycle passes inspection, you will receive an approved certificate that you should place near the rear license plate of your bike.

If you own a motorcycle in Texas, then you must register your motorcycle with the County Tax Assessor-Collector in your county. This is where you’ll receive your license plate, which must be attached to your motorcycle at all times. On your license plate, you must also include an up-to-date registration sticker.

Bear in mind that for your motorcycle to pass its inspection and successfully be registered, you must have proof of liability insurance. The minimum acceptable insurance includes $30,000 for bodily injury or death for one person, $60,000 for bodily injury or death for two persons, and $25,000 for property damage.

Lane Splitting

What is lane splitting?  Lane splitting has two meanings.  One meaning is when a motorcyclist rides in between two striped lanes.  The other meaning is two motorcyclist riding side-by-side, sharing a single lane of traffic.

According to the Texas Transportation Code, lane splitting is illegal in the state of Texas and may result in a ticket or fine.

Lane splitting is legal in several U.S. states, including California. If traveling on a long road trip, be sure you are aware of the lane splitting laws in each state where you travel. Lane splitting can be dangerous and can lead to serious injuries.  If you are injured you need to hire a motorcycle accident lawyer.

Motorcycle Parking Laws

Motorcycles can be parked in open and available parking spots.

You can only park your motorcycle in a handicapped parking spot if you have a disabled license plate and placard attached to your bike. You may not share this placard with other motorcyclists or lend it out.

It is against the law to park your bike in the striped area adjacent to any handicapped parking spots. Many motorcycle riders attempt to park in these spaces as their bikes are narrow and fit well. However, parking on these stripes might result in a parking citation and fine.

Motorcycle Passengers

Any passenger on your motorcycle must be at least five years of age. Any passenger between the ages of five and 21 must wear a helmet when on the motorcycle.

Passengers older than 21 can ride without a helmet if their driver meets the requirements for a helmet exemption.

If you’d like to give a passenger a ride, your bike must have a designated passenger seat, as well as, a place for your passenger’s feet to rest on.  These are standards created in Malorie’s Law.

Exhaust Laws

Many states have laws in place that govern the noise volume of your motorcycle’s muffler. Texas has no laws that govern the decibels of your motorcycle’s muffler. When in Texas, your muffler can be as loud or as quiet as you like.

Motorcycle Safety Gear Laws

The State of Texas does not require any other specific pieces of safety gear. Motorcyclist are extremely vulnerable due to the lack of protection. However, wearing safety gear can help protect your body. The key to motorcycle safety gear is to provide motorcycle riders with a layer of protection.  If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, don’t forget to call Houston’s Motorcycle Accident Lawyer.

Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Motorcycle riders and passengers in the state of Texas are required, unless exempted, to wear a helmet that meets the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard #218.

If you are 21 years of age or older and have passed a DPS-approved Motorcycle Operator Training Course or can show proof of having at least $10,000 in medical insurance, then you are exempt from wearing a helmet.

Wearing a helmet can provide you with some serious protection while on your bike. The majority of motorcycle fatalities are due to head injuries. You are five times more likely to experience a serious injury if you opt out of wearing a helmet. Helmets also protect you from wind and other flying objects like insects.

Helmets are an essential component of staying safe while on your motorcycle. We know motorcycle accidents can happen, whether or not you’re wearing a helmet. If you are injured in a motorcycle crash, you need to seek out the proper legal representation.  Contact the Houston Motorcycle Accident Attorney, Walker Texas Lawyer.

Face Protection 

It is quite easy to get hit in the face while riding a motorcycle. Other vehicles may pick up stones or rocks that can hit your face. Consider all of the bugs that hit a windshield when you drive. These creatures can also hit your face if it isn’t protected.

Research shows that those who wear a face shield while they ride are at a much lower risk of injury. It is easiest for your face shield to be included as an extension of your helmet. Make sure the shield is securely fastened and is void of any scratches or damage that may impede your sight. You will also want a face shield that is strong enough to withstand impact or penetration from flying objects.

If you opt to wear eyeglasses, then you will want to make sure they have shatterproof lenses. Goggles are even more protective than glasses and seal wind out to protect the eyes. Make sure your goggles are clean and do not block your peripheral vision.

Protective Clothing

The clothes you wear while riding a motorcycle should protect you from all the elements. You will want clothes that will help prevent sunburn, keep you warm in the cold, and protect you from windburn and dehydration.

The best riding clothes can also help minimize the risk of cuts, abrasions, and burns that may occur on your bike.

For ultimate safety wear long sleeves and long pants when going for a ride on your bike.

Your shoes should have a low heel. Avoid any shoes with laces that may become tangled in the bike while you ride.

Gloves are another excellent safety piece. Choose a pair that that provide excellent grip.

If you live in an area where rain or snow is common, you’ll also want a waterproof jacket.

Protective clothing is key for preventing major injuries in sport bike accidents.

Why choose Walker Texas Lawyer – Houston’s Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Walker Texas Lawyer is an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. He has handled many motorcycle crash cases and knows how to work with insurance companies and the legal system to provide you the compensation you deserve. At Walker Texas Lawyer our first concern if you are involved in an accident is for your safety. Once you are taken care of then we will listen to you and your recollections of the accident. We will work to help you recover the compensation you deserve from the losses you have suffered. Losses such as, pain and suffering, lost wages and property damage.

We will investigate.

We will perform a full motorcycle accident investigation. Our Goal is to determine who was at fault. Was the other vehicle driver negligent? Was there a part failure? We will talk with witnesses. Our team will reconstruct the accident and bring in experts to examine all aspects of the accident.

We will handle all insurance claims for you.

The insurance company’s goal is to pay out a little as possible. You need an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to fight for the compensation you deserve. Insurance companies may act like your friend, but they are not in the business of paying out money to you that you deserve. That’s why you need an experienced lawyer to represent you in fighting them.

If you or a loved one has been in an accident, call Walker Texas Lawyer. He is the Houston Motorcycle Accident Lawyer. Call us today at: 713- 552-1117 for a free case review.

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