Missouri City Motorcycle Traffic Laws

Riding a motorcycle is not the same as driving a car or riding a bicycle. It requires a unique set of skills to operate a motorbike safely. This is why Texas requires bikers to have a special motorcycle endorsement on their licenses.

In addition to a special endorsement, bikers must follow all of the rules that apply to all motor vehicle operators, as well as a few specific laws that apply only to bikers or their passengers. Understanding all of these regulations not only keeps bikers from breaking the law but can also help keep them safe. For more information on motorcycle traffic laws in Missouri City, consult the Motorcycle Operator Training Manual. It contains not only state laws but also safety tips and best practices for bikers and their passengers. For answers to fact-specific questions about Missouri City motorcycle traffic laws, consult our trusted motorcycle accident attorneys.

Motorcycle Endorsement

Texas Transportation Code § 521.122 allows the Department of Public Safety to issue motorcycle endorsements for drivers’ licenses. Without this endorsement, known as an M endorsement, it is illegal for bikers to ride a motorcycle. The law also defines motorcycles, including many trikes, autocycles, and even scooters in the broad definition.

However, lower engine capacity vehicles, such as mopeds with an engine displacement no higher than 49cc, do not require a motorcycle endorsement. Their riders only need a regular class C license — the same license for passenger cars and trucks. Passengers do not need a motorcycle endorsement, but they are responsible for following applicable Missouri City traffic laws.

Helmets and Other Protective Equipment

Under Texas Transportation Code § 661.003, bikers in Texas must wear a helmet. However, the law has so many exceptions that it is inaccurate to call helmets mandatory in Texas. Instead, while helmets are mandatory for bikers and passengers under the age of 21, older people can opt out of the requirement by purchasing extra insurance or completing a safety course. While the law does not require helmets, it does require protective eye equipment. A windscreen can fulfill that requirement.

Motorcycle Equipment

Motorcycles must have essential equipment. They are subject to vehicle inspection, just like other registered motor vehicles. All motorcycles must have a properly working tail lamp, stop lamp, license plate lamp, license plate, rear reflector, headlamp, horn, mirror, pair of tires, set of brakes, exhaust system, steering, and wheel assembly. Bikes should also display a license plate.

Bikers must turn on the headlamp anytime they are operating the motorcycle. There are two additional safety requirements that are related to protective equipment — handlebars cannot be higher than the biker’s seated shoulder height, and the biker cannot carry a passenger unless the bike has passenger footrests. Any violation of these Missouri City motorcycle traffic laws can cause a traffic stop, lead to a ticket or other punishment, and contribute to fault in an accident.

Traffic Rules for Motorcycle Operators

Bikers have to follow all of the standard rules of the road, including stopping at lights and stop signs, yielding the right of way when appropriate, not driving while drunk or under the influence of drugs, and not using a cell phone while operating their bikes.

There are also some special rules for motorcycle riders. Bikers get to use the entire lane for their vehicles. However, they can choose to ride two abreast in a lane. Missouri City motorcycle laws do not permit lane splitting. Lane splitting is when a biker rides next to a vehicle in its lane or between lanes. Accelerating and decelerating puts bikers at higher risk of accidents, and lane splitting can help reduce that risk. However, it remains illegal in Texas.

Talk to Our Missouri City Lawyers About Motorcycle Traffic Laws

Following the law is essential, but most motorcycle wrecks are the result of negligence by other motor vehicle operators. Understanding the role that failing to follow the law may have played in an accident can help a biker understand their potential rights and remedies after a bike wreck. To learn more, contact an attorney about Missouri City motorcycle traffic laws.

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