Oklahoma City Traffic Laws for Motorcyclists
Whether you ride every day or enjoy an occasional weekend cruise, the rush of racing through the fresh air on a motorcycle is thrilling. But before you hop on a bike, it is imperative that you know the rules of the road and become well versed in Oklahoma City traffic laws for motorcyclists. For more information, reach out to a dedicated motorcycle accident attorney.
Obtaining a Motorcycle License in Oklahoma City
The first step to riding a motorcycle in Oklahoma is to secure an “M” endorsement on a driver’s license. Applicants must present identifying documentation and take vision, written, and driving tests – although completing a Motorcycle Safety Foundation course will serve to waive the written and driving portion of the test.
Upon completion of the written exam, applicants can request a learner’s permit for at least 30 days, which will entitle them to operate a motorcycle with the help and guidance of anyone who is at least 21 years old and fully licensed to ride. Once the 30 days have passed, the applicant becomes eligible for the “M” endorsement.
Lenient Helmet Law in Oklahoma City
While the District of Columbia and 19 other states require all motorcyclists to wear helmets, Oklahoma is one of 28 states that impose more limited restrictions. Only riders aged 17 and under are required by traffic laws to wear a helmet while motorcycling around Oklahoma City.
That said, wearing a helmet is always the safest option. The most recent data from the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office indicates that in 2017, nearly 66 percent of those who perished in motorcycle crashes were not wearing helmets.
Oklahoma’s Modified Comparative Negligence Rule
In addition to protecting motorcyclists from traumatic brain injuries and fatalities, wearing a helmet could also prove financially beneficial in the case of an accident caused by another’s carelessness or recklessness. Oklahoma follows the modified comparative negligence rule, whereby plaintiffs who are deemed partly responsible for their injuries will have their recoveries reduced in proportion to their fault – and if they are 51 percent or more at fault, they will not recover anything.
Motorcyclists whose injuries could have been mitigated or prevented by wearing a helmet would very likely suffer either a reduction or total bar to compensation. An Oklahoma City attorney experienced in motorcycle traffic laws could provide additional guidance on this topic.
Motorcycle Equipment Requirements
To ensure safety for riders and others on the road, state law sets forth several regulations governing motorcycle equipment. More specifically, Oklahoma Statute title 47 § 12-609 requires:
- Two rearview mirrors mounted on each side of the motorcycle that measures no less than three inches in diameter
- A windshield sufficient to protect motorcyclists from foreign objects or the use of protective eyewear
- A properly functioning speedometer
- Fenders on each wheel
- A horn
- A muffler or other noise-suppressing system
- Handlebars that are eye level or lower
Being pulled over while riding a motorcycle that is missing any of these features may result in a fine.
Additional Motorcycle Regulations and Requirements
Oklahoma City motorcyclists should also be aware of the following traffic laws governing lane splitting, passengers, and insurance.
A motorcyclist riding between two lanes of traffic heading in the same direction is known as lane splitting. It is prohibited.
Motorcycle passengers are permitted so long as the machine is equipped with a second seat with footrests or a sidecar and wheels that have a diameter of 12 or more inches
Motorcyclists must maintain the following minimum insurance:
- $25,000 for property damage
- $25,000 for injury to another person
- $50,000 for injury to more than one person
Call Oklahoma City Motorcycle Traffic Laws
Motorcycling is exhilarating, but it can also be dangerous, no matter how many precautions a rider may take. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, lawyers skilled in Oklahoma City traffic laws for motorcyclists may be able to help you navigate the legal process and assist you in recovering compensation.