Riverdale Motorcycle Traffic Laws
Keeping the roads safe for all motorists requires everyone to comply with the vehicle and traffic laws. Motorcycles are subject to the same requirements as every other vehicle on the road.
There are additional Riverdale motorcycle traffic laws that apply just to bikers. Being familiar with these laws and complying with them could help you stay safe and avoid problems with the police.
Further, in the unfortunate event of an accident, compliance could help ensure that you receive all the damages you deserve.
Equipment Laws Encourage Biker Safety
Because motorcycles offer no protection to a rider or their passenger in the event of an accident, the state enacted laws making certain safety measures mandatory. Anyone riding on a motorcycle must be wearing an approved helmet. Approved protective eyewear is necessary if the bike does not have an enclosed cab or a windscreen.
Bikers must also wear shoes or boots, and the motorcycle must have a seat and footrests. Motorcyclists cannot transport items if doing so will prevent the biker from having both hands on the handlebars at all times. However, they may transport items that they can stow and secure on the bike.
Passengers may not ride on motorcycles unless the bike is equipped with either a passenger seat or a seat that accommodates two people. Passengers must also have a footrest.
Traffic Statutes Deter Unsafe Practices
Riverdale motorcyclists must have a Class M license or learner’s permit to ride on public roads. Anyone at least 17 years of age can apply for a permit. Applicants can take a skills and safety course to qualify for their Class M license or elect to take a written knowledge test and a skills test.
The Official Code of Georgia §40-6-312 sets forth operating rules for motorcycles. Importantly, it establishes that bikers are entitled to the full use of a lane. A driver who forces a motorcycle out of a lane or attempts to pass a motorcycle in the same lane is violating the law. However, motorcycles may share a lane as long as they are no more than two abreast.
The statute prohibits bikes from overtaking a car in a single lane. It also bans “lane-splitting,” which is when a motorcycle moves between two adjacent lanes of traffic, usually when the traffic is slowed or stopped.
Many motorcycle accidents happen because drivers do not look for them and may not see them. To help combat this problem, bikers must keep their headlights and taillights illuminated regardless of the time of day.
Effect of Non-Compliance on Accident Damages
Violating the safety and traffic laws that apply to motorcycles in Riverdale could result in tickets, fines, points on a driver’s license, mandatory community service, and even jail time. However, there is another potential consequence that many bikers never consider.
Georgia is a comparative negligence state, which means that if a negligent person gets hurt and sues to recover damages, they can collect a reduced amount that is adjusted to reflect their responsibility for the mishap. For example, if a judge decides an injured person holds 20 percent of the blame for an accident, they could collect only 80 percent of their damages from negligent parties.
Importantly, an injured person who is more than 49 percent responsible for the accident or their injuries cannot collect any damages.
Breaking the law is negligence per se, so any motorcyclist who sustains an injury while doing so could be found negligent and entitled to collect only reduced damages. Depending on the circumstances, an experienced accident lawyer could help a biker in that situation protect their right to collect damages.
Be Safe and Protect Your Rights by Following Riverdale Motorcycle Traffic Laws
Compliance with Riverdale motorcycle traffic laws helps to ensure you are not held responsible for an accident someone else’s negligence caused. In the event that you suffer injuries in a motorcycle crash, call on an attorney to help you pursue the damages you deserve.