Motorcycle Laws You Must Follow in New York in 2019

Motorcycle Laws You Must Follow in New York in 2019

February 25, 2019 | Personal Injury

Riding a motorcycle or scooter in New York City is convenient, time-efficient, easy to park, and economical. Cruising the scenic, forested roads of upstate New York is just pure bliss. Whether you ride for fun, convenience sake, or both, we understand your passion. It can be dangerous riding a motorcycle among drivers who are in a rush, distracted, and often downright aggressive. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, over 4,000 motorcyclists lose their lives each year in traffic collisions. Some of these are the fault of other parties, while some incidences have only the motorcyclist themselves to blame.

Stay as safe as possible by following New York’s laws for motorcyclists described below, as found in New York’s Department of Health. But, if you have been injured in a motorcycle crash through no fault of your own, contact an experienced New York motorcycle accident attorney today to discuss your legal options at hand.


Required Protective Gear for All Motorcyclists in New York

All motorcyclists and passengers must wear a U.S. Department of Transportation approved helmet. It is imperative that the helmet you and your passengers use meets all federal motor vehicle safety standards. Additionally, eye protection is a must for all riders. Eyewear is required to conform to the American National Standard Institute safety standards.


Additional Equipment Required on All Motorcycles

Every motorcycle must be equipped with at least one red rear fender, brakes on both wheels that were produced after 1971, directional signals manufactured after 1985, turn signals manufactured after 1985, a horn or other type of warning device, at least one rearview mirror (however, one on each side of the handlebars is recommended), a muffler (a cutout muffler or a muffler that has removable baffles is not allowed), and handlebar grips that are less than 15 inches higher than the seat of the driver. Lastly, the following lights are required: a front headlight and rear tail light, a stop lamp, and a license plate lamp.


Lawful Riding Procedures in New York

These laws are enforced to keep motorcyclists as safe and visible as possible. Considering that 40% of traffic accidents involve the use of a cell phone, according to Automotive Fleet, it is not such a bad idea to try to make your presence known on a highway filled with distracted drivers.

Using Headlights

Daytime headlight use is required by New York law at all times. The law allows headlight modulators.

Using Footrests

For those carrying passengers, both a passenger footrest and seat are necessary.

Lane Sharing

When sharing a lane with another motorcyclist, the limit is only two motorcycles-wide per lane.

Lane Splitting

Passing cars between lanes on the dashed line during slow or stopped traffic is illegal in the state of New York. The only state that allows that type of passing is California.

Helmets with speakers

A motorcycle helmet with speakers may only have one earphone.


If you have suffered a serious injury during a motorcycle crash that another was responsible for, do not hesitate to call Napoli Shkolnik PLLC today at 212-397-1000 to discuss your case with one of our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys.

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