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Texas Motorcycle Accident Laws 2021

April 30, 2021Motorcycle Accidents

When it comes to riding a motorcycle in Texas, it is crucial to understand state laws on motorcycle accidents. 

Texas Motorcycle Accident Laws

License

Riders must have a Class M license before operating a motorcycle on public roads in Texas. Part of obtaining this license is taking a safety course approved by the Texas Department of Public Safety, followed by passing a written and driving test. 

Helmet Law

All motorcyclists under the age of 21 must wear a helmet while operating a motorcycle in Texas. Riders over the age of 21 are still required to wear a helmet unless they meet one of the following exceptions: 1) have completed a state-approved motorcycle safety course, or 2) can establish that they have at least $10,000 in medical insurance that would cover their healthcare costs if they are ever involved in an accident.

Lane Splitting

Lane splitting is the practice of driving in between lanes of traffic and is illegal in Texas. If a lane-splitting motorcycle accident occurs, it can be challenging for a motorcyclist to recover damages because they violated the law.

Passengers

Children under the age of five cannot be transported as passengers on a motorcycle. However, they are permitted to ride in a sidecar. Passengers older than five and under 21 years of age must wear a helmet, and the motorcycle must have a permanent passenger seat. 

Insurance

Motorcyclists are required to carry proof of liability insurance that will pay for at least $30,000 per person injured in an accident and $60,000 for multiple people injured in an accident, along with $25,000 to cover property damage.

Inspection

Motorcycles operated in Texas must be inspected on an annual basis at an Official Motor Vehicle Inspection Station. If the bike passes inspection, the certificate of completion must be visible near the rear license plate. 

Registration

All riders must register their motorcycles through their respective County Tax-Assessor Collector, just as they would a car. Once registration is complete, the registration sticker must be attached to the license plate.

Parking

Motorcyclists are responsible for parking their bikes in the same legal areas as passenger vehicles. Disable parking spaces require a windshield placard or disabled license plate, and it is illegal to park in striped areas, near red curbs, or on sidewalks. 

Required Equipment 

Motorcycles must be equipped with the following to be legally operated In Texas:

  • Vehicle Identification Number
  • Headlamp
  • Tail lamp
  • Stop lamp
  • License plate lamp
  • An exhaust system
  • Horn
  • Mirror
  • Steering
  • Brakes
  • Tires
  • Rear red reflector
  • Wheel assembly

Protective Gear

Safety does not stop with a helmet. There is other protective gear that riders are highly suggested to take advantage of to protect them if an accident occurs. That can include: 

  • Goggles or shatterproof eyewear
  • Face shields
  • Fully protective clothing, including a jacket, riding pants, or riding suits  
  • Low-heeled footwear or riding boots
  • Elbow/shin/knee guards
  • Gloves
  • Bright-colored clothing
  • Rain suits when applicable 
  • Earplugs 

Contact Us If You Need Help

The knowledge of these laws can help you avoid an expensive traffic citation, as well as keep you safe. If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact Ramsey Law Group. Our Houston Motorcycle Accident Lawyer will review your case for free and help you pursue the compensation that you are entitled to.