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Rhode Island Motorcycle Laws

As a motorcycle rider, you have the responsibility of operating your vehicle in accordance with state laws, and that means doing so in a safe manner to protect others. At the same time, Rhode Island motorcycle laws are also designed to protect you on the road you share with other drivers, and that is where our legal team may be able to help you.

At Gemma Law Associates, Inc., our Rhode Island motorcycle accident lawyer seeks to help those hurt in a motorcycle accident with the legal support and guidance they need during a very difficult time.

The Rhode Island Motorcycle Laws You Should Know

Understanding the laws related to motorcycles in Rhode Island can give you insight into whether or not you have a case against a party that caused injury to you. These are complicated legal matters that often benefit from meeting with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Consider the following as some guidance to get you started.

Prior to getting your motorcycle license, you were required to learn the motorcycle laws in Rhode Island. That meant learning the rules of the road as well as your responsibility to keep others safe. There are many laws that you have to abide by, but you also need to understand the implications of other drivers on the road with you.

You can verify the specific laws in Rhode Island for motorcycles by visiting the State of Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles. This allows you to get insight into any law that you are required to maintain. For those who may be victims of accidents caused by other drivers, these laws also outline your rights.

Rhode Island Motorcycle Helmet Law

Rhode Island requires those who are under the age of 21, as well as those who are in their first year of obtaining a motorcycle license, to wear a motorcycle helmet approved by the federal government. You do not have to wear a helmet if you are older than 21 or outside of these rules. That does not mean you should not wear one, but it is not illegal to operate a motorcycle without one, as explained during Motorcycle Safety Month.

Will Breaking These Laws Impact Your Right to Compensation?

Another common misunderstanding in the state of Rhode Island is whether or not lane splitting is legal, which occurs when a rider rides a motorcycle on top of the lines dividing the lanes on a roadway or in between the lanes of vehicular traffic. These types of actions are not allowed in Rhode Island. That means you must ride between the lanes.

Rhode Island Lane Sharing

Another law you should know is about using a traffic lane on a roadway. In Rhode Island, motorcycle riders are entitled to the full width of the lane, which means no other driver can operate in that width alongside them. It is allowable for two motorcycle riders to ride next to each other within the same lane, though.

Rhode Island Laws on Children on Motorcycles

To operate a motorcycle alone, a person must have a specific license to do so, which is available to anyone over the age of 16 who completes the necessary education and passes the exam. Children are allowed to be a passenger on a motorcycle as long as they are on the back of it. Any child that is under the age of 12 will need to have a backrest or another device in place and must have the leg length to put their feet on the bike’s footrests.

Rhode Island Passenger Laws

As noted, motorcycles can have passengers as long as they meet the above requirements (as far as age goes) and as long as their motorcycle is outfitted with the proper equipment to allow this. That includes allowing the motorcycle passenger to be secured in a comfortable position and with designated passenger seats, handholds, and footrests. There must be enough space on either side for the passenger to extend their legs fully.

Rhode Island Motorcycle Equipment Laws

In order to operate a motorcycle on the roadways in Rhode Island, your bike must have a formal inspection each year, and it must be evident that the bike has not had any significant damage in the previous year (and still function properly) to obtain a license. Additionally, motorcycles must have the proper equipment in place, including horns, wheels, tires, handlebars, turn signals, brake lights, and front and rear brakes.

Learn More About Your Rights by Contacting Our Legal Team

At Gemma Law Associates, Inc., we pursue full and fair compensation for our clients who are victims of others’ negligence. Even knowing the Rhode Island motorcycle laws, you may still have questions about your case. Contact us now for a free case consultation to learn more about your rights to pursue compensation.

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