Motorcyclists are subject to enhanced licensing guidelines and additional safety restrictions
Motorcycles can be a great way to enjoy spending time outdoors while taking road trips with family and friends. Many people also use motorcycles as part of their daily transportation to and from work and just around town during everyday activities. It is important to understand and comply with all legal requirements when operating a motorcycle to avoid additional penalties and liability.
A regular driver’s license does not allow you to legally operate a motorcycle in New Jersey. You must obtain either a motorcycle-only license or a motorcycle endorsement to your current license. There are two ways to obtain a motorcycle endorsement. You may either complete a Motorcycle Safety Education Basic Rider Course or obtain a motorcycle permit and take a road test. If you choose to forego the safety course, you must use your permit to take practice rides for at least 20 days prior to taking the road test. Motorcycle permit holders are prohibited from driving at night, carrying passengers and driving on toll roads.
In addition to these additional licensing requirements, New Jersey law also requires that all motorcyclists and passengers wear a helmet while operating or riding a motorcycle. Failing to wear a helmet may result in fines for both operators and passengers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, helmet use rates remained around 60% in 2013. Motorcycle accidents often inflict serious injuries due to the inherently vulnerable nature of riding. Common motorcycle crash injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Severe abrasions and road burns
- Neck and back injuries
Motorcyclists are subject to the same traffic laws as other motorists and must comply with all posted speed limits and restrictions. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is one of the most common criminal convictions that motorcyclists face. Penalties for DUI include:
- License suspension or revocation
- Significant fines
- Community service
Multiple DUI convictions lead to increased penalties and may negatively impact your personal and professional life forever.
If you have questions about your rights after an accident or are facing criminal charges related to your motorcycle riding, contact the experienced New Jersey motorcycle accident attorneys at Lomurro Law by email or phone at 732-482-9285.