It is the fall season, and the leaves on the trees are turning to their colors of orange and red. Now is the perfect time to get on your motorcycle for a ride and take in the changes of nature.
No matter the time of year you ride, there are rules and regulations to follow when you decide to head out on the blacktop. Following these laws may prevent accidents from happening and keep you from receiving a ticket.
Motorcycle safety regulations
- Motorcycle license – No matter your age, you must have an endorsement on your driver’s license that states you are legal to operate a motorcycle. You have to pass both a skills test and a knowledge test. The skills test covers accelerating, turning, braking and adjusting your speed. The knowledge test contains multiple-choice questions and comes from Ohio’s Motorcycle Operator Manual.
- Helmets – Ohio does not require riders to wear helmets except under certain circumstances:
- Any drivers or passengers under the age of 18
- Novice drivers, no matter the age, defined as anyone who has less than one year of experience
- Eye protection – All drivers and passengers must wear safety glasses or other approved eyewear. This can include a face shield on the helmet. If the bike has a windscreen, this satisfies the law.
- Seats – Bucket or bench seats are illegal for passengers. The seat must firmly attach to the motorcycle.
- Equipment – Motorcycles must have the following:
- At least one rearview mirror
- At least one headlight
- At least one taillight or brake light
- Turn signals
- License plate light
- A working horn
- Handlebars – Handlebars cannot be higher than the driver’s shoulders while seated.
Lane sharing versus lane splitting
Lane sharing is legal, but no more than two motorcycles can ride side by side in the same lane. Lane splitting, however, is not permitted. Lane splitting is when a motorcyclist rides between stalled or slow-moving traffic. Ohio regards this as an unsafe practice, so avoid doing it to not get a ticket or worse, get in an accident.