Motorcycle Laws in Georgia
There are over 20,000 motorcycles in the state of Georgia. While experienced motorcyclists typically wear their helmets and protective gear, the number of motorcycle fatalities is increasing throughout the country. Even the most experienced and safest motorcyclists cannot predict how the other drivers on Atlanta’s roadways will behave. For that reason, both drivers and motorcyclists should take the time to understand the rights and responsibilities of a motorcyclist on Georgia roadways. If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, contact an Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyer right away.How to Procure a Motorcycle Driver’s License in Georgia
First, anyone seeking to operate a motorcycle in Georgia will need a specialized driver’s license. The Georgia resident will need to attain a “Class M” license; drivers of cars, SUVs, and light trucks utilize a “Class C” driver’s license. In addition to passing a road test, the Georgia resident will also be required to register the motorcycle in the state of Georgia and insure the vehicle. Under the laws applicable to Atlanta, the aspiring motorcyclist must procure an insurance policy with:
- A minimum of $25,000 in coverage for “bodily injury or death of any one person.”
- A minimum of $50,000 in coverage for any “bodily injury to or death of two or more persons.”
- A minimum of $25,000 in coverage for any destruction to property.
For the most part, Georgia motorcyclists are treated in the same manner as other vehicles on the road. However, there are several regulations that just apply to motorcycles and their riders, such as the laws on:
- Footrests. All motorcycles driving through the state of Georgia are required to have footrest if carrying a passenger.
- Driver’s Seat. A motorcyclist may only ride upon the “permanent and regular seat” attached to the motorcycle. The seat must explicitly accommodate two persons if the motorcycle is riding with a fellow passenger.
- Mirrors, Turn Signals, Handlebar, and Taillights. All required by Georgia motorcycle law.
- Helmet. Under Section 40-6-315 of the Georgia Code, all motorcyclists are required to wear a helmet that complies with the standards “established by the commissioner of the motor vehicle safety.
- Eyewear. Similar to helmets, the laws applicable to Atlanta require motorcyclists to wear protective eyewear.
- Windshield. Only required if the motorcyclist is not wearing protective eyewear.
If you have questions about the legal requirements of operating a motorcycle in Atlanta, contact a motorcycle accident attorney serving Atlanta.Atlanta Traffic Law and Motorcycles
Several traffic maneuvers are unique to motorcyclists. For example, you would never see a large SUV attempt to weave through two lanes of occupied traffic. On a motorcycle, however, this could be a possibility, and different states treat these maneuvers in different manners. Here is how Georgia approaches these issues:
- Lane-Splitting. Lane-splitting, or the practice of a motorcycle driving between two lanes of traffic occupied by vehicles, is not allowed in the state of Georgia.
- Lane-Sharing. The practice of lane-sharing, where two motorcyclists ride abreast in a single lane, is also forbidden by Atlanta motorcycle law.
- Headlights and Taillights. According to Georgia law, a motorcyclist must keep their headlights and taillights on at all times.
If you have been injured by a motorcyclist violating Atlanta’s motorcycle laws, or if you are a motorcyclist who has been injured in an accident with a car or truck, contact the Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyers at The Angell Law Firm who have knowledge of motorcycle law and experience in litigating motorcycle accident cases.