There are many benefits to riding a motorcycle in Georgia, especially during the summer and fall. However, there are rules that every rider should know when they are on the road. This blog post is intended to inform you about current Georgia motorcycle laws and to provide safety tips that every rider should keep in mind.
Motorcycle Laws and Regulations in Georgia
- Riders are required to wear helmets. It’s for your own safety.
- Your motorcycle is required to have a windshield, unless you use proper eye protection.
- Your motorcycle’s handlebars cannot be more than 15 inches above its seat.
- Your motorcycle needs at least one side mirror.
- You may have a passenger on the back of your motorcycle (or in a sidecar) if the motorcycle is designed to carry an additional passenger and has fixed footrests for them.
- There is no age requirement for passengers.
- Turn signals are required on your motorcycle, unless it was manufactured before 1972.
- Speakers are allowed on your motorcycle, but only for communication purposes.
- A muffler is required on your motorcycle, but there is no specific sound restriction.
- Your headlamp and tail lights are required to be illuminated at all times while you ride your motorcycle.
- A class M license is required to operate a motorcycle, which involves passing a vision, knowledge and skills test.
- If you are 17, you may obtain a class M licence with parent/guardian consent.
- If you are 16, you may apply for a class MP (motorcycle permit) licence, which permits you to ride a motorcycle but:
- You may only ride during daylight hours.
- You cannot ride with any passengers.
- You cannot ride on any limited access roadways.
- You cannot ride on the lane dividing lines to travel in between cars or “lane split” in Georgia.
- You can ride next to another motorcyclist in a single lane.
- You must follow all the regular traffic laws of other cars.
- You may travel through a dysfunctioning stop light if:
- No other vehicles are approaching within 500 feet.
- You use reasonable care and consideration when going through the dysfunctional stop light.
- You are required to carry at least $50,000 of bodily injury and death insurance coverage for two or more people (only $25,000 for one person).
- You must have at least $25,000 of property damage insurance coverage.
Each of these laws can be found under Title 40, Ch.6, Article 13 of the Georgia State Code.
- Prepare for the elements.
You are exposed to everything the road has to offer when you ride a motorcycle, both the good and the bad. It would be a good idea to wear the proper clothing and bring the necessary materials to keep you safe and comfortable when you ride. This includes:
- Durable and warm clothes like jeans, heavy boots, gloves, and a leather jacket.
- A first aid kit
- Water, and dried food
- A helmet that covers your entire face and a rain poncho
- A portable repair kit (if possible)
- Have more than minimum insurance coverage.
There are several different situations that could put you in a tight position if you only have the minimum insurance. After all, motorcycle accidents happen. You may want to consider insurance policies including:
- Liability Insurance will cover you if you’re found liable for a crash.
- Underinsured/Uninsured insurance will cover damage and medical expenses if an under or uninsured motorist crashes into you.
- Comprehension insurance will cover you if your motorcycle is stolen or if is otherwise damaged through a non-vehicle collision.
- Roadside assistance will cover you if you brake down on the side of the road. Even if you know how to fix your own bike, making repairs on the side of the road isn’t much fun sometimes.
- “Break-in” your motorcycle.
You need to become familiar with your motorcycle before you try to use it regularly. Practicing could prevent causing an accident in the future. It would also be worth some time to learn basic motorcycle repair and maintenance.
- Prepare for a crash ahead of time.
Even the most experienced riders crash every once in awhile. Knowing what to do in the event of a crash is one of the best ways to stay safe. Keep any relevant medical information on your person when you ride, and know the details of your insurance policy inside and out. Remember to keep calm after a crash, take a deep breath and try to focus.