Massachusetts Motorcycle Laws, Tips & Legal Analysis
This article will conclude our discussion on the laws governing motorcycles in Massachusetts. Unlike some other states, Massachusetts requires all motorcycle riders to wear a helmet. In addition to helmets, riders must also comply with additional safety regulations. We will skim over some of the more significant aspects and overview each. We hope that this information will be helpful to both motorists and motorcyclists alike. Stay safe out there!
Motorcycle Helmet Laws in Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, all motorcycle drivers and riders must wear helmets that meet the minimum standards prescribed by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles. It applies to anyone riding in a sidecar as well. Operators must also wear eyeglasses, goggles, or a protective face shield if the bike does not have a windshield or screen. Violating motorcycle helmet laws in Massachusetts carries a fine of $35 for the first offense and $75-$100 for the second and increased surcharges.
Additional costs could result from the bike being towed from the scene. The state also requires rider education courses, special endorsements on driver licenses, and increased awareness of motorcycles among motorists to help reduce the number of impaired motorcyclists and improve safety on the road.
Even with these measures, motorcyclists are still more likely to be hurt in a collision than drivers of other vehicles. If you are riding a motorcycle and are injured due to someone else’s negligence, you might be eligible for compensation for medical expenditures, missed income, suffering, etc.
In Massachusetts, motorcycles must be parked within white lines unless angled parking is available. Additionally, motorcycles must be parked within 12 inches of the curb in business and residential districts, except where expressly allowed. There are many other places where parking a bike is not permitted, such as within 20 feet of an intersection or 10 feet of a fire lane or fire hydrant. Violators of motorcycle parking laws may be subject to a fine.
Motorcycle Laws Related to Pedestrians
The motorcycle laws related to pedestrians are that motorcycle riders must never let their vehicle enter the crosswalk while pedestrians are using it and yield to pedestrians in different situations. If the traffic light is yellow, motorcycle riders should yield to any pedestrians nearby. If they see another vehicle that has either stopped or slowed down to let a pedestrian cross, they should follow suit. These laws are in place to keep both pedestrians and motorcycle riders safe on the roads.
Lane Splitting Laws
Although the motorcycle lane-splitting bans in Massachusetts are not clearly defined, it is widely accepted that the practice is not permitted. There have been cases of riders being pulled over and ticketed for doing so, so it is best to avoid this practice if you plan on riding in Massachusetts.
Additionally, be aware of the state’s laws regarding safety equipment and motorcycle modifications. If you are riding a heavily modified motorcycle or one that does not have the proper safety gear, you may be at risk of being pulled over and ticketed. Before setting out on the road, be sure to familiarize yourself with the regulations in each state you plan to travel through.
Now that we have gone over the basic motorcycle laws in Massachusetts, it is vital to understand how they apply to you. For example, lane splitting is legal in California but not in Massachusetts. Knowing the law can help keep you safe while riding and also help you avoid getting a ticket. Check out our other blog posts on specific laws and safety tips.
As always, ride safely and wear your helmet!