Weird Motorcycle Laws that Still Exist for Some Reason
When you get a motorcycle license, there are lots of new laws and regulations you need to learn. While most of them will be useful, some laws, that may have been relevant at some time in history, really should have faded away into obscurity. There are tons of outdated and strange laws still on the books. And, believe me, some of these are just downright weird.
Here are some obscure motorcycle laws that you could have been breaking all along.
1) All students in a motorcycle endorsement program must wear pants.
According to Minnesota’s 7411.0565, you must wear protective clothing, gloves, helmets, eyewear. You know, the whole ATGATT mentality that will probably save your life and all. But, for the super-casual riders out there, sorry. Unlike the laws of your couch, pants are required on a motorcycle.
2) Better get out your whale guns.
Whale season is open in Tennessee! Yup. In Tennessee, it’s illegal to hunt any game (except for whales) from a moving automobile or motorcycle.
3) It’s illegal to drive blindfolded in Alabama.
You know, what’s funny about this is that the law was made because some moron tried to pull this off. This is why we can’t have nice things, people!
4) It’s against the law to ride a motorcycle in a costume or a disguise.
According to Virginia §18.2-422, you can’t conceal your identity while in certain places, including on a motorcycle. Sorry, Batman. Looks like you’ll have to ride as Bruce Wayne.
5) In London, you better not have sex on a parked motorcycle.
While it’s interesting the law specifically states the motorcycle can’t be parked. However, I don’t think it would be entirely smart to “go to town” on a moving motorcycle, even though this is technically the most legal option...
6) Better get your old lady another ride.
In Massachusetts, having a gorilla as a passenger is strictly forbidden.
7) It’s against the law to pop a wheelie.
It’s also super annoying. Maine Title 29-A §2062 says a person may not intentionally or knowingly raise the front wheel of a motorcycle off the surface. While the law doesn’t cover the claim if you unintentionally pull a wheelie, I for one think that it’s just better to keep both wheels on the ground in the first place unless you want some awful road rash.
8) If you’re riding on country roads in Pennsylvania,
you are required to stop every mile and send off a flare, light, or rocket signal. But the weirdness doesn’t end there. After you send your rocket signals, you must then wait ten minutes for the road to clear of livestock.
9) Dirty side down? Not in Minnetonka, Minnesota.
If you ride a motorcycle or drive a car with dirty tires, you are considered a “nuisance that affects public peace, safety, and general welfare,” and you could get a ticket. Of course, we support having clean tires at all times. Wash your bike, and you will not only look sharp, but it’s better off in the long run.
10) West Virginia §20-15-5 says it’s illegal to operate a motorcycle outside of your ability.
No kidding. Don’t be that guy.
11) Motorcycles are permitted to drive through red lights.
Okay, so while this nice little loophole benefits us riders, it doesn’t mean you should just blow through every intersection from here to Timbuktu. I still encourage you to be safe and follow the rules.
The “Safe on Red” law only applies to specific states and was created because traffic light sensors, which are more sensitive to cars, can’t always pick up the presence of a motorcycle. To combat this, motorcycle riders are able to treat a red light as a stop sign as long as you give the right-of-way to vehicles traveling perpendicular to your course. Just be safe.
12) In China, it’s illegal to stop for pedestrians who try to cross the road.
I guess you’ll just need to run them down? No, but seriously. Don’t do that.
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