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Virginia Motorcycle Laws

Motorcycle Laws In Virginia

Motorcycle riders in Virginia are responsible for knowing and abiding by the state’s motorcycle laws to ensure their safety and legal compliance. As a personal injury law firm that has witnessed the catastrophic effects of motorcycle accidents, this article serves as a guide to the essential Virginia motorcycle laws that every rider must be aware of. Join us in exploring these laws to equip yourself with the knowledge to navigate Virginia’s roads confidently.

motorcyclist following virginia motorcycle laws

Licensing Requirements

To legally operate a motorcycle in Virginia, riders must obtain a valid Class M motorcycle license or endorsement. This applies to all riders regardless of age and is required even for those with a regular driver’s license. To receive a motorcycle license, riders must pass knowledge and skills tests, suffer no physical impairments which may hinder safe operation, and be at least 16 years of age.

Insurance and Registration Requirements

Virginia requires all operators of motorcycles and mopeds to be covered by liability insurance for at least $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident.

Additionally, all two-wheeled vehicles must have a valid registration from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), including proof of ownership and payment of registration fees.

To remain legally operable on the streets, your motorcycle is required to pass an annual safety inspection.

Helmet Law

Virginia has a universal helmet law that requires all motorcycle riders to wear a properly-fitted motorcycle helmet that complies with the standards set by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). This applies to drivers and passengers alike. Failure to comply with this law can result in fines and other legal penalties.

In addition to a helmet, all riders must also wear eye protection while operating their motorcycle. This includes sunglasses, goggles or any other type of eye protection that meets the standards set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

virginia helmet laws

Passenger Restrictions

Virginia restricts passengers under the age of eight from riding on motorcycles unless they wear an approved DOT-compliant helmet, secure seatbelt, and a protective footrest. Additionally, all passengers must have their feet firmly planted on the foot pegs and be able to hold onto the rider while in motion.

Riding Side By Side

Virginia law permits two motorcycle riders to ride side by side on the same lane, as long as they are no more than a single vehicle length apart. Additionally, all riders must obey posted speed limits and other traffic laws while riding in tandem.

Lane Splitting

Lane-splitting is illegal in Virginia; meaning riders may not drive between two lanes of cars or pass other vehicles by driving along the shoulder or median. Doing so can result in fines and other legal penalties.

Equipment Required on Your Bike by the State of Virginia

The state of Virginia requires all motorcycles to be adequately equipped with the following:

• A windshield, if applicable

• Rearview and side mirrors

• Headlamps operated during hours of darkness

• At least one brake light

• Turn signals or reflectors on both wheels

• Horns in good working order

• Footpegs or floorboards for the rider and any passengers

Motorcycles are required to have functioning headlights, horns, and rearview mirrors, unless they are specifically designed for off-road trail riding and are only operated during daylight hours.

Traffic Lights

Traffic signals often use sensors to detect the presence of vehicles waiting at the light. However, due to their smaller size, motorcycles can sometimes go undetected by these sensors. In Virginia, motorcyclists are allowed to proceed through the light if they come to a complete stop, check all directions, and wait for at least two full minutes. However, if the light remains unresponsive, riders must wait for at least two complete cycles before proceeding. This law aims to promote motorcycle safety and prevent accidents at traffic signals.

American Motorcycle Association

The American Motorcycle Association (AMA) is an organization dedicated to promoting safe and responsible motorcycling. Membership is open to all riders and provides exclusive discounts, events, and other benefits. Joining the AMA is entirely voluntary and not required by law. Still, it can be an excellent way for riders to stay informed about the latest news and developments in motorcycling. Additionally, riders who join AMA can take advantage of its many resources, including rider education courses and safety tips. The AMA also offers programs that provide the following:

  • Financial assistance for injured riders.
  • Legal advice on motorcycle-related issues.
  • Discounts at certain retailers and shops.

Visit their website for more information about joining AMA.

american motorcycle association

What to Do After an Accident Involving a Motorcycle In Virginia

If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident in Virginia, it’s natural to be overwhelmed and unsure what to do next. While some accidents may not require the assistance of an attorney, it’s essential to understand your legal options to protect your rights and ensure fair compensation. After seeking medical attention, gather evidence. If you’ve suffered significant injuries or damage to your motorcycle, consider consulting with a personal injury attorney to determine if legal representation is necessary.

Contact Cantor Grana Buckner Bucci To Protect Your Rights

At Cantor Grana Buckner Bucci, we understand the emotional toll a motorcycle accident can have on the victim and their family members. We are here to provide compassionate support and guidance during this difficult time.

Our team specializes in handling motorcycle accidents, personal injury, and wrongful death cases. We can help you navigate the legal process and recover the compensation to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages resulting from the accident.

We offer a free consultation to discuss your legal options and provide you with the compassionate support you need to obtain a just resolution. Contact our experienced legal team today.

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