Requirements for Motorcyclists in Fort Worth

Few people love freedom more than the motorcycle drivers in the Lone Star State. While Texas does not impose too many regulations in any field, most will agree that Texas motorcycle laws enhance safety for drivers, passengers, and others on the road. Everyone should learn the specific rules governing the use of motorcycles in the state.

Most people have are less familiar with motorcycle rules and regulations than the laws for vehicles. The laws governing motorcycles vary from state to state, so anyone planning to ride a motorcycle should familiarize themselves with the motorcycle laws. They should obtain a guide to get them familiar with the rules of the road that covers most of the aspects of motorcycle ownership and operations.

A diligent motorcycle accident attorney could help bikers understand the requirements for motorcyclists in Fort Worth.

Regulations for Safety Equipment

Texas state law requires motorcycles to have safety equipment. All of the items are essential for the proper and safe operation of motorcycles to ensure the safety of others sharing the road with motorcycles. The equipment includes the following:

  • License plate lamp
  • Rear-end reflector
  • One headlamp
  • One tail lamp
  • One stop lamp
  • Vehicle identification number
  • Wheel assembly
  • Exhaust system
  • Horn
  • Mirror
  • Steering
  • Brakes
  • Tires

One should make sure that all equipment is in good working order between regular inspections. If some items malfunction, such as tail lamps, the person could be liable for a fine. The Texas Department of Public Safety can provide comprehensive information about the rules for motorcycle safety equipment.

Class M Motorcycle Licenses

In addition to meeting the requirements for a regular driver’s license in Texas, individuals must apply for a Class M license to legally drive a motorcycle. Drivers cannot apply for a Class M motorcycle license until they complete and pass a motorcycle operator training course approved by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). The Texas Department of Public Safety has an approved list of trainers online with a map with the locations of the motorcycle safety training courses throughout the state.

The basic course covers a wide range of topics pertaining to motorcycle safety, including tips on the safe riding of a motorcycle, clothing to protect them while driving, avoiding obstacles and other highway hazards, and how to get out of difficult or life-threatening traffic situations. In addition to the basic course, Texas offers an intermediate level one-day course for those with some experience to learn more about safety on the roads.

To receive a license, a driver must pass a written test on motorcycle operation. A road test may also be required but could be waived for adults with experience. Minors between the ages of 15 and 17 must pass the road test without exception. The road test assesses the driver’s skill in controlling the motorcycle, staying in the proper lane, correct use of turn signals, and the ability to observe traffic and predict problems.

The Use of Helmets in Fort Worth

All riders in Texas under the age of 21 are required to wear a helmet when operating a motorcycle. Riders over the age of 21 must carry proof that they have at least $10,000 in medical insurance, and they must pass an approved motorcycle safety course.

While the law permits helmetless riding, motorcycle drivers or riders are encouraged to wear helmets. Most motorcycle fatalities are due to head injuries, and helmets represent the best way to protect drivers and riders from serious injury.

For those who are mandated to wear helmets, Texas requires that the headgear meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 218. Experts say that helmets should fit the head snuggly but comfortably and also be properly secured. Fractures or dents can impair the ability of the helmet to protect the head. Also, those with proper protection can prevent eye damage, sunburn, and hearing loss.

Annual Safety Inspection

All vehicles registered in Texas, including motorcycles, must pass an annual safety inspection. This ensures that all vehicles meet the minimum safety requirements for operation on the road. Regular inspections help protect both drivers and other vehicles on the road from accidents caused by malfunctioning equipment.

A motorcycle inspection checks the following items to ensure they meet minimum legal safety requirements under Texas motorcycle laws:

  • Tail lamp
  • Stop lamp
  • License plate lamp
  • Rear-end reflector
  • Head lamp
  • Horn
  • Mirror
  • Steering
  • Brakes
  • Tires
  • Wheel assembly
  • Exhaust system
  • Vehicle identification number

Once a motorcycle passes state inspection, the person receives a certificate to displayed somewhere near the license plate at the rear of the vehicle. Seventeen counties also require that vehicles, including motorcycles, pass an emissions test. Both Dallas County and Tarrant County are included. Motorcycles must also meet other standards under Texas law.

Those carrying passengers must be equipped with a saddle that meets state legal requirements and must run in such a way so that no more than three wheels are engaged in moving the motorcycle forward.

Liability Insurance

To pass inspection and successfully receive an updated registration, motorcycle owners must carry documentation proving that the vehicle is properly insured in Texas, and the liability insurance meets the legal minimum requirement. Owners must carry at least $30,000 to cover the death or bodily injury of one person, $60,000 to cover the death or bodily injury of the second person, and $25,000 to cover any property damage incurred.

Owners must also register with their county assessor’s office for personal property tax purposes. The county assessor’s office provides the owner with a state-approved license plate to be displayed on the rear of the vehicle at all times. The license plate must carry a valid and current registration sticker.

How a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Could Help

There are various requirements for motorcyclists in Fort Worth. Motorcyclists are required to have proper licenses, safety equipment, and passing state inspections. A knowledgeable motorcycle accident attorney could help ensure that a biker follows the state’s regulations.

Call today to schedule a consultation.