If you ride a motorcycle in and around New Orleans, you can decrease your risk for a serious auto accident by riding responsibly. This includes familiarity with the Louisiana and municipal driving laws that apply to motorcycles.
Review these important provisions as you plan your next spring bike excursion.
Driver’s license requirements
A motorcyclist must have an M endorsement on his or her driver’s license to operate a bike with more than five horsepower. Individuals age 15 or 16 with a learner’s permit or license may operate a motorcycle only within 3 miles of their residence. To get the M endorsement, the person must:
- Pass a road rules written test
- Pass a skills test while wearing a motorcycle helmet
- Produce proof of motorcycle registration, inspection and insurance
Riders must carry both their driver’s license and proof of insurance whenever they are on their motorcycles. Motorcycle owners must have their bikes inspected each year.
All Louisiana motorcycle riders must wear a properly fitted helmet with approval from the Department of Transportation. They must also wear either separate eye protection or protection integrated within the helmet.
Driver and passenger requirements
You may not travel with a passenger on your bike unless the vehicle has a separate, dedicated passenger seat as well as separate foot rests for the passenger. Children may not ride on the motorcycle. All drivers and passengers must sit astride the bike seat with a leg on either side. You may not carry a package that interferes with your ability to operate the motorcycle. You may not drive a bike with handlebars more than 15 inches higher than your seat.
Motorcyclists must follow the same road rules as operators of other motor vehicles. You may not ride two abreast in the same lane with another motorcycle. The law prohibits attaching yourself or your bike to another bike or motor vehicle. You may not ride downhill with your motorcycle in neutral gear.
Following these motorcycle laws can help protect you from a serious auto accident injury.