Virginia’s Motorcycle Laws

Virginia motorcycle accident fatalities are on the rise, with a shocking 126 deaths recorded in the state in 2007. One of the best ways to begin to control these saddening numbers is to make sure that motorcycle riders are familiar with Virginia's motorcycle laws. In this article, we will summarize the rules and regulations for motorbike riders in Virginia.

· Safety helmets are required by law, for both on and off-road motorcycle riders. Headphone inside these helmets are illegal.

· At least one side-view mirror is required.

· There are no laws regarding maximum sound level or muffler requirements.

· Lane splitting - the act of driving more than one motorcycle in a single lane - is illegal with the exception of parades or motorcades. Similarly, a motorcycle is not allowed to drive in a lane with another car or truck. This means that motorcycles may not pass other vehicles by riding in between two lanes of traffic.

· Insurance is required by riders, much like insurance is required of other motor vehicle drivers. Bikers also have the option of paying a $500 uninsured vehicle fee.

· Turn signals are not required and there is no limit on handlebar height.

· Either eye protection or a windscreen is required. Off-road bikers are not required to wear eye protection.

· Headlights are required to be on during daylight hours to increase visibility to other drivers.

· There is no restriction on passenger age, although if carrying a passenger, drivers are required to provide a passenger seat and passenger footrests.

· Virginia accepts motorcycle licenses from other states, and will waive rider education tests after a driver successfully passes a skill test.

· Virginia motorcycle drivers may not use a radar detection device or own a radar detection device.

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