Are you a motorcyclist, or are you considering taking up motorcycle riding? If you’re not a biker, you’re missing out on an experience of a lifetime, especially if you live in a place like Colorado that has breathtaking scenery. After all, a scenic drive is all you need to refresh yourself and relieve some of the stress of everyday life. However, before buying a motorcycle or deciding to ride one, you need to know what laws govern motorcycle activity in your state.
Motorcycle laws in Colorado can be a bit complicated. Motorcyclists need to understand all of the laws that apply to them before they get on their bikes and ride. This blog post will help you understand some of the motorcycle rules that are important to know before taking your bike out on the road.
- Motorcycle Insurance
In Colorado, motorcycle riders are required to carry liability insurance. For example, this covers medical payments and personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Under Colorado law, bodily injury coverage must be at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident, with a lower minimum of $15,000 for property damage liability. Even though Colorado law does not need motorcycle insurance, it is illegal to carry people without it. Colorado residents can select from several insurance policies. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or Medical Payments coverage is required to be reimbursed by your health insurance for lost wages and medical bills incurred as a result of an injury. This can be accomplished by acquiring either no-fault or tort coverage. Likewise, there are numerous insurance companies in the Colorado municipalities to seek help from in this regard; however, the most popular among the citizens is Rider Justice, motorcycle accident lawyers in Denver.
- Helmet Law
Helmets are not required in Colorado unless the rider or passenger is under the age of 18. Minors riding or riding as a passenger on a motorcycle must wear a Department of Transportation-certified helmet. A DOT label is required to identify an approved helmet. USDOT requires helmets with approval stickers from recognized independent testing organizations such as the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or Snell. Everyone aboard a motorbike, including the rider, must wear protective eyewear. For eye protection, goggles or glasses with safety glass or shatterproof plastic lenses can be used instead of a helmet’s visor or face shield. A motorcycle with a windscreen is exempt from the eye protection requirement.
- Motorcycle Road Law
Even though motorcyclists must follow the same road rules as car drivers, several laws specifically apply to bikes due to their smaller size.
Lane splitting is illegal in Colorado. Motorcyclists are subject to the restriction “shall not overtake or pass in the same lane as the vehicle has overtaken.” This means riders cannot travel between traffic lanes on highways and other roadways. On the other hand, two motorcyclists are “entitled to full use of a traffic lane” and may ride side by side if they so desire.
If you are traveling with a passenger, you must have a sidecar, cab, or at the absolute least, a seat and footrest on your motorcycle. Their persistence will keep them from falling off the bike. Passengers on motorcycles of any age are permitted to board.
- Parking Law
Motorcycles parked on the street in some Colorado communities, including Denver, are prohibited from obstructing the roadway or impeding traffic. For example, a parked motorcycle in Denver must be turned so that it faces the permitted traffic direction. Furthermore, according to Denver city law, a biker may park in a metered area currently occupied by another rider. State law bans parking any vehicle except when essential to avoid traffic problems or when directed by a police officer:
- At a sidewalk
- Within a crossroads
- Around a crosswalk
- Locations within the buffer zone of a safety zone or 30 feet of the curb directly opposite the safety zone’s terminal (unless otherwise provided by signs)
- In the area between a parked automobile and the roadway
- On a highway or bridge, above ground, or in a tunnel below ground
- On the tracks
- At the lane separation on a divided highway
- License and Permit Requirements for a Motorcycle
Even if you are have a valid driver’s license and at least 18 years old, you must receive a motorcycle endorsement to ride a motorbike in Colorado. You can add a motorbike endorsement to your license by doing one of the following:
- A written motorcycle test must be passed.
- Obtain a motorcycle instruction permit.
- Make time to take and pass a motorbike driver’s test.
- Obtain a new license from a DMV that recognizes motorcycle endorsements.
- Participate in Motorcycle Operator Safety Training (MOST).
- A motorbike endorsement can be obtained by acquiring a new driver’s license and presenting your MOST license waiver card to the DMV.
If you are under 18 years old, you must take additional steps in addition to those listed above to receive a permit.
- An “Affidavit of Liability and Guardianship” must be completed by your legal guardian.
- You will not be granted a motorcycle endorsement (“M” next to your driver’s license) until you have kept your permit for a full year.
- Persons between the ages of 15 and 16 must pass a Motorcycle Operator Skills Training (MOST) course to legally operate a motorcycle in the United States.
Motorcyclists under the age of 21 must be accompanied by an adult who is at least 21 years old and has a motorcycle-endorsed driver’s license, as well as parental or guardian approval. Minors are not permitted to ride without the continual and direct supervision of a Motorcycle Safety Foundation motorcycle instructor.
- Noise Law
If you want to ride your motorcycle while blasting your favorite music, you must follow a set of rules and regulations that vary depending on when your motorcycle was built. According to the AAA, Colorado law prohibits any motorcycle manufactured on or after July 1, 1971, but before January 1, 1973, from exceeding 88 decibels at 50 feet. Any motorcycle manufactured after January 1, 1973, is not permitted to surpass 86 decibels. Also, keep in mind that mufflers are required.
Colorado motorcycle laws are varied and often complicated. You don’t have to memorize them all, but you should at least be familiar with the very basics. It’s important to know the rules of the road in Colorado, whether you’re riding a motorcycle or another type of vehicle. The best way to do so is by educating yourself so you can ride safely, keep your hands on the handlebars, and stay out of trouble when you’re on the road.