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What Are The NYS Laws for Someone Driving A Motorcycle?

There are many statutory and common law (law made through trial and appellate decisions) rules for motorists to follow when operating their vehicles. The laws provide rules to ensure safety and the duties of each motorist to the other.

These rules apply to motorcyclists as well as drivers of cars and trucks. Article 34-A of the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law governs motorcyclists. Section 1250 provides that all of the same rights and duties applicable to drivers of other motor vehicles apply to motorcyclists, and provides that there are additional rules under Article 34-A. Violation of some sections in Article 34-A provide a victim with a means to obtain compensation from a negligent operator of a motorcycle.

Section 1251 speaks to passengers on motorcycles. Subsection(a) requires that a rider of a motorcycle—whether a driver or a passenger—must sit only in a permanent and regular seat  attached to the motorcycle. It expressly prohibits a person riding on a motorcycle which is not built to accommodate him. Subsection(b) requires that a person must ride on a motorcycle only while sitting properly by straddling the seat with a leg on each side of the motorcycle and in an affixed seat.

Subsections(c) and (d) have as their purpose not just the safety of the motorcycle operator and passenger, but other drivers on the road. Subsection(c) provides that “[n]o person shall operate a motorcycle while carrying any package, bundle or other article which prevents him from keeping both hands on the handlebars.” Implicit in operating a motorcycle is the recognition that it is inherently less stable than a car or truck.

Subsection(d) provides that “[n]o operator shall carry any person, nor shall any person ride, in a position that will interfere with the operation or control of the motorcycle or the view of the operator.” Again, the goal of this subsection is to ensure the safety of both motorcyclist and other motorists by requiring that the operator have an unobstructed view of the road.

Under Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1252, a motorcyclist may not overtake another motor vehicle within the same lane of travel. This is to provide both vehicles with proper space so as to avoid a collision. This section also prohibits motorcyclists from riding in between lanes or rows of vehicles. This section also prohibits motorcycles from riding side-by-side with each other in a single lane.

If you have been involved in an Albany motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation. The personal injury attorneys at Anderson, Moschetti and Taffany handle cases in Saratoga Springs, Albany, and elsewhere in the Capital District. As practicing accident attorneys with decades of experience and record setting verdicts and settlements, we will work hard to obtain full compensation for you or a loved one. Call us at 785-4900 today for a free consultation. We will explain your rights and ensure that you obtain full compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages and medical bills. You can also contact us through the form on our website, or by using Live Chat.