It is natural to be concerned about your children’s safety if you are a parent, especially if they want to hit the open road alone on a motorcycle. The consequences of a motorcycle crash are dangerous since motorcycle riders involved in traffic accidents are 28 times more likely to be killed than car drivers.
If your teen wants a motorcycle, you may wonder when they can legally drive one. New York State requires all teenage motorcycle riders to follow the Graduated Licensing Laws to obtain their motorcycle permits and junior motorcycle licenses.
In New York State, a motorcycle rider must be at least 16 to apply and pass a test for a junior motorcycle permit. However, there are restrictions in different regions of New York State for permit holders and junior licensees.
Riders in Upstate New York can only ride between the hours of 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. with a supervising adult over the age of 21. The accompanying parent or guardian must have a license to drive the same class vehicle as the riders. They can only give general supervision and control by staying within ¼ mile of the rider.
If the rider has a driver’s education, they qualify for a Class MJ license (Junior Motorcycle). They must follow the same restrictions as junior licensed drivers, such as driving without supervision for school, work, and recreational activities between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. Riders in Upstate New York may ride alongside a licensed supervising driver over the age of 21. The supervising driver must be a parent, guardian, or driving instructor who can only give general supervision and control over the rider.
Motorcycle riders under 18 cannot have other passengers with them until they acquire a valid, unrestricted motorcycle license. They may not drive in New York City. When a rider who has a driver’s education turns 17, they can apply for an unrestricted motorcycle license. Or they can wait until 18 to apply for a motorcycle license.
All motorcycles must have proper insurance coverage for public or private usage on roads. This coverage includes property damage, personal injury protection, and bodily injury liability.
New York State’s no-fault insurance laws do not cover motorcycles. Insuring junior riders require parents and riders to know their insurance policy’s limitations and add motorcycle insurance coverage. If you are a parent of a rider, you can add them to your policy as soon as they obtain their permit. Your rider can get their own insurance, but it requires them to be their vehicle’s full owner or partial owner.
Talk with your teen about motorcycle safety, even if they are responsible enough to have a license and insurance on their own. You should know the basics of motorcycle safety before sitting down with your teenager:
- Wear a helmet
Discuss and reinforce the importance of wearing a helmet. Tell your teen it will protect them from serious head injuries in case of an accident. Helmets are 37% effective at preventing fatal injuries when riders wear motorcycle helmets.
- Put on safety gear
All riders should wear protective gear like gloves, goggles, and boots while riding their bike. The appropriate gear can help prevent cuts and road rash and protect them from serious injuries like broken bones.
- Don’t let young passengers ride with them
A motorcycle passenger can be a child of any age in New York State. However, new riders may find it difficult to control and balance their motorcycles with a passenger onboard. It is best to wait until they have more experience handling their bike alone before adding a passenger.
- Establish an accident safety plan
An accident safety plan is a list of steps for your teenager to follow if they get into an accident. You can teach them to get off the road for safety, call the police, and take photos of the accident scene. A skilled team of Syracuse motorcycle accident lawyers can then help you file a claim for injuries.
Although your teen may be responsible and follow all the road rules, accidents can happen. If your child is involved in a motorcycle accident due to the recklessness or negligence of another driver, contact Catalano Law as soon as possible. We can help you and your child defend their legal rights and fight for maximum compensation.
Contact our law office today for a free case review.