Motorcyclists in Georgia enjoy beautiful riding weather and scenery throughout much of the year. However, it is crucial for any motorcyclist in Georgia, whether a local or a visitor from out of state, to understand the laws that apply to them before they head out on the roadway. Here, we want to discuss the most important motorcycle laws in Georgia that you need to be aware of before you go out for a ride.
Georgia Motorcycle Insurance Requirements
Just like operating a traditional motor vehicle, motorcyclists in Georgia also have to carry insurance in order to remain legal on the roadway. When we examine the types and total minimum amounts of insurance that motorcyclists are required to carry, we will see that they look familiar to regular auto insurance requirements:
- Bodily injury or death per person: $25,000
- Bodily injury or death to more than one person: $50,000
- Property damage coverage: $25,000
Any motorcyclist who fails to carry the required amount of insurance could face significant fines and a driver’s license suspension if they are pulled over by law enforcement officials or get into an accident without the required insurance.
Georgia Motorcycle Helmet Requirements
Georgia is one of the states that has a universal motorcycle helmet law. The law requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets in Georgia applies both to operators of the motorcycle as well as passengers. Motorcyclist helmets are one of the leading safety features that help prevent severe head and brain injuries in the event an accident occurs.
Traffic Laws for Georgia Motorcyclists
Motorcyclists are required to follow the same traffic laws as every other automobile in the state. Motorcycles are entitled to the full use of an entire lane, though motorcyclists are allowed to ride two-abreast in a single lane.
The operator of a motorcycle is not allowed to overtake or pass a vehicle inside of the same lane that they are already in. Motorcyclists are not allowed to operate the motorcycle in between two lanes of traffic moving in the same direction, something commonly referred to as lane splitting.
Any person operating a motorcycle is required to keep their headlight and tail light illuminated at all times.
General Manner of Riding a Motorcycle
All individuals operating a motorcycle are required to ride on the permanent and regular seat attached to the vehicle. If a motorcycle is not equipped with a passenger seat, passengers are not allowed to ride on the motorcycle. If there is a seat designated to carry more than one person, a passenger may ride upon the permanent and regular seat.
Individuals are required to ride on a motorcycle only while sitting with one leg on either side of the seat and facing forward. Individuals are not allowed to ride a motorcycle while carrying any type of package or another article that prevents them from keeping both hands on the handlebar.
All motorcycles carrying a passenger are required to have footrests for the passenger. The exception to this is an individual riding in a sidecar or an enclosed cab attached to the motorcycle.
All motorcyclists are required to operate a vehicle that is equipped with a windshield unless they are wearing protective eyewear devices approved by law.