8 Washington State Motorcycle Laws All Riders Must Follow
Motorcycle laws are in place to keep both riders and drivers safe on the roads. Washington State has eight important motorcycle laws that every rider must follow and it’s in their interest to do so. If a rider is involved in a motorcycle accident, he or she will have a harder time collecting a settlement for their injuries if they were breaking a law at the time of the crash.
8 Washington State motorcycle laws all riders must follow
- Driver’s license with motorcycle endorsement. Washington State motorcycle riders are required to have a driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement. Riders can either complete an approved motorcycle rider course and present the certificate of completion to a Washington Licensing Services Office within 180 days of successful completion of the course or take a knowledge and riding skills test with the Department of Licensing (DOL).
- Register your motorcycle. All motorcycles must be registered with the Washington State DOL before they can be legally ridden. The title is needed to register the bike. All registered motorcycles must have a valid license plate displayed. Note that motorcycle riders are not required to carry insurance.
- Mandatory equipment. In Washington State, motorcycles must be equipped with the following:
- A mirror on the left and right side that ensures the rider can see at least 200 feet to the back of the bike and beyond.
- A windshield (except if the rider is wearing approved safety glasses, goggles, or a face shield.)
- Grips or handlebars no higher than 30 inches above the bike’s seat or saddle.
- A muffler.
- A horn that can make a sound that carries at least 200 feet.
- Head and tail lamps lit whenever riding.
- Always wear a helmet. Motorcyclists in Washington State are legally required to wear a helmet approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation while riding a motorcycle. Wearing a helmet can be the difference between a traumatic brain injury or even life or death in case of a motorcycle accident. Insurance companies will also want to know if the rider was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.
- Follow all traffic laws like drivers. Motorcyclists must obey all the same traffic laws as drivers. The one exception is red light laws because some motorcycles may not be heavy enough to trigger a light change. If a rider has come to a complete stop at a red light and has waited for at least one light cycle they may proceed through the intersection as long as they are not violating the right of way of other vehicles or pedestrians.
- No lane splitting. Riders in Washington State may not lane split which is riding their bike between lanes or rows. Motorcyclists may use a full lane or share the lane with one other motorcycle.
- One seat, one rider. There should only be one rider per seat. Passengers may ride in an attached side-car or on a saddle seat.
- Noise restrictions. Motorcycles may not exceed a sound level of 78 dBA at speeds of 45 mph or less and 82 dBA for speeds over 45 mph.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident and were breaking any of these laws, seek the advice of an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. The personal injury lawyer can evaluate your case and discuss your legal rights.
Seek the help of a motorcycle accident lawyer
If you have lost a loved one or been injured through no fault of your own, you have enough on your plate. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the justice and fair compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring, tireless and experienced personal injury attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County and surrounding areas since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!