Washington State Motorcycle Laws

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, so we’re highlighting important topics relating to motorcycle laws and motorcycle safety.

As a motorcycle owner, rider, or passenger, there are certain Washington State laws you need to know. Here are a handful of them, but make sure you stay updated on all traffic safety laws, as this list isn’t all-encompassing.

  1. You have to wear a helmet and the strap has to be fastened. This one’s pretty obvious. The only exceptions are if your motorcycle is an antique, or if it’s at least partially enclosed and equipped with a seatbelt. RCW 46.37.530
  2. It’s not enough to protect your noggin with just a helmet. You also have to protect your face, either with a windshield, goggles, or a helmet face shield. RCW 46.37.530
  3. Careful with those ape hangers! In WA, your handlebars must be 30 inches above the seat or lower. RCW 46.61.611
  4. You must have rearview mirrors, unless it’s an antique motorcycle. If your bike was built before 1931, you’re in the clear – laws didn’t require rearview mirrors back in the day. RCW 46.37.530
  5. Leave the kids at home. No one under 5 years old is allowed as a passenger on a motorcycle, and definitely not as a driver, either! RCW 46.37.530
  6. Three’s a crowd! No riding more than 2 abreast in one lane. RCW 46.61.608
  7. Did you bring enough for everyone? You can only carry passengers when the motorcycle is equipped with foot pegs or a seatbelt for everybody on the bike. RCW 46.61.610
  8. No riding sidesaddle, cowboy. One foot on either side of the bike. RCW 46.61.612
  9. You may not cling to other vehicles as you ride alongside them. Yes, even if it’s your buddy. RCW 46.61.614
  10. Move over! You may not overtake a car in the same lane. RCW 46.61.608
  11. Don’t move over! You are entitled to full use of a lane. RCW 46.61.608

Hundreds of bikers are hurt in collisions in WA every year. Following all laws on proper use of a motorcycle can help protect you and others from injury on the road. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, schedule a free consultation with us at www.bfrinjurylaw.com and see how we can help you.