Keeping children safe is of critical importance. If you are a motorcyclist who is also a parent, be sure to familiarize yourself with these motorcycle laws regarding children.
Riding a motorcycle can be a fun activity, as well as an effective way to commute from place to place, but riding a motorcycle is anything but risk-free. Data from a one-year time period collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) demonstrated that motorcyclist deaths occurred 28 times more frequently than did fatalities in other vehicles.
If you are a motorcyclist in our state, it is important that you understand the laws and regulations surrounding motorcycle use, especially if you are a parent who plans on riding with minor children. Here are some of the motorcycle laws regarding children in Texas:
How Old Do You Have to be to Operate a Motorcycle?
In order to operate a motorcycle in Texas, one must have a Class M driver’s license, which can only be obtained after the completion of an approved motorcycle safety course. The youngest age at which someone can enroll in a motorcycle safety course is age 15. Minors ages 15 through 17 can only enroll in a motorcycle safety course if:
- They are in possession of a Class C learner license and have completed driver’s education; or
- Can present a certification of completion for the classroom element of driver’s education; or
- Have a provisional driver’s license.
Anyone who is younger than 15 years of age cannot legally operate a motorcycle in Texas. Those who are 15 years of age are restricted to the operation of a motorcycle with a piston displacement of no more than 250 cubic centimeters; the restriction is lifted when the rider turns 16.
How Old Does a Passenger Have to be in Order to be Transported Via Motorcycle?
In Texas, you cannot transport a baby, nor a toddler, on a motorcycle legally. The law holds that only those children who are 5 years of age or older may act as a passenger on a motorcycle. As an additional note, if a motorcycle is designed to carry more than just the operator alone, the motorcycle must have handholds and footrests for the passenger.
Is There a Helmet Law for Children?
Failure to wear a motorcycle helmet is incredibly risky; traumatic brain injury is a leading cause of permanent injury and death for motorcyclists who are involved in crashes throughout the nation. Those passengers who are 20 years of age and younger must be helmeted; there are no exceptions to this requirement. A passenger who is over 21 years of age does not have to wear a helmet if he or she satisfies the state’s exemption requirements.
Call Our Law Firm if You or Your Child is Injured in a Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycles are dangerous. If you or your child has been injured in a motorcycle accident, call our experienced Texas motorcycle accident lawyers at the office of Scott M. Brown & Associates for a consultation and legal representation you can trust.