Massachusetts has some of the strictest motorcycle safety laws in the country. However, having laws in place only helps to limit the risks associated with riding a motorcycle.
In Massachusetts, the number of motorcyclists involved in fatal accidents accounted for 15 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities in 2017. This was an increase from 11 percent in the prior year. Because of the inherent risks riding a motorcycle poses it is important to stay alert on the road and follow all safety guidelines.
What are Massachusetts’ safety laws?
Massachusetts requires that both the rider and passenger of a motorcycle wear a helmet. The Department of Transportation must certify the helmets. Massachusetts also has no age restrictions on helmet use. No matter how old you are, you must be wearing a helmet.
Eye protection is required under Massachusetts law. Both the passenger and the operator of the motorcycle must be wearing certified eye goggles or helmets that protect their eyes. Additionally, they require you to have eye protection even if you have a windshield in place.
Massachusetts requires mufflers on all motorcycles. It is illegal to alter your muffler in anyway and for the bike to exceed a 99-decibel level. This law limits the decibel level of the motorcycle to protect your hearing and the hearing of others.
The use of daytime headlights is also required to help other motorists be aware of their surroundings and notice you. Having your lights on may not matter much in direct sunlight, but if you drive through a shaded area, headlights will make other drivers notice you.
Riding a motorcycle gives you more freedom than driving a car. Every movement and reaction is heightened while you are focused on the open road. With this extra freedom comes some added risk. Maintaining your safety should be your number one priority and, if you follow the law you may be able to minimize the risks of receiving a traffic ticket and being injured.