Motorcycles share the road with cars, trucks, and other automobiles every day, and when things go wrong the results can be catastrophic. This is why it’s important for both riders and drivers to know their rights to the road. This keeps motorcycle riders safe and helps them know to stand up for themselves when they are injured.
Knowing where motorcycles belong in the lane is both important and scarily rare. Just like cars, motorcycles have the right to the entire width of the lane they occupy. This means that cars are not allowed to pass motorcycles in their lane, just as motorcycles are not allowed to pass cars in the same lane.
Lane splitting is not allowed in Louisiana. Specifically, motorcycles are not allowed to operate between lanes of traffic or between adjacent lines or rows of vehicles.
Side by Side Riding
Motorcycles are allowed to ride side by side in the same lane with a maximum of two motorcycles per lane. Exceeding two is illegal and dangerous.
It is illegal to coast downhill in Louisiana, or drive-by disengaging the clutch and keeping the vehicle in neutral. This is illegal for both cars and motorcycles.
Motorcycles are required to have at least one but not more than two headlights and at least one tail light. The headlight must be strong enough to see a person or object 300 feet away when driving over 35 miles per hour. The high-intensity portion of the light must not be aimed higher than the center of the headlight when the motorcycle is loaded. The tail light has to be colored red and strong enough to be visible from 1,000 feet away.
Drivers and riders are required to implement their headlights and tail lights in situations in which there is poor visibility. This includes:
- Between sunset and sunrise
- When conditions make it hard to see vehicles that are 500 feet away on the highway
- When the weather requires the use of windscreen wipers
- When driving in a tunnel
Failure to utilize proper lighting decreases visibility and increases risk. If you are caught breaking the above laws, you cannot be fined more than $25 but are still risking the lives of those around you.
Motorcycle riders are required to wear up-to-code helmets on their heads at all times the vehicle is in motion. The law also says that the helmet must be safely fastened on the head by use of a chin strap.
If the helmet is worn does not have an attached visor/face shield and the motorcycle is not equipped with a windshield of sufficient height, the rider must wear protective goggles. The goggles must be approved as safe and effective, and cannot be tinted if they are to be used at night.
When drivers and motorcycle riders fail to understand or follow the law, devastating results occur. The lawyers of Parker Layrisson Law Firm are proud to represent both bikers and drivers who have been injured by those who don’t understand or follow the law.