Traffic Tip: Riding on a motorcycle
By Zac De La Rosa
April 28, 2012 at 10:03 p.m.
Updated April 27, 2012 at 11:28 p.m.
This week's traffic law is found in The Texas Transportation Code, Sec. 545.416. Riding on motorcycle. (a) An operator of a motorcycle shall ride on the permanent and regular seat attached to the motorcycle.
(b) An operator may not carry another person on the motorcycle, and a person who is not operating the motorcycle may not ride on the motorcycle, unless the motorcycle is designed to carry more than one person.
(c) If the motorcycle is designed to carry more than one person, a passenger may ride only on the permanent and regular seat, if designed for two persons, or on another seat firmly attached to the motorcycle behind or to the side of the operator.
(d) Except as provided by Subsection (e), an operator may not carry another person on a motorcycle unless the other person is at least 5 years of age. An offense under this subsection is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $100 or more than $200. It is a defense to prosecution under this subsection that the operator was operating the motorcycle in an emergency or for a law enforcement purpose.
(e) Subsection (d) does not prohibit an operator from carrying on a motorcycle a person younger than 5 years of age who is seated in a sidecar attached to the motorcycle.
Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.
Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1257, Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2009.
Why the emphasis on this particular traffic law?
Motorcycle crashes often result in serious bodily injury when the driver and passengers are properly seated on the motorcycle, so why increase the risk by riding improperly? Passengers should not sit anywhere on the motorcycle other than seats designed for passengers. Riding on fenders, handle bars, or any other part of the motorcycle not designated for passengers, just adds risk to both passenger and driver. Additionally, young children (under 5 years of age) should not ride at all unless secured within a side car. Passengers on motorcycles can affect how the motorcycle drives and turns and should be seated properly in order to insure overall safety of the ride.
The Victoria Police Department reminds you to drive safe, and obey all the traffic laws. The life you save may be your own.
If you have a traffic law question, contact Senior Patrol Officer Zac De La Rosa, Victoria Po lice Department Traffic Safety Unit, 361-485-3700.