Connecticut Motorcycle Laws

May 6th, 2024 | Personal Injury

Riding a motorcycle offers a sense of freedom and adventure that’s hard to match, but it also comes with inherent risks. In Connecticut, motorcyclists are subject to specific laws designed to promote safety and reduce accidents on the road. Just like motor vehicle drivers, riders must adhere to these regulations or face legal consequences.

Motorcyclists Are Required to Wear a Helmet and Eye Protection

According to Connecticut General Statutes (CGS) § 14-289g, all motorcycle operators and passengers under the age of 18 wear a helmet while riding. Failure to comply can result in fines starting at $90. Additionally, anyone applying for a motorcycle endorsement must wear a helmet while riding with a learner’s permit.

Eye protection is also required for all motorcyclists and passengers, regardless of age. CGS § 14-289d requires the use of goggles, glasses, or a face shield unless the motorcycle has a windshield or windscreen.

Motorcyclists Need to Carry a Special Driver’s License

Connecticut riders must obtain a special endorsement on their regular driver’s license to legally operate a motorcycle. To get this endorsement, they need to pass knowledge and vision tests and complete an approved motorcycle training program that includes both classroom and practical training.

During the learning phase, applicants can ride a motorcycle with restrictions while holding a learner’s permit. Once they have met all the requirements and are at least 16 years old, they can then apply for a motorcycle endorsement at the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles.

Passengers Are Subject to Special Rules

Carrying passengers on a motorcycle comes with additional responsibilities. Riders with learner’s permits are not allowed to transport passengers at all. Even after obtaining the endorsement, newly licensed motorcyclists cannot carry passengers for the first 90 days. For those aged 16 and 17, this restriction extends to six months.

When a motorcyclist is permitted to transport a passenger, CGS § 14-289c requires the motorcycle to be equipped with a securely fastened seat. This seat must be designed to carry a passenger and be located behind the driver’s seat.

Motorcyclists Need to Hold Liability Insurance

To register a motorcycle in Connecticut, a rider must provide proof of auto liability insurance. This insurance covers any injuries that the rider may cause to others or their property while operating the motorcycle. The state mandates minimum coverage of $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident for bodily injury, as well as $10,000 for property damage per accident.

Lane Splitting Is an Illegal Practice in Connecticut

Motorcyclists in Connecticut have the same rights as other motor vehicle operators, including the right to use a full traffic lane. However, CGS § 14-289b prohibits more than one motorcycle from occupying a single lane at the same time. Riders are also not allowed to pass or overtake another vehicle within the same lane or engage in lane splitting, which involves riding between lanes of traffic.

Injured on a Motorcycle? Speak to an Attorney Today

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, an attorney can provide the support and guidance you need during this challenging time. A New Haven motorcycle accident lawyer can help you understand your rights, navigate complex motorcycle laws, and fight for the compensation you deserve. As soon as possible following your accident, contact a lawyer who can advocate for your best interests and help you on the road to recovery.