Understanding Texas Law: Children and Motorcycles
Each state in the country has its own set of laws regarding motorcycle riding. From handlebar heights to laws against lane splitting to whether headlights are required during the day, these laws are designed to make the road safer for everyone on it.
The state of Texas is no exception to this, requiring its riders to abide by a number of laws and regulations while on the road. For example, motorcycle riders are required to have at least one mirror on their bike, wear eye protection, and register their vehicle.
Among these laws and regulations are a few involving children passengers. As a motorcycle rider in the state of Texas, you are legally allowed to ride with a child as a passenger. But the law is a little more complicated than that. Let’s dive into a few of the specific laws regarding underage passengers and motorcycles.
Children under the age of 5 are not allowed to ride as a motorcycle passenger.
Interestingly enough, Texas is one of only a handful of states that have imposed a minimum age on motorcycle riders. In the state, no child under the age of five is allowed to ride pillion (directly behind the motorcycle operator). However, a child under the age of five can ride in a sidecar at any time or as a regular passenger in an emergency situation.
Additionally, a child aged 5 or over must be sitting on a permanently fixed seat or otherwise firmly attached seat. And any rider under the age of 21 is required to wear a motorcycle helmet at all times.
Malorie’s Law and General Passenger Riding
In 2010, a college student named Malorie Bullock lost her life during a motorcycle accident. She was riding as a passenger and was wearing a helmet, but she was thrown from the bike when it swerved to avoid another car.
As a response to this tragic event, the state of Texas implemented Malorie’s Law (HB 3838) in January 2015. The law now requires that all motorcycles carrying more than one person must have footrests and handholds for passengers. A handhold can be a leather strap, a luggage rack, or another fixed grip. This applies not only to child passengers, but to all passengers. The idea behind this law is to make riding safer for all riders and passengers.
Contact a Houston personal injury law for expert legal advice.
Following these laws can help ensure your safety and the safety of your child. But accidents do happen, as motorcycles are more vulnerable than any other vehicles on the road. Often, these are the fault of a normal passenger car.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident that was not your fault, we are here to help. Our lawyers are committed to helping you get justice for wrongdoings against you. Learn more about the legal services we provide below or contact us to schedule a free consultation.