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Motorcycle Traffic Laws

Every driver has witnessed this scene at certain times while taking to the road. One could look out their side or rear view mirror and notice a pack of motorcycles coming up from behind, and in some cases, passing them out.

Sometimes, motorcycle drivers ride alone. More often than not, people who belong to clubs travel in packs while they ride. The loud sound of motorcycle engines can be heard for quite a distance. Some cyclists can appear to be intimidating if wearing black leather clothing and protective gear.

Whether or not they fit the outlaw image, the roadways are patrolled by law enforcement that is well versed in motorcycle traffic laws. Police know if cyclists are driving in the correct manner and will pull them over if they witness violations.

Sometimes cyclists violate the law. They ride along the shoulder of the road, or between lanes in case of a traffic backup. There might be enough space for a bike to get through a pack of automobiles and some riders will take their chances if they want to beat the traffic. If they are spotted, police will go by one of the following state laws.

Pa. 3523. Operating Motorcycles on Roadways Laned for Traffic.
  1. Right to use of lane - All motorcycles are entitled to full use of a lane and no motor vehicle shall be driven in such a manner as to deprive any motorcycle the full use of a lane.
  2. Overtaking and passing - The operator of a motorcycle shall not overtake and pass in the same lane occupied by the vehicle being overtaken.
  3. Operation between lanes or vehicles - No person shall operate a motorcycle between lanes of traffic or between adjacent lines or rows of vehicles.
  4. Limitations on operating abreast - Motorcycles shall not be operated more than two abreast in a single lane.
  5. Limited access highways - No motorized pedacycle shall be operated on any limited access highways.
  6. Exception for police officers - Subsection (b) and 8 do not apply to police officers in the performance of their official duties.

The attorneys of O’Connor Law promote safety for their clients that are motorcycle owners. We encourage riders to gain a working knowledge of state law and take part in the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s motorcycle safety program.

The program includes three courses, which offer riders of all skill levels the opportunity to learn and apply basic motorcycle fundamentals to reduce the risk of otherwise avoidable crashes.

The 15-hour Basic Rider Course (BRC) consists of five hours of in-class instruction and 10 hours of practical riding experience. This comprehensive safety and skills overview provides valuable training for new riders and gives experienced riders the opportunity to polish their skills and correct any unsafe riding habits they may have developed.

If a rider has completed the BRC, the six-hour Basic Rider Course 2, formerly known as the Experienced Rider Course, allows skilled riders to refresh their safety knowledge and hone their on-road skills. Riders taking the BRC2 are permitted to carry a passenger while practicing balance and steering techniques in a controlled environment.

A 3-Wheeled Motorcycle Basic Rider Course (3WBRC) is offered in Butler, Lehigh and York counties, due to the increasing popularity of three-wheeled motorcycles.

Even safe drivers can be involved in accidents that involve injury, long term suffering and lost wages. Do not deal with police and insurance companies by yourself. As an added safety precaution, contact the attorneys of O’Connor Law for a free consultation. Let us fight for your rights.

By Michael O'Connor

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