Colorado Motorcycle Laws
Riding a motorcycle is an exhilarating experience, but it can also be very dangerous. The lack of protection afforded by these vehicles means that riders often sustain catastrophic injuries in a motorcycle accident. For this reason, it’s crucial that you ride safely and always adhere to Colorado motorcycle laws.
We’ve provided the following overview of state mandated laws governing the use of motorcycles. If you’re injured in a motorcycle accident, Mr. Pushchak is here to answer your questions and review your case during a free initial consultation.
Motorcycle Equipment Laws
Colorado has established the following equipment laws for motorcycles:
- Mirrors – You must have at least one side-view mirror on your motorcycle to drive on main roads. It can be on either the left or right side. While having side-view mirrors on both sides of the motorcycle isn’t required, it is considered best practices for optimal safety.
- Headlights and Taillights – Headlights are optional during the day, but mandatory at night. You must use a white light that projects at least 500 feet in front of the motorcycle. Taillights are mandatory after sunset.
- Mufflers – You must have mufflers on your motorcycle in order to ride on highways, interstates and other major roads in Colorado.
By law, wearing a DOT-approved helmet is mandatory for all riders and passengers under the age of 18. While helmets are optional for individuals age 18 and over, they are strongly recommended as an important safety feature. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, helmets have been found to significantly reduce fatalities in motorcycle accidents.
In addition, eye protection is required for all riders and passengers on a motorcycle. In Colorado, the following protection is considered acceptable:
- Visors on a helmet
- Goggles or eyeglasses with lenses made from plastic or safety glass
Motorcycle Lane Splitting
Lane splitting is illegal in Colorado. There are two different actions that are considered lane splitting:
- A motorcycle sharing one lane of traffic with another vehicle
- A motorcycle rides between two lanes of traffic in order to pass other vehicles
Both of those actions are illegal. However, it is legal for a motorcycle to share a lane with another motorcycle or “co-ride” with one other motorcycle.
Motorcycle passengers must either:
- Ride on the seat behind the driver, provided the bike is equipped with proper footrests, and the passenger must use the footrests
- Ride in a side car or an enclosed cab
There are no age restrictions regarding motorcycle passengers in Colorado.
Colorado Motorcycle Licenses
To operate a motorcycle in Colorado, you must have a valid state driver’s license and then add a motorcycle endorsement to your license. This isn’t a separate license; it’s just an addendum to your regular driver’s license that demonstrates you’ve completed the requirements to safely operate a motorcycle.
There are two different motorcycle endorsements:
- “M” Endorsement – Allows you to drive two-wheel and three-wheel motorcycles
- “3” Endorsement – Only allows you to drive three-wheel motorcycles
Your motorcycle endorsement can be obtained in one of the following ways:
- Pass a written exam, apply for a motorcycle permit, pass your motorcycle driving skills test, and purchase a new driver’s license that contains your motorcycle endorsement
- Complete a Motorcycle Operator Safety Training (MOST) course, and present your MOST card at the driver’s license office in order to purchase a new license containing your endorsement
Pushchak Law Can Help
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, Pushchak Law can help. Mr. Pushchak has made motorcycle accident cases a primary focus of his practice. He understands the complexities associated with these claims, and he’ll fight aggressively to help you recover the compensation you deserve. You can learn about your legal rights and options by speaking with Mr. Pushchak in person.
Please contact Pushchak Law today to schedule a free consultation. We serve clients in Denver and throughout Colorado.
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