Many parents enjoy taking their children on motorcycle rides, but safety concerns are always a top priority. One common question is whether having a child ride in front of an adult on a motorcycle is legal. While regulations vary by state, it’s essential to understand the potential risks and legal ramifications before taking your child for a ride.
Explore the laws and safety considerations surrounding minors on motorcycles to help you make an informed decision about motorcycle safety for your family.
Louisiana has several motorcycle laws that outline requirements for riders, including children. RS: 191 clearly states that children at least five years or older may ride on a motorcycle as a passenger if properly seated and wearing a safety helmet. The statute also requires:
- A person riding a motorcycle can only use the regular, permanent seat attached to it.
- No other person or child can ride on a motorcycle unless it is designed for more than one person.
- Riders must sit astride the seat facing forward, with no more than one leg on each side of the motorcycle.
- Carrying any package, bundle, or other article that prevents both hands from being on the handlebars is prohibited.
- No person or child should ride in a position that interferes with the operation or control of the motorcycle or the operator’s view.
According to R.S. 32:190, children cannot be transported on a motorcycle unless properly seated and wearing a safety helmet. This law says that helmets must have a visor, padding, lining, and a chin strap and be designed for use on motorcycles.
If you do plan on allowing your child to ride on a motorcycle, follow these safety tips to help keep them safe:
- Teach your child to always wear a properly fitting and approved helmet and the importance of wearing appropriate clothing and footwear for the ride.
- Show your child how to sit properly and remind them to stay seated and to not attempt to stand or jump off the motorcycle while riding.
- Teach your child how to hold on firmly to your waist or the motorcycle’s grab handles.
- Teach your child to keep their feet securely on the footrests at all times and avoid leaning too far or making sudden movements while riding.
- Explain to your child the importance of staying still and not fidgeting or moving around while riding.
- Instruct your child to always follow your instructions and not to distract or interfere with your riding.
- Explain to your child the potential dangers of riding a motorcycle and the importance of being alert and aware at all times.
- Show your child how to get on and off the motorcycle safely.
- Teach your child the importance of staying balanced and centered on the motorcycle while riding.
- Encourage your child to observe and learn from your riding style and techniques.
- Show your child how to brace themselves for sudden movements or changes in speed or direction. Teach them to always follow other vehicles with at least a two-second interval between you and them.
- Instruct your child to always look ahead and scan the road for potential hazards or obstacles.
- Teach your child the importance of wearing protective eyewear or a face shield if required.
- Encourage your child to practice and develop their riding skills in a controlled environment under your supervision.
Most motorcycle accidents occur because of the negligence of other drivers. Getting into a motorcycle accident can be a life-changing experience, and it’s essential to seek professional help to navigate the legal and medical challenges that follow.
If you or your child were injured in a motorcycle accident in Louisiana, contact a trusted and experienced personal injury law firm, such as Dudley DeBosier. The Baton Rouge motorcycle crash lawyers at Dudley DeBosier have decades of experience handling motorcycle accident cases and understand the complexities involved in these cases.
We can guide you through the legal process and help you recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries, medical bills, and other damages. Arrange your free consultation today!
This content has been reviewed by Chad Lederman, Director of Legal Operations at our New Orleans office.
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