Obeying the law can help you avoid motorcycle injuries and accidents.
More than 8 million motorcycles are registered in the United States, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). A startling statistic: The number of deaths of motorcyclists in 2018 , per mile traveled, was more than 27 times the number for people traveling in cars. To help prevent motorcycle accidents, both motorists and riders need to know about the laws that apply to biking on Colorado roads.
1. Do Colorado motorcyclists need to be licensed?
Colorado motorcycle riders must be at least 16 years old, must have a valid state driver’s license, and must apply for a motorcycle endorsement (which may be defined as “a note or credential [added] to an existing license stating that you are now legally allowed to ride a motorcycle on public roads.”)
Obtaining these credentials can be done by passing a written exam and the skills test for motorcycle drivers and by purchasing a motorcycle permit along with a new driver’s license to display the motorcycle endorsement. It can also be done by completing a Motorcycle Operator Safety Training (MOST) course, taking the original MOST card to a nearby driver’s license office, and buying a new driver’s license to display the motorcycle endorsement.
2. What motorcycle endorsements does Colorado recognize?
Colorado recognizes two types of motorcycle endorsements: the M endorsement, which allows riders to operate both two-wheel and three-wheel motorcycles; and the 3 endorsement, which permits individuals to drive only three-wheel motorcycles. Colorado accepts most motorcycle endorsements from other states. It does not accept out-of-state Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) cards (unless the card has been obtained on a military base; the applicant must have a valid military ID).
3. Are Colorado motorists required to wear safety gear?
Although helmet usage has been proven to save lives, Colorado riders 18 and over are not required to wear them; operators under the age of 18 must wear DOT-approved helmets. Some form of eye protection is required for both riders and passengers. Visors, goggles, and eyeglasses made with safety glass or plastic are acceptable, but a windshield is not.
4. What rules govern the use of motorcycle headlights in Colorado?
Colorado motorcyclists may use their headlights during the day, but it is not a legal requirement. At night, however, motorcyclists must use both headlights and taillights. The headlight must be a white light that projects a minimum of 500 feet in front of the motorcycle. The state prohibits additional vehicle lighting, including neon, red, blue, or green lights.
5. Does Colorado allow lane splitting?
Lane splitting occurs when a motorcyclist cuts between lanes of slow-moving or stopped traffic in order to maneuver around congestion. Under Colorado law, passing or overtaking a vehicle in the same lane, lane sharing, and lane splitting are all prohibited. But motorcycles may share a lane with another motorcycle. In Colorado, motorcyclists can be fined anywhere from $15 to $100 for lane splitting, and points will be added to their driving record.
6. Do any laws apply to motorcycle passengers in Colorado?
In Colorado, there is no age limit for passengers. But if you carry a passenger, he must ride in a sidecar, in an enclosed cab, or on the back of the bike, where proper footrests must be installed. If the passenger is younger than 18, he must wear a DOT-approved helmet.
Have you been injured in a motorcycle accident in Colorado?
Contact personal injury attorney Dan Rosen at (303) 454-8000 or (800) ROSEN-911 to schedule your free initial consultation to discuss the details of your case. With more than 30 years of experience in personal injury law, Dan has settled over $100 million dollars in claims for his clients, and personally handles each case.