As you navigate the roadways of Mississippi on your motorcycle, it’s essential to have an accurate understanding of the state’s specific laws and regulations. This knowledge will not only help you avoid potential legal troubles but can also fortify your safety while cruising down the roads. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or considering purchasing your first bike, the following are some of the most critical motorcycle rules and regulations in Mississippi.
Minimum Age Requirement
To get a motorcycle license in Mississippi, you must be at least 16 years old. This minimum age requirement is enforced stringently to ensure that riders possess the necessary maturity and judgment required for safely operating motorcycles on public roads.
Demonstrating your proficiency in operating a motorcycle is mandatory in Mississippi. To obtain this endorsement on your license, you will need to pass both written and skills tests. The former assesses knowledge from the Mississippi Motorcycle Operator Manual, while the latter evaluates practical skills ensuring you can operate the motorcycle safely.
The state of Mississippi mandates helmet usage when riding a motorcycle. This applies irrespective of age or experience level.
In addition to drivers, passengers on motorcycles also have strict obligations for protective gear. Regardless of their age and the duration or nature of their journey, helmets are mandatory.
“No person shall operate or ride upon any motorcycle or motor scooter upon the public roads or highways of this state unless such person is wearing on his or her head a crash helmet that complies with minimum guidelines established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration pursuant to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 218 (49 CFR 571.218). “
State law requires motorcycles to meet certain equipment standards to ensure rider safety:
- A horn audible from at least 200 feet away
- Operational headlight and taillight for visibility purposes
- At least one rearview mirror for monitoring road conditions behind you
- Well-functioning brakes
Penalties For Breaking Motorcycle Laws
In Mississippi, riding without a helmet is classified as a misdemeanor under state law. Individuals who break this law could face penalties including fines up to $100 and a jail sentence of up to 10 days. It’s important to note that penalties for non-compliance escalate with subsequent violations:
“Every person convicted of a misdemeanor for a violation of any of the provisions of such chapters for which another penalty is not provided shall for first conviction thereof be punished by a fine of not more than One Hundred Dollars ($ 100.00) or by imprisonment for not more than ten (10) days; for a second such conviction within one (1) year thereafter such person shall be punished by a fine of not more than Two Hundred Dollars ($ 200.00) or by imprisonment for not more than twenty (20) days or by both such fine and imprisonment; upon a third or subsequent conviction within one (1) year after the first conviction such person shall be punished by a fine of not more than Five Hundred Dollars ($ 500.00) or by imprisonment for not more than six (6) months or by both such fine and imprisonment.”
Possible Civil Penalties
Beyond the criminal repercussions of failing to adhere to motorcycle laws, additional civil penalties could be imposed if your violation results in injury to another individual. In such scenarios, you might be held liable for their damages – paying for medical expenses or compensating for any loss of earnings they experience as a result of the injury. Reach out to our Mississippi personal injury attorneys for additional help.
Mississippi’s motorcycle laws are designed with both safety and efficiency in mind; they aim to create harmony between all users sharing public roads. If you’ve been injured while riding a motorcycle, you may be entitled to compensation, even if you violated a traffic law and were partially at fault. For help, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.