Operation and Equipment
CHAPTER 41. RULES OF THE ROAD
§ 4185. Riding on motorcycles.
(a) A person operating a motorcycle shall ride only upon the permanent and regular seat attached thereto, and such operator shall not carry any other person nor shall any other person ride on a motorcycle unless such motorcycle is designed to carry more than 1 person in which event a passenger may ride upon the permanent and regular seat if designed for 2 persons or upon another seat firmly attached to the rear or side of the operator and said motorcycle shall be equipped with passenger footrests.
(b) Every person operating or riding on a motorcycle shall have in that person’s possession a safety helmet approved by the Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security (hereinafter “Secretary”) through the Office of Highway Safety and shall wear eye protection approved by the Secretary; provided, however, that every person up to 19 years of age operating or riding on a motorcycle shall wear a safety helmet and eye protection approved by the Secretary.
(c) The operator of a motorcycle shall keep at least 1 hand on a handgrip of the handlebars at all times when moving.
(d) A person shall ride upon a motorcycle only while sitting astride the seat, facing forward, with 1 leg on each side of the motorcycle.
(e) No person shall operate a motorcycle while carrying any package, bundle or other article which prevents the person from keeping both hands on the handlebars.
(f) No operator shall carry any person, nor shall any person ride, in a position that will interfere with the operation or control of the motorcycle or the view of the operator.
EXCERPTS – DELAWARE DRIVERS MANUAL
SHARING THE ROAD WITH MOTORCYCLES
Nationally almost half of all motorcycle crashes involve other motor vehicles. In collisions with motorcycles, drivers often say they never saw the motorcycle. From 2005-2008 there were 66 motorcycle fatalities in Delaware. Always remain alert and check your blind spot frequently to make sure that a motorcycle is not present. You need to be especially alert for motorcycles when turning at intersections and when pulling out from a side road or driveway.
Following are a few of the specific situations that call for special attention by motorcyclists and you.
1. Left turns in front of an oncoming motorcyclist account for a large percentage of car/cycle injury-producing accidents. The problem of not seeing the motorcyclist is twofold: car drivers may fail to pick the cyclist out of the traffic scene, or drivers may fail to judge the speed of the oncoming motorcycle. The correct behavior is to LOOK AND LOOK AGAIN.
2. Turn signals are not automatically self-canceling on most motorcycles. At times, the rider may forget to turn the signal off. Before you make a turn in front of a motorcyclist, BE SURE THE RIDER IS TURNING and not continuing straight ahead into your path with a forgotten turn signal still blinking.
3. Following too closely may make the rider nervous causing the rider’s attention to be distracted from the road and traffic ahead. Motorcycles can stop quicker, so you need to follow at a safe distance. If the roadway is slippery or wet, increase your following distance.
4. Motorcycles are entitled to the same full lane width as all other vehicles. A skilled motorcycle operator is CONSTANTLY CHANGING positions within that lane to maximize his ability to see and be seen, and to compensate for objects in or near the road. Never move into the same lane alongside a motorcycle even if the lane is wide and the cyclist is riding far to one side. It is not only illegal, it is extremely hazardous.
5. Cross winds can be hazardous to motorcyclists. Windy conditions can actually move a motorcycle out of its lane of travel. Areas to look out for are wide open, long stretches of highways and bridges. Fast-moving large trucks have been known to create wind blasts which can startle a motorcyclist, and under certain conditions actually move the motorcyclist out of his path of travel. Be alert to these conditions so you can prepare yourself for the possible quick change in speed or direction of the motorcycle.
6. Road surfaces and things in the road that do not normally affect other vehicles can create problems for the cyclist. Gravel, debris, pavement seams, small animals, and even manhole covers may cause the motorcyclist to change speed or direction.
7. Railroad grade crossings may be rough or cross the road at an angle. The rider may slow down or change direction so the tracks can be crossed head on. The cyclist may rise up off the seat to help cushion the shock of a rough crossing.
MOTORCYCLES — “The D Team” SUMMARY
1. “…every person up to 19 years of age operating or riding on a motorcycle shall wear a safety helmet and eye protection approved by the Secretary.”
2. “Every person operating or riding on a motorcycle shall have in that person’s possession a safety helmet approved by the Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security (hereinafter “Secretary”) through the Office of Highway Safety and shall wear eye protection approved by the Secretary;”
3. Specific hazards for motorcycles:
(b) Turn signals may not automatically self cancel
(c) Formation driving by the vehicle to the rear
(d) Cross winds
(e) Uneven road surface
(f) Railroad crossings