Know the motorcycle laws in Arizona

According to the most recent data from the Arizona Department of Transportation, 2,738 motorcycle crashes occurred in the state in 2018. While that represents just over 1% of total Arizona motor vehicle collisions that year, motorcycle riders comprised more than 17% of fatal crashes.

Protect yourself and loved ones who ride by reviewing the state laws governing motorcycles.

License regulations

First things first: To ride a motorcycle in Arizona, the person must earn a driver’s license with a Class M motorcycle endorsement. Bikers can also transfer a motorcycle endorsement from another state. This endorsement lasts until age 65 when the state requires renewal every five years thereafter. However, motorcyclists must have an eye test and get an updated photo every 12 years.

To get a Class M endorsement, the driver must be 16 or older and have had a valid learner’s permit for longer than six months. He or she must also complete 30 hours of practice on a motorcycle or complete a motorcycle driver education program with approval from the DOT Motor Vehicle Division.

Traffic regulations

Motorcycles must abide by all laws that apply to other types of motor vehicles. In addition, Arizona specifically prohibits motorists from preventing motorcycle riders from using a lane. Bikers may not ride more than two in the same lane in traffic, split traffic lanes or pass another vehicle without changing lanes.

Gear and bike regulations

Arizona requires helmets only for riders younger than 18. However, wearing a helmet can significantly decrease the chance of serious brain injury or death in an auto accident. Riders of all ages must wear either a clear face shield, goggles or glasses that protect the eyes. All motorcycles must have a secure seat and footrest for each person on the bike, headlamps, and a rearview mirror.

Following the proper traffic laws on your motorcycle can prevent a catastrophic accident. Periodically refreshing your bike safety education can also preserve your skills and keep your riding sharp.