What are the laws about motorcycle operation in Arizona?

The Arizona Department of Transportation reported more than 2,300 motorcycle accidents in the state in 2020 alone. While both injuries and fatalities related to motorcycle collisions decreased from 2019 numbers, the state continues to stress the importance of safety for motorcycle riders.

Understanding the laws for motorcycle operation in Arizona can help you avoid serious accident injury.

Operational laws

If you plan to operate a motorcycle in Arizona, you must obtain a driver’s license with a Class M motorcycle endorsement.

Motorcyclists can share a lane of traffic with one other motorist only. They cannot split lanes of traffic or pass another motor vehicle in the same lane. By the same token, cars and trucks must share the roads with motorcycles.

To maximize visibility, turn on your bike’s headlamps even during daylight hours. Before entering an intersection, make sure the road is clear and that other drivers can see you.

Equipment laws

All motorcycle operators or passengers younger than 18 must wear a helmet. Even adults should wear motorcycle helmets to prevent traumatic brain injury. The DOT estimates that half of motorcycle fatalities in the state affected a driver who was not wearing a helmet. All motorcyclists must wear either a transparent face shield, goggles or glasses to protect the eyes while driving.

Your motorcycle must have a seat and footrest for the operator as well as a seat and footrest for each passenger, if applicable. Arizona also requires all motorcycles to have rearview mirrors and headlamps.

Following these laws can reduce the risk of a serious accident injury while riding on a motorcycle.