Maryland Motorcycle Laws and Information
Legislature | State Motorcyclists Rights Organization (SMRO)
Motorcycle helmet law:
§ 21-1306. Equipment for riders.
(a) Exception.- This section does not apply to any person riding in an enclosed cab.
(b) Required headgear.- An individual may not operate or ride on a motorcycle unless the individual is wearing protective headgear that meets the standards established by the Administrator.
(c) Required eye-protective device or windscreen.- A person may not operate a motorcycle unless:
(1) He is wearing an eye-protective device of a type approved by the Administrator; or
(2) The motorcycle is equipped with a windscreen.
(d) Approval of protective devices by Administrator.- The Administrator:
(1) May approve or disapprove protective headgear and eye-protective devices required by this section;
(2) May adopt and enforce regulations establishing standards and specifications for the approval of protective headgear and eye-protective devices; and
(3) Shall publish lists of all protective headgear and eye-protective devices that he approves, by name and type.
(e) Failure to use required headgear; evidence; civil actions.-
(1) The failure of an individual to wear protective headgear required under subsection (b) of this section may not:
(i) Be considered evidence of negligence;
(ii) Be considered evidence of contributory negligence;
(iii) Limit liability of a party or an insurer; or
(iv) Diminish recovery for damages arising out of the ownership, maintenance, or operation of a motorcycle.
(2) Subject to the provisions of paragraph (3) of this subsection, a party, witness, or counsel may not make reference to protective headgear during a trial of a civil action that involves property damage, personal injury, or death if the damage, injury, or death is not related to the design, manufacture, supplying, or repair of protective headgear.
(3) (i) Nothing contained in this subsection may be construed to prohibit the right of a person to institute a civil action for damages against a dealer, manufacturer, distributor, factory branch, or other appropriate entity or person arising out of an incident that involves protective headgear alleged to be defectively designed, manufactured, or repaired.
(ii) In a civil action described under subparagraph (i) of this paragraph in which 2 or more parties are named as joint tort-feasors, interpleaded as defendants, or impleaded as defendants, and at least 1 of the joint tort-feasors or defendants is not involved in the design, manufacture, supplying, or repair of protective headgear, a court shall order on a motion of any party separate trials to accomplish the ends of justice.
Other motorcycle laws:
§ 21-1302. Riding on motorcycles.
(a) Required seating.- The operator of a motorcycle may ride the motorcycle only on the permanent and regular seat attached to it.
(b) Restrictions on carrying other persons - Operator.- The operator of a motorcycle may not carry any other person unless the motorcycle is designed to carry more than one person, in which event a passenger may ride on the permanent and regular seat, if designed for two persons, or on another seat firmly attached to the motorcycle at the rear or side of the operator.
(c) Same - Person other than operator.- A person other than the operator of a motorcycle may not ride on a motorcycle unless the motorcycle is designed to carry more than one person, in which event a passenger may ride on the permanent and regular seat, if designed for 2 persons, or on another seat firmly attached to the motorcycle at the rear or side of the operator.
(d) Riding position.- A person may ride on a motorcycle only while sitting astride the seat, facing forward, with one leg on each side of the motorcycle.
(e) Transporting articles.- A person may not operate a motorcycle while carrying any package, bundle, or other article that prevents him from keeping both hands on the handlebars.
(f) Transporting persons.- The operator of a motorcycle may not carry any person in a position that interferes with the operation or control of the motorcycle or the view of the operator.
(g) Passengers riding in position interfering with operation.- A person other than the operator of a motorcycle may not ride in a position that interferes with the operation or control of the motorcycle or the view of the operator.
§ 21-1305. Footrests and handlebars.
(a) Footrests.- If any motorcycle carries a passenger other than in a sidecar or enclosed cab, the motorcycle shall be equipped with footrests for the passenger.
(b) Handlebars.- A person may not operate any motorcycle with handlebars more than 15 inches in height above the part of the seat occupied by the operator.