Virginia Motorcycle Laws and Information
Motorcyclists Rights Organization (SMRO)
Motorcycle helmet law:
§ 46.2-910. Motorcyclist to wear helmets, etc.; certain sales prohibited; penalty.
A. Every person operating a motorcycle shall wear a face shield, safety glasses or goggles, or have his motorcycle equipped with safety glass or a windshield at all times while operating the vehicle, and operators and any passengers thereon shall wear protective helmets. Operators and passengers riding on motorcycles with wheels of eight inches or less in diameter or in three-wheeled motorcycles which have nonremovable roofs, windshields and enclosed bodies shall not be required to wear protective helmets. The windshields, face shields, glasses or goggles, and protective helmets required by this section shall meet or exceed the standards and specifications of the Snell Memorial Foundation, the American National Standards Institute, Inc., or the federal Department of Transportation. Failure to wear a face shield, safety glasses or goggles, or protective helmets shall not constitute negligence per se in any civil proceeding. The provisions of this section requiring the wearing of protective helmets shall not apply to operators of or passengers on motorcycles being operated (i) as part of an organized parade authorized by the Department of Transportation or the locality in which the parade is being conducted and escorted, accompanied, or participated in by law-enforcement officers of the jurisdiction wherein the parade is held and (ii) at speeds of no more than fifteen miles per hour.
No motorcycle operator shall use any face shield, safety glasses or goggles, or have his motorcycle equipped with safety glass or a windshield unless of a type either (i) approved by the Superintendent prior to July 1, 1996, or (ii) that meets or exceeds the standards and specifications of the Snell Memorial Foundation, the American National Standards Institute, Inc., or the federal Department of Transportation and is marked in accordance with such standards.
B. It shall be unlawful to sell or offer for sale, for highway use in Virginia, any protective helmet that fails to meet or exceed any standard as provided in the foregoing provisions of this section. Any violation of this subsection shall constitute a Class 4 misdemeanor.
(Code 1950, §§ 46-183.1, 46-183.2; 1954, c. 204; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-172; 1968, c. 498; 1970, cc. 29, 99; 1982, cc. 390, 681; 1989, cc. 6, 727; 1996, c. 690; 1998, c. 789.)
Other motorcycle laws:
§ 15.2-919. Regulation of motorcycle, moped, or motorized skateboard or scooter noise.
Any locality may, by ordinance, regulate noise from a motorcycle, moped, or motorized skateboard or scooter, as defined in § 46.2-100, which is not equipped with a muffler and exhaust system conforming to §§ 46.2-1047 and 46.2-1049, if such noise may be hazardous to the health and well-being of its citizens.
(Code 1950, § 15.1-29.12; 1974, c. 339; 1985, c. 170; 1997, c. 587; 2006, cc. 529, 538.)
§ 46.2-909. Riding on motorcycles, generally.
Every person operating a motorcycle, as defined in § 46.2-100 excluding three-wheeled vehicles, shall ride only upon the permanent seat attached to the motorcycle, and such operator shall not carry any other person. No other person shall 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 seat if designed for two persons, or on another seat firmly attached to the rear or side of the seat for the operator. If the motorcycle is designed to carry more than one person, it shall also be equipped with a footrest for the use of such passenger.
(Code 1950, §§ 46-183.1, 46-183.2; 1954, c. 204; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-172; 1968, c. 498; 1970, cc. 29, 99; 1982, cc. 390, 681; 1989, cc. 6, 727.)