Motorcycling News

10 of the Strangest Motorcycle Laws By: Brandi Ivy

Written by  Brandi Ivy May 31, 2022

There are a number of strange laws on the books in the United States, and many of them pertain to motorcycles. Some of these seem to be old laws that nobody got around to rescinding, and that few people are aware of, let alone follow. Others make you wonder, “Why do people have to be told this is a bad idea?” Here are some of the weirdest examples of active laws that pertain to motorcycles. 

 

Alabama: Don’t Ride Blindfolded

In Alabama, it is illegal to operate any motor vehicle while blindfolded. This includes cars and trucks as well as motorcycles. You would think this one would be common sense, but if legislators decided to go out of their way to specifically make a law concerning this, you have to wonder if somebody tried just that. 

Pennsylvania: Must Stop and Release Flares Every Mile 

An old law still on the books in Pennsylvania applies to motorists driving on country roads at night. To protect livestock, drivers are required to stop every mile, send up a flare or rocket signal, and then wait ten minutes for livestock to clear the road before proceeding. It’s highly unlikely that anyone follows this law anymore, and many have never even heard of it. However, if you decide setting off some rocket signals on dark roads sounds fun and you get pulled over for it, you can just say you were following the law!

Georgia: Don’t Drive Through Playgrounds

Another law of the “why do people need to be told this” variety comes from Georgia. Atlanta ordinance Sec. 110-87 specifies that it is illegal to drive through parks or playgrounds. Once again, you have to wonder what incident prompted the need for drafting this particular provision. 

Minnesota: Can Be Fined for Having Dirty Wheels/Tires

If you’re riding through Minnetonka, Minnesota, you’d better make sure your wheels and tires are clean. According to Code 845.10, which addresses “Public Nuisances Affecting Peace, Safety and General Welfare,” you can be fined if your vehicle leaves dirt, mud, debris, or sticky substances on the streets or highways. Now, if you’re riding around with your tires caked in mud, you probably have bigger problems to worry about than getting pulled over. But if you’re going to to cruise through the town, maybe make sure your bike is extra clean, just in case. 

Maryland: No Cursing Near or on Streets

If you hit a pothole while riding through Rockville, Maryland, you’d better think again before dropping a loud “f-bomb” if anyone else is in earshot. Section 13-53 states that you can be fined $100 and charged with a misdemeanor for using profanity near any street, highway, or sidewalk. It’s unclear how stringently this law is enforced, but it’s still probably a wise idea to keep your language clean if there are other people around. 

Tennessee: No Hunting While Riding

You would think it would be obvious that trying to shoot game while riding is a recipe for getting into a motorcycle accident. Yet in Tennessee, they had to make it explicitly clear that it is illegal to hunt wildlife from any moving vehicle, aircraft, or watercraft. Violation of 70-4-109 can get you charged with a misdemeanor. The only exception to the rule is for those confined to wheelchairs.

Maine: Illegal to Pop a Wheelie

Then there is Maine, which has to come and ruin all the fun. If you intentionally raise the front wheel of your bike off the roadway, you will be in violation of Title 29-a §2062. In general, of course, it’s prudent to keep both wheels of your bike on the ground at all times. Yet if you have a burning urge to pop a wheelie, at least make sure to do so outside of state lines.

Ohio: Don’t Run Out of Gas

Nobody wants to run out of gas while on a ride and get stranded somewhere. If you do so in Youngstown, Ohio, however, you will not only have to deal with paying roadside services, you may end up being fined, ticketed, and charged with a misdemeanor offense. The law was passed in response to fuel shortages on the East Coast in 2021. Still, it seems odd to punish people for something no one would ever do intentionally. 

California: Illegal to Jump Off Motorcycle Over 65 mph

In Glendale, California, there is a law against passengers jumping off a motorcycle or out of a car if you’re moving over 65 mph. One can only hope that whoever pulled the stunt which required the need for this law is doing OK. While jumping off a moving bike at 64 mph (or any other speed) is technically legal, it is still not recommended for pretty obvious reasons. 

Florida: $78 Fine to Hit Pedestrians

Pedestrians in Sarasota, Florida should proceed with caution when crossing roadways. If you hit one in the street while riding your motorcycle, the fine is a measly $78. Of course, this doesn’t mean the person hit can’t bring a personal injury case against you if they are injured. So please don’t go crashing into people for fun. Hopefully you didn’t really need to be told that, did you?