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Abide by North Carolina motorcycle laws for a safer ride

Motorcycle enthusiasts in and around Fayetteville are enjoying the spring weather as they take to the highways and byways of the state. Learning and following the motorcycle laws of North Carolina reduces the likelihood of dangerous crashes. Below are some motorcycle regulations all bikers should learn.

-- At present, the state accepts motorcycle endorsements for riders that were issued in other states.

-- Riders must use a headlight during daylight hours as well as at night.

-- A modulating headlight is permitted in accordance with federal regulations.

-- There is no restriction on handlebar height.

-- No acoustical criteria regulates the maximum level of sound for motorcycles.

-- Helmets are required throughout the state.

-- Helmet speakers are permitted.

-- Eye protection is not required.

-- Lane splitting is not allowed.

-- Either a left or right mirror is required.

-- Mufflers are mandatory, with no cut-outs allowed.

-- Two motorcycles may ride side by side in the same lane.

-- There are no age restrictions for passengers.

-- If carrying passengers, a passenger seat and foot pegs are mandatory.

-- Radar detectors are permitted.

-- Periodic safety inspections are mandatory.

-- Rider education is available through the North Carolina Motorcycle Safety Education Program for those who are eligible.

-- A skill test can be given to waive rider education.

-- There is compulsory liability insurance required with minimum limits of 30/60/25. Insurance companies can apply to the state's Insurance Bureau for discounts for those riders who graduate from a motorcycle rider education course.

-- Turn signals are not mandatory.

-- An affirmative defense exists for traffic actuated red lights, meaning a rider may slowly proceed through a red light after stopping completely for at least three minutes.

Despite all precautions, accidents still occur. Motorcyclists injured by a driver's negligence or other fault may recover compensation from filing a claim.

Source: American Motorcyclist Association, "North Carolina State Motorcycle Laws," accessed April. 17, 2015

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