States Pass Motorcycle-Related Laws

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The following is a selection of powersports-related state legislation passed into law during the past month and compiled by the MIC.

ARIZONA
SB 1320…Amends Head & Tail Lamp Height Requirements
Decreases minimum headlamp height from 24 inches to 22 inches and increases maximum tail lamp height from 60 inches to 72 inches for motor vehicles, including motorcycles and motor-driven cycles. Signed by Governor 7/13/09. Effective 9/28/09.

LOUISIANA
HB 442…Transfers Motorcycle Safety Program
Transfers Motorcycle Safety, Awareness & Operator Training Program from State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and Dept. of Education to Dept. of Public Safety & Corrections. Signed by Governor 6/25/09. Effective 8/15/09.

MASSACHUSETTS
HB 4129…Appropriation for Motorcycle Safety Program
FY '09-10 budget bill. Appropriates $189,958 to motorcycle safety program. ($252,607 was appropriated in FY '08-09). Line item vetoed by Governor 6/29/09 (veto unrelated to motorcycle safety program provision). Effective 7/1/09.

MISSOURI
HB 253…Allows Modulating Headlamps
Allows motorcycle headlamps to be wired to modulate either upper beam or lower beam from its maximum intensity to a lesser intensity, as specified. Requires each headlamp modulator not intended as original equipment, or its container, to be labeled with maximum and minimum wattage appropriate for use. Signed by Governor 7/7/09. Effective 8/28/09.

MISSOURI
HB 683…Allows Motorcycles to Proceed Through Traffic Control Signal
Provides affirmative defense to motorcycle operators who enter or cross intersection controlled by traffic control signal against red light if: 1) motorcycle has been brought to complete stop; 2) traffic control signal continues to show red light for unreasonable time; 3) traffic control is apparently malfunctioning or, if programmed or engineered to change to green light only after detecting approach of motor vehicle, signal has apparently failed to detect arrival of motorcycle; and 4) no motor vehicle or person is approaching on street or highway to be crossed or entered or is so far away from intersection that it does not constitute immediate hazard. Signed by Governor 7/1/09. Effective immediately.

NEW JERSEY
AB 4100…Appropriation for Motorcycle Safety Program
Budget bill. Appropriates $2,300,000 for FY '09-10 for motorcycle safety program. [$1,890,000 was appropriated in FY '08-09.] Line item vetoed by Governor 6/29/09 (veto unrelated to motorcycle safety funding provision). Effective 7/1/09.

OREGON
HB 2370…Provides for Insurance Rate Discount for Rider Ed Completion
Requires motor vehicle insurers to provide reduction in premium charges for coverage of motorcycles if principal operator of covered motorcycle has successfully completed OR DOT motorcycle rider education course. Course must be completed no more than three years prior to beginning of policy period for which discount rate applies. Motorcycle cannot be classified, for underwriting purposes, as used for business. If operator qualifying for premium reduction is principal operator of two or more motorcycles, premium discount applies to only one motorcycle. No more than one premium discount may be applied to one motorcycle. If insurance policy insures motorcycles and other vehicles, appropriate reduction in premium charges applies only to motorcycle portion of policy. Premium reduction shall be effective for insured for three-year period after successful completion of approved course. Organization offering rider ed course established under OR DOT motorcycle safety program shall issue certificate to each person who successfully completes course. Person shall present certificate to insurer to qualify for reduction. Signed by Governor on 7/22/09. Effective 1/1/10.

TEXAS
SB 129…Defines Enclosed Three-Wheeled Passenger Vehicles as Motorcycle
Includes in definition of motorcycle an enclosed three-wheeled passenger vehicle with minimum unladen weight of 900 lbs.; has a single, completely enclosed, occupant compartment; propulsion unit located in front of or behind enclosed occupant compartment; steering wheel; FMVSS compliant seats, safety belts, windshield, wipers and structure; and and the manufacturer produces at least 300 vehicles in calendar year. Excludes these vehicles from motorcycle operator license and helmet rqmts.; allows use in preferential lanes. Signed by Governor 6/19/09. Effective 9/1/09.