Motorcycle Traffic Tickets

When people think of traffic tickets, they usually think of automobile tickets. Many traffic lawyers in Detroit may say that they specialize in tickets – but what they really mean is that they routinely handle automobile traffic tickets.  However, our experienced Detroit area traffic ticket attorneys have helped hundreds of riders fight and beat their motorcycle tickets in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb County.

In Michigan, motorcyclists are not only subject to all of the laws that apply to car operators, they are also subject to several additional laws. And if they run afoul of one of these motorcycle laws it is important that they contact a Detroit traffic ticket lawyer who has extensive experience with motorcycle tickets.

Michigan’s motor vehicle laws that apply specifically to motorcycles are set forth in the Michigan Motorcycle Operator Manual. This can be obtained at any Michigan Secretary of State branch office. Reviewing this manual thoroughly is a great idea, before you get a motorcycle traffic ticket.

However, if you have already received a traffic ticket while riding – you should contact an experienced motorcycle traffic ticket lawyer as soon as possible.

Michigan Motorcycle Traffic Ticket Laws

1. Motorcycle Training and Licensing Tickets

Michigan laws require a motorcycle operator to have a CY endorsement on their license. The traffic ticket for riding a motorcycle without a CY endorsement is a misdemeanor, and can result in points and a fine up to $300.

2. Michigan Motorcycle Helmet Law

A person younger than 21 years old must wear a helmet when operating or riding on a motorcycle – and can be ticketed for failure to do so.

However, Michigan law allows motorcyclists 21 and over to not be ticketed for failure to wear a helmet, IF the following conditions are met:

  • Have at least $20,000 in first-party medical benefits; and
  • Have held a motorcycle endorsement for at least two years;
  • or have passed an approved motorcycle safety course.

The law also allows for motorcycle passengers to not wear a helmet. Passengers who are at least 21 years old will also NOT be ticketed for failing to wear a helmet IF they have at least $20,000 in first-party medical benefits insurance in addition to the insurance that is required of the motorcycle operator.

Additionally, a moped operator less than 19 years of age will be ticketed if not wearing a helmet.

Note that, when required, all helmets must meet the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) standards.

3. Michigan Motorcycle OWI Traffic Tickets

In Michigan, alcohol is involved in roughly 30% of all fatal motorcycle crashes. For this reason, arresting officers are very serious about issuing motorcycle traffic tickets to impaired motorcycle operators.

Operating a motorcycle (or other vehicle) under the influence of alcohol or drugs comes with 6 points. And Operating While Visibly impaired carries 4 points.

4. Motorcycle Improper / Defective Equipment Tickets

A motorcycle in Michigan is required to be equipped with adequate seats and securely attached foot rests or pegs for all riders. The handlebars of a motorcycle must not be higher than 15 inches from the lowest point of the undepressed saddle to the highest point of the handle grips.

Clearance/ Marker lamps and reflectors must be mounted on the front (or on the side near the front) of the bike that are an amber color, and must be mounted on the rear (or on the sides near the rear) of the bike that are a red color.

Other require lighting equipment are functioning: license Plate lamp, head lamp, spot and fog lamps, break lights. And, Michigan law MCL  257.707c imposes noise limitations on motorcycle violations. Failure to comply with any of these regulations can result in a motorcycle traffic ticket.