Abiding by traffic laws while operating a motorcycle is important for maintaining the flow of traffic as well as protecting your physical safety as a rider. Violating traffic regulations as a motorcyclist or while driving near a motorcycle dramatically increases the risk of a collision occurring. These accidents are much more likely to cause serious injuries for the motorcycle rider compared to anyone in an enclosed car or truck.

With that in mind, here is a brief overview of Philadelphia motorcycle traffic laws as local law enforcement authorities understand and enforce them. If you were injured in a wreck caused by someone else not following the law while driving near you, you should strongly consider speaking with a skilled motorcycle accident attorney about the possibility of recovering compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.

Standard Rules Still Apply

With few exceptions, all the same traffic regulations that apply to people driving commuter cars, commercial trucks, and anything else with four or more wheels also apply to motorcycle riders. That means motorcycle riders in Philadelphia are expected to stop properly at stop lights and stop signs, yield to other traffic and pedestrians in accordance with standard right-of-way rules, ride at or under posted speed limits, and allow a safe distance between their own vehicle and the one directly in front of them on the road.

Lane Splitting

It is worth emphasizing the information above because, in some states, motorcyclists are allowed to navigate traffic in ways that standard commuter car operators are not. Take lane splitting, for instance—elsewhere in the United States, motorcyclists may be allowed to ride on the lines between lanes of traffic to advance to the front of traffic stopped at a red light or stop sign. In Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania, though, “lane splitting” like this is illegal, although motorcyclists are allowed to ride two abreast—but no more—within a single lane of traffic.

Turn Signals

Along the same lines, motorcyclists who have electronic turn signals installed in their motorcycles must ensure those signals—as well as other light signals such as brake lights—are in good working order and that they use them properly to signal turns and lane changes. That said, there may be exceptions to this requirement for certain models of antique motorcycles in Philadelphia that were not originally designed or assembled with electronic turn signals.

“Ride on Red” in Philadelphia

It would be inaccurate to call it an exception to the usual rule, but one quirk of Pennsylvania traffic laws as they apply to motorcycle riders in Philadelphia is the “Ride of Red” rule. In brief, people driving or riding on public roads who come to a malfunctioning stoplight or one with weight sensors that their vehicle does not trigger can treat a red light as if it were a stop sign. However, riders should wait for a reasonable amount of time for the light to change and make sure there is no oncoming traffic.

A Philadelphia Attorney Can Answer Questions About Motorcycle Traffic Laws

Unfortunately, even motorcyclists who obey every traffic law can still suffer serious injuries if someone else around them fails to adhere to those same rules. In a situation like this, being able to prove that you were complying with the law while the other party involved in your wreck was not may entitle you to comprehensive financial restitution.

Anyone who wants to know more about Philadelphia motorcycle traffic laws and the impact they may have on a potential civil claim can discuss their situation in detail with a dedicated motorcycle accident lawyer. Call Lowenthal & Abrams, Injury Attorneys, today to schedule a consultation.


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