Georgia Law of Motorcycle Operations (O.C.G.A. § 40-6-311)

Legal Commentary. This Georgia statute on motorcycles specifies the specific requirements to operate a motorcycle lawfully. These specific requirements include the following:

  1. The motorcycle operator shall only ride while sitting in the attached permanent and regular seat;
  2. There can only be a passenger on a motorcycle if the motorcycle provides for a passenger to be sitting there, therefore a single seat motorcycle cannot have a passenger;
  3. A passenger on a motorcycle must be on the seat provided for the passenger;
  4. A motorcycle operator must have both available hands to use on the handlebars when the motorcycle is in operator, therefore the operator should not be carrying a package or item that prevents both hands from being placed on a handlebar;
  5. If a passenger is on the motorcycle, the passenger must remain in the passenger seat and not where the operator’s control or view is blocked. For example, a passenger should never be sitting in the lap of the motorcycle operator when the motorcycle is in operation;
  6. All operators and passengers on motorcycles must be wearing some type of footwear, not including socks that may or may not be worn.

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Section 40-6-311 Requirements for lawful operation of motorcycle

(a) A person operating a motorcycle shall ride only upon the permanent and regular seat attached thereto; and such operator shall not carry any other person nor shall any other person ride on a motorcycle unless such motorcycle is designed to carry more than one person, in which event a passenger may ride upon the permanent and regular seat if designed for two persons or upon another seat firmly attached to the motorcycle at the rear or side of the operator.

(b) A person shall ride upon a motorcycle only while sitting astride the seat, facing forward, with one leg on either side of the motorcycle.

(c) No person shall operate a motorcycle while carrying any package, bundle, or other article which prevents him from keeping both hands on the handlebars.

(d) No operator shall carry any person, nor shall any person ride, in a position that will interfere with the operation or control of the motorcycle or the view of the operator.

(e) No person shall operate or ride upon a motorcycle unless he shall wear some type of footwear in addition to or other than socks.

HISTORY: Ga. L. 1953, Nov.-Dec. Sess., p. 556, § 95; Ga. L. 1962, p. 716, § 1; Ga. L. 1969, p. 732, § 1; Ga. L. 1972, p. 475, § 1; Code 1933, § 68A-1302, enacted by Ga. L. 1974, p. 633, § 1; Ga. L. 1985, p. 149, § 40; Ga. L. 1990, p. 2048, § 5.