Enjoying a Safe Ride Together – By Attorney Andy Stewart

As a motorcyclist who enjoys the thrills and relaxation of riding on Mississippi’s roads, I take pride in joining my fellow bikers on rides across the state.  However, as an attorney who has worked cases involving motorcycle accidents, I know full well how quickly a tragic accident can happen to one of our fellow riders.  With that in mind, I offer this information that I hope will assist you with your goal of safely motorcycling through Mississippi.

Mississippi Motorcycle Rider Eligibility

Gaining permission to ride a motorcycle in Mississippi comes from adding a motorcycle endorsement to your MS driver’s license.  You can also gain riding benefits by getting a motorcycle-only license.  When seeking a license, there are age restrictions, guidelines on applying for your license, a motorcycle road test that is administered and a license fee that must be paid. For more information on obtaining your license check out the Mississippi Department of Public Safety website.  A Mississippi DMV Motorcycle Practice Test is also available online.

Getting geared up for safety

Whether you’re preparing for your first motorcycle ride or you’re an experienced rider with many miles on the Magnolia State’s roads, there is a resource that provides helpful information.  The Mississippi Motorcycle Manual is available online and provides data on finding the right gear and the right bike before heading out.

Statistics show that new motorcycle riders have far more accidents and this resource provides valuable information on the type of protective clothing one should wear. With helmets being a necessity in Mississippi, there is info on DOT-compliant helmets and more.  Needed equipment for your motorcycle is also covered in the manual and includes the legal minimum requirements for each motorcycle.  Pre-ride inspections are covered to include tire and control checks, light function checks, oil level checks and more.

Safety Courses

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation offers safety riding courses throughout Mississippi.  There are classes available for beginners or for experienced riders seeking additional safety information.  Find the nearest one and call for course information and cost. The Basic course spans a few days or a weekend, depending on location and the type of course. Half-day Experienced Rider courses are also available to improve or refresh your riding skills.

Harley Davidson’s “Your Dedication.  Our Appreciation.” Program offers first responders, U.S. military and spouses the opportunity learn to ride for $99 with the Harley-Davidson Riding Academy.

Finding Motorcycle Insurance

When planning to ride a motorcycle on state roads, individuals must establish financial responsibility in the event of accidents.  This may be accomplished by purchasing motorcycle liability insurance from a provider licensed in Mississippi.  Assistance on insurance requirements can be gained by calling the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, Safety Responsibility Division at (601) 987-1255 or by contacting your local insurance agent.