2023 Guide to Dirt Bike Laws in Pennsylvania

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    Dirt bikes have become increasingly popular throughout Pennsylvania in recent years. Are these bikes legal, and how does Pennsylvania law view them?

    Since dirt bikes have become a growing problem on streets in Pennsylvania, especially in areas like Philadelphia, previous statutes have been amended to clarify the legality of these vehicles. In general, dirt bikes may not be ridden on any public roads in urban municipalities. That said, victims injured in dirt bike accidents may still be able to sue, even if they were illegally operating their vehicles on public roads at the time of their accidents. If you were hurt as a pedestrian, bicyclist, passenger, or car driver because of a negligent dirt bike rider, whether or not you can sue for non-economic damages will be based on the type of personal injury protection insurance coverage you have in Pennsylvania.

    Call The Reiff Law Firm at (215) 709-6940 to have our Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers review your case for free.

    Guide to Dirt Bike Laws in Pennsylvania in 2023

    Dirt bikes and other motorized bikes are relatively common in Pennsylvania, from rural areas to larger cities. Despite their popularity, dirt bikes are governed strictly in Pennsylvania.

    Are Dirt Bikes Street Legal?

    In short, dirt bikes are not street legal in urban municipalities in Pennsylvania. According to 75 Pa.C.S. § 3722, dirt bikes are defined as two-wheeled motor vehicles that do not comply with Federal Motor Vehicles Standards or Environmental Protection Agency standards for on-road emissions. Furthermore, dirt bikes are legally defined as vehicles that have been manufactured for off-road use.

    This specific focus on governing dirt bikes came recently when the Pennsylvania legislature decided to tackle the growing issue of dirt bike accidents across the state, especially in urban areas like Philadelphia. The previous statute was amended in 2022 to clarify that dirt bikes may not be ridden on any public highways, sidewalks, or bike lanes within urban municipalities. Violating these laws can result in fines and the confiscation of one’s dirt bike.

    Suppose your vehicle meets the definition of a dual sport motorcycle, meaning it is manufactured to be ridden on and off-road. In that case, you must title it and register it as a motorcycle with the Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles. You will also need to get your vehicle inspected and make the necessary modifications, if any. You will also need a valid motorcycle license and be at least 16 years old. Once you do this, you may be able to ride your dirt bike on the road in Pennsylvania legally.

    Do You Have to Wear a Helmet While Riding a Dirt Bike?

    When it comes to motorcycles and autocycles, of which dirt bikes are close cousins, wearing a helmet is only necessary when a rider is under the age of 21. That said, wearing a helmet while riding a dirt bike, regardless of age, is important. Because dirt bikes do not have seat belts or other means of protection for riders, wearing helmets and other gear, like gloves, long pants, boots, and padding, are the only things that protect riders from injury. Helmets are especially crucial, as dirt bike riders might sustain serious head injuries that have the capacity to reduce their quality of life substantially.

    Does PIP Cover Dirt Bikes?

    Because dirt bikes are not bicycles or cars, and because dirt bike riders are not pedestrians, those injured while riding their dirt bikes are not likely to be covered by personal injury protection insurance in Pennsylvania. In general, when auto accidents occur, victims can turn to their personal injury protection for compensation. Dirt bike riders can’t do this, even if they have policies for their cars. This is important for dirt bike riders to know, as filing a lawsuit might be their only course of recovery following an accident in Pennsylvania.

    Can You Sue for Injury if You Broke a Dirt Bike Law in Pennsylvania?

    Suppose you were riding a dirt bike in Pennsylvania and were injured in an accident. Even if you were illegally operating your dirt bike on the street at the time of your injury, you may be able to sue for compensation.

    Dirt bikes are dangerous, which is why they are governed so intensely in Pennsylvania. Accidents involving dirt bikes might lead to broken bones, head injuries, spinal cord injuries, or any number of life-altering injuries. Although your own negligence might be weighed when considering your damages, you should not be barred from recovery, even if you were riding your dirt bike illegally. Our Philadelphia personal injury lawyers will investigate to uncover evidence that establishes that your negligence outweighs the defendant’s. Otherwise, you will be unable to sue.

    Recovering compensation when injured in dirt bike accidents can be harder than recovering compensation for a regular auto accident case. To strengthen your case, begin gathering evidence right away, report your accident to law enforcement, and get medical attention. If you were riding your dirt bike illegally at the time of your accident, do not fail to call the police because you fear the ramifications, as doing so could harm your case.

    If you were struck by a negligent dirt bike driver in Pennsylvania, you can file a claim for compensation. Whether or not you can sue for non-economic damages will depend on the type of auto insurance you have for your vehicle. Not all dirt bike riders maintain liability insurance in the event of an accident, making filing a lawsuit all but necessary for victims.

    When filing a lawsuit for a dirt bike accident in Pennsylvania, you will have two years to do so. This is the case for all victims, whether they are dirt bike riders, pedestrians, bicyclists, passengers, or car drivers.

    Call Our Pennsylvania Attorneys About Your Injury Case Today

    Call (215) 709-6940 to get a free case review from the Bucks County personal injury lawyers of The Reiff Law Firm.

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