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CHAPTER 32-20

MOTORCYCLE REGULATION

32-20-1    Definition of terms.

32-20-2    Driver license or permit required to operate motorcycle, moped, all-terrain vehicle, or three-wheel vehicle--Testing requirements--Violation as misdemeanor.

32-20-3    32-20-3. Repealed by SL 2015, ch 169, § 1.

32-20-4    Protective helmet required for minor--Violation as misdemeanor.

32-20-4.1    Eye protective device or windscreen required--Violation as petty offense.

32-20-4.2    Protective devices not required of riders in enclosed cab.

32-20-5    32-20-5. Repealed by SL 2008, ch 160, § 1.

32-20-6    32-20-6. Repealed by SL 1970, ch 176, § 4.

32-20-6.1    Operator and passengers restricted to permanent and regular seats--Violation as misdemeanor.

32-20-6.2    Position of motorcyclist--Violation as misdemeanor.

32-20-6.3    Carrying package on motorcycle--Restrictions--Violation as misdemeanor.

32-20-6.4    Rider interfering with control or view of operator--Violation as misdemeanor.

32-20-6.5    Attachment to other vehicles prohibited--Violation as misdemeanor.

32-20-6.6    Repealed.

32-20-7    Renting motorcycle to unauthorized person--Violation as petty offense.

32-20-8    Permitting other person to operate rented motorcycle--Violation as petty offense.

32-20-9    Operation of motorcycle in park or recreation areas as petty offense.

32-20-9.1    Motorcycle entitled to full traffic lane--Violation as misdemeanor.

32-20-9.2    Motorcycle prohibited from overtaking in same lane--Violation as misdemeanor.

32-20-9.3    Motorcycle operation between lanes prohibited--Violation as misdemeanor.

32-20-9.4    Policemen exempt from restrictions on use of lanes.

32-20-9.5    Restriction to two abreast--Violation as misdemeanor.

32-20-10    Motorcycle use on special occasions.

32-20-11    32-20-11. Repealed by SL 1989, ch 255, § 91.

32-20-12    Off-road vehicles--Operation on certain lands as misdemeanor--Registration--Title certificate.

32-20-12.1    Ordinances prohibiting operation of off-road vehicles in ditches--Exceptions--Regulatory signs.

32-20-13    All-terrain or off-road vehicles licensed as motorcycles--Requirements--Use on interstate highways prohibited--Violation as misdemeanor.

32-20-14    Motorcycle safety education--Standards and procedures--Funding.

32-20-15    Budget and appropriation of revenue available for motorcycle safety education.

32-20-16    Display of blue light as part of rear brake light authorized.

32-20-17    Definitions.

32-20-18    Off-road vehicle activity.

32-20-19    Assumption of risk of injury.

32-20-20    Faulty equipment or unsafe conditions--Liability.


32-20-1Definition of terms.

Terms used in this chapter mean:

(1)    "Department" the Department of Public Safety.

(2)    "Moped" a motor driven cycle equipped with two or three wheels. If a combustion engine is used, the maximum piston or rotor displacement shall be fifty cubic centimeters regardless of the number of chambers in such power source. The power source shall be equipped with a power drive system that functions directly or automatically only, not requiring clutching or shifting by the operator after the drive system is engaged. The term does not include an electric bicycle as defined in § 32-20B-9.

(3)    "Motorcycle" includes motorcycles, motorbikes, mopeds, bicycles with motor attached, and all motor operated vehicles of the bicycle or tricycle type, whether the motive power be a part thereof or attached thereto, and having a saddle or seat with the driver sitting astride or upon it, or a platform on which the driver stands, but excluding a tractor. The term does not include an electric bicycle as defined in § 32-20B-9.

(4)    "Off-road vehicle," any self-propelled, two or more wheeled vehicle designed primarily to be operated on land other than a highway and includes all terrain vehicles, dune buggies and any vehicle whose manufacturer's statement of origin or manufacturer's certificate of origin states that the vehicle is not for highway use. The term does not include a farm vehicle as defined in § 32-3-2.4 or an electric bicycle as defined in § 32-20B-9.

Source: SL 1967, ch 215, § 1; SL 1978, ch 230, § 1; SL 1985, ch 238, § 7; SL 1987, ch 231, § 1; SL 1988, ch 236, § 25; SL 2003, ch 272 (Ex. Ord. 03-1), § 23; SL 2019, ch 135, § 14.


32-20-2Driver license or permit required to operate motorcycle, moped, all-terrain vehicle, or three-wheel vehicle--Testing requirements--Violation as misdemeanor.

No person may operate a motorcycle, except a moped as defined in § 32-20-1, a licensed all-terrain vehicle under § 32-20-13, or any motor vehicle that has three wheels and is operated with a steering wheel and foot controls on the public streets or highways without a motor vehicle driver license or permit upon which a state testing officer has certified that such person is qualified to operate such motorcycle. An operator of a moped, a licensed all-terrain vehicle, or a motor vehicle that has three wheels and is operated with a steering wheel and foot controls shall have a valid motor vehicle driver license or permit. The department may waive the testing requirements upon completion of a motorcycle safety course approved pursuant to § 32-20-14. A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Source: SL 1967, ch 215, § 2; SL 1978, ch 230, § 2; SL 1982, ch 18, § 26; SL 1987, ch 233, § 3; SL 1989, ch 255, § 92; SL 1989, ch 270, § 2; SL 1995, ch 178, § 3; SL 2017, ch 140, § 1.


32-20-3
     32-20-3.   Repealed by SL 2015, ch 169, § 1.


32-20-4Protective helmet required for minor--Violation as misdemeanor.

No person under eighteen years of age may operate or ride upon a motorcycle on the public streets or highways of this state unless the person wears a protective helmet of a type meeting Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218 as in effect on January 1, 1984. No person may operate a motorcycle with any person under the age of eighteen as a passenger if the passenger is not wearing a protective helmet. A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Source: SL 1967, ch 215, § 4; SL 1970, ch 176, § 2; SL 1974, ch 219, § 23; SL 1976, ch 194, § 1; SL 1978, ch 230, § 9; SL 1980, ch 224; SL 1984, ch 228, § 8; SL 1987, ch 231, § 2; SL 1989, ch 255, § 93.


32-20-4.1Eye protective device or windscreen required--Violation as petty offense.

No person may operate a motorcycle unless he is wearing an eye protective device or unless the motorcycle is equipped with a windscreen of sufficient height and design so as to provide adequate eye protection to the operator when seated on the motorcycle in the normal operating position. However, no person may operate a motorcycle during the time period when headlights must be lighted while wearing an eye protective device that is tinted or shaded to reduce the light transmittance of the device to a level below thirty-five percent. A violation of this section is a petty offense.

Source: SL 1970, ch 176, § 3; SL 1984, ch 228, § 9; SL 1989, ch 255, § 105; SL 1989, ch 256, § 16; SL 1990, ch 255.


32-20-4.2Protective devices not required of riders in enclosed cab.

Section 32-20-4, requiring helmets, and § 32-20-4.1 shall not apply to persons riding within an enclosed cab.

Source: SL 1970, ch 176, § 3.


32-20-5
     32-20-5.   Repealed by SL 2008, ch 160, § 1.


32-20-6
     32-20-6.   Repealed by SL 1970, ch 176, § 4.


32-20-6.1Operator and passengers restricted to permanent and regular seats--Violation as misdemeanor.

A person operating a motorcycle shall ride only upon the permanent and regular seat attached thereto, and such operator may not carry any other person nor may 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. A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Source: SL 1967, ch 215, § 6; SL 1970, ch 176, § 1; SL 1989, ch 255, § 94.


32-20-6.2Position of motorcyclist--Violation as misdemeanor.

No person may ride upon a motorcycle unless sitting astride the motorcycle seat and facing forward. No person may operate a motorcycle unless he has at least one hand on the handlebars at all times while the motorcycle is in motion. A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Source: SL 1970, ch 176, § 1, § 2; SL 1989, ch 255, § 95; SL 1989, ch 256, § 17.


32-20-6.3Carrying package on motorcycle--Restrictions--Violation as misdemeanor.

No person may operate a motorcycle while carrying any package, bundle, or other article which prevents him from keeping both hands on the handlebars. A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Source: SL 1970, ch 176, § 1, § 3; SL 1989, ch 255, § 96.


32-20-6.4Rider interfering with control or view of operator--Violation as misdemeanor.

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. A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Source: SL 1970, ch 176, § 1, § 4; SL 1989, ch 255, § 97.


32-20-6.5Attachment to other vehicles prohibited--Violation as misdemeanor.

No person riding upon a motorcycle may attach himself or the motorcycle to any other vehicle on a roadway. A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Source: SL 1970, ch 176, § 1, § 10; SL 1989, ch 255, § 98.


32-20-6.6Repealed.

Source: SL 1972, ch 178; SL 1989, ch 255, § 99; SL 1996, ch 203; SL 1999, ch 160, § 1; SL 2003, ch 224, § 2; SL 2019, ch 134, § 2; SL 2020, ch 121, § 1.


32-20-7Renting motorcycle to unauthorized person--Violation as petty offense.

No dealer nor person renting or loaning motorcycles may loan or rent a motorcycle unless a valid license or permit is shown such dealer by the renter or loanee and possesses the safety equipment required of the operator of such motorcycle. A violation of this section is a petty offense.

Source: SL 1967, ch 215, § 7; SL 1989, ch 255, § 107.


32-20-8Permitting other person to operate rented motorcycle--Violation as petty offense.

No renter or loanee as provided in § 32-20-7 may permit any other person to operate such motorcycle. A violation of this section is a petty offense.

Source: SL 1967, ch 215, § 8; SL 1989, ch 255, § 108.


32-20-9Operation of motorcycle in park or recreation areas as petty offense.

It is a petty offense to operate a motorcycle in any municipal, county, or state park or recreation area except upon the normally traveled roads or roadways, or in specifically designated areas.

Source: SL 1967, ch 215, § 9; SL 1989, ch 255, § 109.


32-20-9.1Motorcycle entitled to full traffic lane--Violation as misdemeanor.

All motorcycles are entitled to full use of a lane and no motor vehicle may be driven in such manner as to deprive any motorcycle of the full use of a lane. This section does not apply to motorcycles operated two abreast in a single lane. A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Source: SL 1970, ch 176, § 1, § 5; SL 1989, ch 255, § 100.


32-20-9.2Motorcycle prohibited from overtaking in same lane--Violation as misdemeanor.

The operator of a motorcycle may not overtake and pass in the same lane occupied by the vehicle being overtaken. This section does not apply to motorcycles being operated two abreast in the same lane, or a motorcycle and a bicycle being operated two abreast in the same lane. A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Source: SL 1970, ch 176, § 1, § 6; SL 1989, ch 255, § 101.


32-20-9.3Motorcycle operation between lanes prohibited--Violation as misdemeanor.

No person may operate a motorcycle between adjacent lanes of traffic, or between adjacent lines or rows of vehicles. A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Source: SL 1970, ch 176, § 1, § 7; SL 1989, ch 255, § 102.


32-20-9.4Policemen exempt from restrictions on use of lanes.

Sections 32-20-9.2 and 32-20-9.3 shall not apply to police officers in the performance of their official duties.

Source: SL 1970, ch 176, § 1, § 9.


32-20-9.5Restriction to two abreast--Violation as misdemeanor.

No person may operate a motorcycle more than two abreast in a single lane. A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Source: SL 1970, ch 176, § 1, § 8; SL 1989, ch 255, § 103.


32-20-10Motorcycle use on special occasions.

This chapter shall not apply to vehicles used for special occasions such as display, parade, exhibitions, and similar uses.

Source: SL 1967, ch 215, § 10.


32-20-11
     32-20-11.   Repealed by SL 1989, ch 255, § 91.


32-20-12Off-road vehicles--Operation on certain lands as misdemeanor--Registration--Title certificate.

No person may operate on a public street or highway an off-road vehicle except for crossing from one side of the road to the other. A person twelve years of age or older may operate an off-road vehicle in a highway ditch if the vehicle is operated as close as possible to the outer edge of the highway right-of-way. However, no person may operate an off-road vehicle in a highway ditch along the interstate highway system, or operate an off-road vehicle on any lands owned, leased, or controlled by the Department of Game, Fish and Parks, or any highway ditch located within, except on a designated off-road vehicle area or designated trail, or operate an off-road vehicle in a highway ditch that is designated as part of the state snowmobile trails system pursuant to chapter 41-19 or a public bike trail. A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Off-road vehicles need not be registered and licensed for use upon the highways except as provided in § 32-20-13. Off-road vehicles shall be titled. The Department of Revenue shall issue a certificate of title for off-road vehicles the same as for other motor vehicles subject to the provisions of chapter 32-3.

Source: SL 1985, ch 238, § 8; SL 1986, ch 259; SL 1987, ch 232; SL 1987, ch 233, § 1; SL 1989, ch 256, § 18.


32-20-12.1Ordinances prohibiting operation of off-road vehicles in ditches--Exceptions--Regulatory signs.

Notwithstanding the provisions of § 32-20-12, the Transportation Commission or any board of county commissioners by ordinance may prohibit the operation of off-road vehicles in any highway ditch along any section of highway under its jurisdiction. However, neither the Transportation Commission nor any board of county commissioners may prohibit an off-road vehicle from crossing one side of the highway to the other. This section does not affect off-road vehicles used in normal agricultural operation or service vehicles of any utility while in the line of duty for the utility. For the purposes of this section, the term, utility, means any provider of electric, gas, water, sewer, pipeline, or telecommunications service.

Notice of any restriction made pursuant to this section shall be given by placing and maintaining regulatory signs at each end of the section of highway and at each point of intersection. The signs shall be of substantial construction which conspicuously indicates the restriction.

Source: SL 2006, ch 166, § 1; SL 2009, ch 156, § 1.


32-20-13All-terrain or off-road vehicles licensed as motorcycles--Requirements--Use on interstate highways prohibited--Violation as misdemeanor.

Any all-terrain vehicle with four or more wheels and with a combustion engine having a piston or rotor displacement of two hundred cubic centimeters or more or any off-road vehicle with two wheels and with a combustion engine having a piston or rotor displacement of one hundred twenty cubic centimeters or more may be licensed as a motorcycle pursuant to chapter 32-5 to be used on a public highway. Prior to being licensed, the vehicle shall meet the necessary light, brake, and other vehicle accessory requirements provided by chapters 32-15, 32-17, and 32-18 that are applicable to motorcycles. Any vehicle licensed pursuant to this section may not be operated on the interstate highway system. A person who operates any vehicle licensed pursuant to this section on the interstate highway system is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Source: SL 1987, ch 233, § 2; SL 1989, ch 270, § 1; SL 2017, ch 141, § 1.


32-20-14Motorcycle safety education--Standards and procedures--Funding.

Any revenue derived from the fee imposed by § 32-5-10.1 and appropriated pursuant to § 32-20-15 shall be used to provide motorcycle safety courses and motorcycle safety education approved by the director of the Office of Highway Safety. The director shall promulgate rules pursuant to chapter 1-26 establishing instruction standards, teacher or instructor certification standards, and course approval procedures. The director shall administer the fund created by § 32-5-10.2, may conduct audits and otherwise examine the records of approved motorcycle courses and may require other information that is considered necessary to evaluate the quality of motorcycle safety courses and safety education.

Source: SL 1992, ch 222, § 3.


32-20-15Budget and appropriation of revenue available for motorcycle safety education.

Any revenue derived from the fee imposed by § 32-5-10.1 and any other revenue made available to the Department of Public Safety to be used for the purposes of providing motorcycle safety courses and motorcycle safety education shall be budgeted pursuant to chapter 4-7 and appropriated pursuant to chapters 4-8, 4-8A, and 4-8B.

Source: SL 1992, ch 222, § 4; SL 2003, ch 272, § 121.


32-20-16Display of blue light as part of rear brake light authorized.

A motorcycle may display a blue light of up to one-inch diameter as part of the motorcycle's rear brake light.

Source: SL 2004, ch 215, § 1.


32-20-17. Definitions.

Terms used in §§ 32-20-17 through 32-20-20 mean:

(1)    "Off-road vehicle activity," includes:

(a)    An off-road vehicle show, competition, performance, parade, hunt, recreational ride, or trail ride;

(b)    Off-road vehicle training or teaching activities, or both;

(c)    Riding, inspecting, or evaluating an off-road vehicle belonging to another person, whether the owner has received monetary consideration or anything of value for the use of the off-road vehicle or is permitting a prospective purchaser of the off-road vehicle to ride, inspect, or evaluate the off-road vehicle; or

(d)    A ride, trip, hunt, or other off-road vehicle activity, however informal or impromptu, that is sponsored by an off-road vehicle activity sponsor;

(2)    "Off-road vehicle activity sponsor," includes the following:

(a)    An individual, group, club, partnership, or corporation, whether operating for-profit or not-for-profit, that sponsors, organizes, or provides the facilities for an off-road vehicle activity including a club, riding club, hunt club, park, or a school or college-sponsored class, program, or activity;

(b)    An operator, instructor, or promoter of an off-road vehicle facility, including any commercial off-road park charging fees to the public or offering private memberships to use the park's trail system and related amenities for off-road vehicle uses, trail system, clubhouse, or arena where the activity is held; or

(c)    A landowner who has given permission for the use of the landowner's land in an off-road activity either by easement or other means;

(3)    "Off-road vehicle professional," any person who, for compensation, instructs the participant or rents an off-road vehicle to the participant for the purpose of driving or being a passenger on the off-road vehicle, or who rents equipment to a participant;

(4)    "Participant," any person, amateur or professional, who engages in off-road vehicle activity, whether or not a fee is paid to participate in the off-road vehicle activity.

Source: SL 2020, ch 120, § 1.


32-20-18. Off-road vehicle activity.

For the purposes of §§ 32-20-17 through 32-20-20, engaging in off-road vehicle activity means riding, providing, assisting in driving, or being a passenger on an off-road vehicle. It does not include being a spectator at an off-road vehicle activity unless the spectator is in an unauthorized area and in immediate proximity to the off-road vehicle activity.

Source: SL 2020, ch 120, § 2.


32-20-19. Assumption of risk of injury.

A participant assumes the risks inherent in engaging in off-road vehicle activity. A participant is responsible for:

(1)    Knowing the range of the participant's own ability to engage in off-road vehicle activity within the limits of the participant's ability considering the conditions;

(2)    Maintaining control of the off-road vehicle's speed and course at all times while engaging in off-road vehicle activity;

(3)    Heeding all posted warnings; and

(4)    Refraining from acting in a manner that may cause or contribute to the injury of anyone.

The provisions of this section do not affect a product's liability cause of action based upon the design or manufacture of off-road vehicles or the safety equipment used incidental to the operation of an off-road vehicle.

Source: SL 2020, ch 120, § 3.


32-20-20. Faulty equipment or unsafe conditions--Liability.

Any off-road vehicle activity sponsor or off-road vehicle professional who engages in the business of renting off-road vehicles to another shall maintain the rental off-road vehicles in a safe condition.

An off-road vehicle activity sponsor or off-road vehicle professional who offers off-road vehicles for rent is liable for the death or injury to a participant or other person or property only for an act or omission that constitutes negligence.

Source: SL 2020, ch 120, § 4.


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