In 2018, the U.S. Department of Transportation reported 91 motorcycle fatalities in Oklahoma. In a state of 4 million people, Oklahoma ranks low among other states in motorcycle deaths. However, the number of motorcycle crashes is substantially higher at almost 1,300.
Ten counties make up the greater Oklahoma City metropolitan area where the population tops 1.4 million citizens. With three major interstates running through those counties, motorcycle accidents are a common occurrence. Oklahoma County saw the most at 275, while Kingfisher County had two. The following information on equipment and license requirements may help to keep a rider safe on the road.
1. Equipment specifications
Oklahoma law requires specific equipment on a motorcycle. This includes:
- Two rearview mirrors mounted on each side of the bike
- A windshield to protect the operator from foreign objects
- A speedometer that at least shows the maximum legal speed limit
- A fender over each wheel
- A horn capable of emitting an audible sound from a distance of at least 200 feet
- A muffler or other noise-suppressing system
The state also requires that handlebars not be higher than eye level of the rider. If riders do not have a windshield, they must wear goggles or other protective eyewear. Anyone over 18 does not have to wear a helmet. For those under 18, the helmet must meet Department of Transportation standards.
2. License endorsement
Individuals between 14 and 16 can get a motorcycle-only license. This differs from a motorcycle endorsement because it comes with significant restrictions such as specific driving hours, riding with another driver who is at least 21, and driving at or under the speed limit.
Anyone over 18 who wishes to ride a motorcycle must have an “M” endorsement on his or her driver’s license. To add the endorsement, the person has to have the required documentation and take vision, written and driving tests.