If you were scrolling through your Facebook news feed recently, you may have stumbled across a news item (using the term ever-so-loosely) with the headline, “New Federal Regulation Prevents Children From Riding As Passengers On Motorcycles.” The article was published on a seemingly trustworthy site, The Boston Tribune, but further inspection reveals that the URL for the site is actually that of Associated Media Coverage (AMC), a fake news site most infamous for its numerous articles regarding fictitious regulations.
According to Snopes.com, neither the United States Department of Transportation nor the American Motorcyclists Association (AMA) has made any announcements regarding a ban on U-18 passengers, other than to refute the veracity of the AMC article.
Child passenger laws vary state to state. Most have no minimum age requirement, but there are a few that do. Most establish some safety requirements, mandating helmets (some with reflectorization), passenger seat and footrests for the pint-sized passengers.
If you’re wondering what the rules are in your area, we found a post on Vrumble’s Rambling Biker Blog that summarizes the requirements by state. As mentioned in Vrumble’s post, though, the AMA website may be your best source for up-to-date information on the topic.
Of course, regardless of state requirements, it just makes sense to take additional precautions with your precious cargo. Buying a helmet that fits properly and gearing them up with a riding jacket, gloves, pants and boots are recommended. For added safety, you may want to consider purchasing a child’s riding belt, as well. The belt is a harness for the child that also connects around the driver’s waist, ensuring that the wee one won’t fall off the bike unless the driver does.
Meanwhile, if you do see the bogus AMC article floating through your newsfeed, you’re now forewarned and may refer your more gullible friends to this post for a quick reality check.
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