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Can kids ride motorcycles, and should they?

On Behalf of | Sep 28, 2023 | Motorcycle Accidents |

As a parent who enjoys the freedom of a motorcycle ride, you may want your child to have the same experience. Furthermore, allowing your child to ride alongside you can be a teachable moment in responsible riding. However, riding a motorcycle carries risks that not every parent wants to expose their child to.

Can children legally ride a motorcycle?

Fortunately, biker parents can legally take their children on a motorcycle ride in Kentucky. There is also no minimum age requirement for motorcycle passengers in the state. As long as they meet the state’s requirements, children be motorcycle passengers.

Here are some Kentucky laws regarding child motorcycle passengers:

  • If the child is under 40 inches tall, the driver must use a child restraint system that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards.
  • If the child is below eight years old and under 57 inches tall, they must ride in a booster seat. However, a child of any age who is taller than 57 inches is exempt from using a booster seat.
  • If the child and operator are under the age of 21, they must wear a helmet.
  • Both the driver and passenger must wear a seat belt.

Children can only ride motorcycles as a passenger, not as the operator. Only those 18 years old and above can drive a motorcycle in the Bluegrass State.

Weighing The Risks

Even though it’s legal to ride a motorcycle with your child in Kentucky, the question remains: Is it a good idea? There’s no denying that riding a motorcycle comes with many risks. In 2022, there were 1,575 motorcycle accidents in Kentucky alone.

Many motorcycle accidents are a result of distracted driving. Sometimes, truck drivers may also fail to see or hear a motorcycle coming. Therefore, it is crucial to take preventative measures when riding a motorcycle with your child. Consider regularly maintaining your vehicle, investing in the right helmets and teaching your child proper passenger etiquette to minimize your risks.

Riding motorcycles together as a family can be a thrilling bonding experience. In the end, it is up to you as parents to weigh the pros and cons of riding with your child. Remember to observe all applicable state traffic laws and requirements for your and your child’s safety.