The new year always brings about a spate of new safety laws that take into effect when the calendar flips a page. Over in Texas, motorcycle riders are trying to get acclimated to the implementation of the final piece of HB3838, otherwise known as Malorie’s law. The final provision to the law takes effect on Thursday, which will begin requiring motorcycles designed to carry more than one person to have handholds and foot pegs for the passenger.

Much of the law is actually already in effect and includes provisions on training and license requirements for three-wheeled motorcycles, as well as passenger requirements for bikes built to carry more than one person. The law, which was passed during the state’s 2013 legislative session, was named after 19-year old Malorie Bullock, who lost her life in a 2010 motorcycle accident when she, as a passenger of a bike was thrown off the vehicle when it swerved off the road to avoid hitting a truck that pulled in front of it. Bullock was wearing a helmet at that time.

The implementation of the law has been received with mixed emotions, specifically from local bike riders who feel that the law is another example of the government overreacting to the unfortunate circumstances of one accident. For one, configuring bikes to have extra handles and footholds are unnecessary expenses. Secondly, it puts fear into riders who are now subjected to class C misdemeanors if they are found to have broken the law, even if the punishment only carries up to a fine of $500.

Click past the jump to see what we think of Malorie’s Law

Why it matters

Personally speaking, this law doesn’t affect me because I don’t live in Texas. That said, I can see both sides of the argument here.

Bike riders, especially those of the veteran variety, generally understand the do’s and dont’s when it comes to riding a bike. It’s not like a lot of these riders are careless about their safety. They wear their helmets. They observe traffic regulations. And unlike car drivers, motorcycle riders have to be more aware about their surroundings because they’re bodies are essentially exposed to the elements. Having another law that forces them to comply to could be seen as overstepping their bounds, even if it’s not the obvious intention.

On the flip side, safety is safety, and that’s paramount everywhere you go. Even if Malorie Bullock’s accident didn’t happen, there’s always a better or another way to protect bike riders, even if they don’t like it in the beginning.

The bottom line is Malorie’s Law is now in full effect in Texas and riders there - and there are a lot of them in the Lone Star State - would be wise to follow it. It may be a momentary nuisance for some, but over time, riders should get used to it, if they’re not already.

What do you think?
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