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Old 02-20-2013, 05:21 AM   #13
Joined: Feb 2013
Oddometer: 44
Originally Posted by dougfromindy View Post
You must have a 125cc or larger to ride on highways and interstates.
That is not always true. One must first properly understand the nature of the United States. Per Article 1 Section 2 Clause 3 of the constitution it is a union. There are 50 member states that comprise that union. I know this runs contrary to the indoctrination taught in schools, but when it comes to traffic laws it is the way it works. Each member state gets to set its own rules for what is and is not allowed on the roads. Some states do not require helmets others do. Some states do not have a CC limit for riding on highways and interstates others do. Remember the interstates are federally funded but are state patrolled by state law enforcement and state traffic laws are what is important.

If you cannot maintain the speed limit you are not advised to go on the road however. Some states have had minimum speed limits for freeway/interstate travel. You are a menace if you cannot maintain the speed limit, and often the law requires you to pull over and let vehicles pass if they begin to queue behind you due to an inability or unwillingness to go the speed limit.

Each state has its own traffic laws, each state has its own requirements, that means you should check where you plan on going. The AMA has a good resource for the various motorcycle laws in the various states.

Originally Posted by Reverse View Post
Even though it is not required, the first thing you should do is get an international (version of your) driver's license. That way, should you for any reason need to give up your license, you still have your original license to use when you get back home. Also, the look on a cop's face when you hand him one of those is priceless :-)
International drivers licenses are not legally binding. You must present your real license when pulled over. The international drivers license just translates the information in a standardized form for the ease and benefit of the officer, who is more inclined to give you a warning than not because it can take hours to get a response back on whether or not your license is in good standing. A friend who worked for nato came back with german plates and license and it took 7 hours (6 hours overtime for the cop) to verify the plates and license which his commanding officer was not happy about but there was nothing that could be done. By law (here anyway) once they start the process they must complete it but if they just give you a warning they can let you go right away.

Cops are no longer allowed to arbitrarily confiscate your drivers license. That went out of style about the 1970s. In every state I have seen they just revoke your driving privileges and your license, even if from a different jurisdiction, no longer grants you the ability to drive in that particular state. This often requires a court hearing or some type or defined process at the state DMV and that takes time (you can drive in the meantime, the whole innocent until proved guilty thing). It takes something fairly extreme to have your driving privileges suspended so this should not be a real concern about 'giving up your license'.

More information on international driving permits and driving in the US is available at here and here in particular I draw attention to
An IDP does not replace a government issued driver license, but is its official translation
You must carry and show both documents when driving in another country
If the Israel drivers license is honored by the state in which you plan on traveling to (it most likely is) then that is all you absolutely must have, but many cops are stupid and getting a translation document (IDP) is probably a good idea. On the other hand they cannot give you a ticket if they cant figure out your license, but it can really delay your travels while they try to figure out what to do. Your passport and visa documents (if any, I think IL is visa free/rubber stamp) should be enough to ID you as that contains English but I am unsure they can figure out how to write a drivers license number if it uses the Hebrew character set. The choice is yours, personally I would avoid tickets in the first place. :)

Originally Posted by Twilight Error View Post
Also, lane splitting is legal in only one state (Ca) so far, be careful of that if its something you're used to.
California does allow lane splitting however it must be done in a "safe and prudent manner" per the CHP (state police) and DMV (motor vehicles) websites. There is a "basic speed law" here which means you can get a ticket for splitting if the officer in his sole discretion feels you were going too fast for the conditions. The way traffic court works in virtually everywhere in the US is you are guilty unless you can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that you aren't, and then you are only sorta guilty. Traffic judges always take the cops word and it is rare that anyone actually wins in traffic court (it happens but its rare).

The old (October 2000 they removed them from their website) guidelines are:
not faster than 35 mph
not more than 10 mph faster than the flow of traffic
not in excess of the posted speed limit

The new guidelines are "anytime an officer doesnt like you". Some officers still hold to those guidelines, some dont. The more you weave in and out of traffic, the faster you go while splitting, etc the more likely you will be pulled over.

Accidents while splitting/filtering are almost always blamed on the rider unless you have camera footage to prove otherwise. This could make you liable for damages to their vehicle or injuries they claim they sustained. If you do not have suitable insurance you personally would be liable but it would be a civil matter and really once you go home they cant collect (it would be bad to skip out, just get insurance and dont be stupid while riding).

trixterNorCal screwed with this post 02-20-2013 at 05:44 AM
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