Rules for motorcyclists (83 to 88)

the highway code for northern ireland’s rules for motorcyclists. these rules are in addition to rules 89-307 in the following sections, which apply to all vehicles. also see motorcycle licence requirements.

  • motorcycle licence requirements

general guidance


on all journeys, the rider and pillion passenger on a motorcycle, scooter, moped or motor quadricycle, also called quadbike, must wear a protective helmet. this does not apply to a follower of the sikh religion while wearing a turban. helmets must comply with the regulations and they must be fastened securely. riders and passengers of motor tricycles should also wear a protective helmet. before each journey check
who your helmet visor is clean and in good condition.

You're reading: Rules for motorcyclists (83 to 88)

laws mc(ph)r (as amended) reg 2 & rto 1995 arts 27 & 28


it is also advisable to wear eye protectors, which must comply with the regulations. scratched or poorly fitting eye protectors can limit your view when riding, particularly in bright sunshine and the hours of darkness. consider wearing ear protectors. strong boots, gloves and suitable clothing may help to protect you if you are involved in a collision.

laws mc(ep)r (as amended) reg 2 & rto 1995 art 29

Read more: Ultimate Guide to Motorcycle Helmets: Types, Features, Styles & Prices


you must not carry more than one pillion passenger, who must sit astride the machine on a proper seat. they should face forward with both feet on the footrests. you must not carry a pillion passenger unless your motorcycle is designed to do so. provisional licence holders must not carry a pillion passenger.

laws rto 1995 art 34, mv(dl)r reg 12(5) & cur reg 118

86. daylight riding

make yourself as visible as possible from the side as well as the front and the rear. you could wear a light or brightly coloured helmet and fluorescent clothing or strips. dipped headlights, even in good daylight, may also make you more conspicuous. however, be aware
who other vehicle drivers may still not have seen you, or judged your distance or speed correctly, especially at junctions.

rules for motorcyclists (83 to 88)

87. riding in the dark

wear reflective clothing or strips to improve your visibility in the dark. these reflect the light from the headlamps of other vehicles, making you visible from a long distance. see rules 113–116 for lighting requirements.

  • general rules, techniques and advice for all drivers and riders (103 to 158)

88. manoeuvring

you should be aware of what is behind and to the sides before manoeuvring. look behind you; use mirrors if they are fitted. when in traffic queues, look out for pedestrians crossing between vehicles and vehicles emerging from junctions, or changing lanes.  position yourself so
who drivers can see you in their mirrors. additionally, when filtering in slow-moving traffic, take care and keep your speed low.

Read more: How To Clean Your Motorcycle Helmet (with pictures)

remember: observation – signal – manoeuvre

additional rules

the following highway code rules are in addition to those stated above and apply to all vehicles:

rules for drivers and motorcyclists (89 to 102).

general rules, techniques and advice for all drivers and riders (103 to 158).

the highway code: motorcycle licence requirements.

more useful links

  • be safe be seen – road safety education leaflet
  • the highway code – downloadable version

Category: Motorcycle Helmets