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Motorbike Passenger Law Poised to Pass

KUT News

Ramping up motorcycle safety is the goal of a measure that is heading for final passage in the Legislature.

Motorcycles designed to carry more than one person would be required to have foot pegs and handlebars for the passenger under Malorie’s Law, which is named after a 19-year-old woman from Sherman who died in a motorcycle crashin 2010.

Texas is one of only three states that does not require footrests for passengers on motorcycles, according to the American Motorcyclist Association. The other states are Mississippi and Missouri.

The House voted overwhelmingly to adopt Senate amendments to the bill today, sending it speeding toward final passage. But some tea party representatives didn’t like the bill, including freshman State Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford. He debated with the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Larry Phillips, R-Sherman, over a provision that would require motorcycles trainers be registered with the state.

“Is it our job here in this body to try and protect people from these crooks?” Stickland said. “Or should we let the free market system work itself out.”

Phillips replied: “When we’re talking about public safety, and if someone’s offering something that doesn’t meet the qualification standards, and people expect that they can get out and drive with that, it’s very dangerous.”

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion-dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on X @KUTnathan.