Ask a Trooper: What counts as eye protection on motorcycle?

Published 8:40 pm Friday, September 22, 2023

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Ask a Trooper by Troy Christianson

Question: I read one of your articles about motorcyclists needing to wear eye protection. Do contacts qualify as eye protection?

Troy Christianson

Answer: Contact lenses do not qualify as protective eyewear. Motorcyclists are required to wear protective eyewear, such as glasses, goggles or a face shield, even if the motorcycle is equipped with a windscreen.

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Drivers, look twice for motorcycles, especially when changing lanes and driving through intersections. Motorcycles are harder to see in traffic and their distance and speed are difficult to judge due to their smaller size.


• Drive at safe speeds.

• Give riders room.

• Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic.

• Put away any distractions.

Riders, wear full protective gear, including a helmet. It can make the difference between life and death. Two-thirds of riders killed in 2022 were not wearing a helmet. Make sure your gear is “high-viz” to help you stand out in traffic.

Other things that can save your life:

• Ride as though other drivers don’t see you. Don’t ever assume another driver knows you’re there.

• Never ride impaired or distracted.

• Use turn signals at every lane change or turn.

• Ride at safe speeds and maintain a safe following distance.

You can avoid a ticket — and a crash — if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and always drive sober. Help us drive Minnesota toward zero deaths.

If you have any questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson, Minnesota State Patrol, at 2900 48th St. NW, Rochester, MN 55901-5848; or reach him at

Troy Christianson is a sergeant with the Minnesota State Patrol.