Well, it’s one of my favorite times of the year.  After months of hibernation, the tires are checked, the tank is full, the inspection and registration is up to date (except that one year….but that’s another blog), and I’m ready to pull my trusty metal steed out of the garage to burn up some miles.  As I write this blog, my friend Chet and I are about to embark on a motorcycle ride to celebrate life and the human spirit and to make a change in someone’s life in the process.  This Saturday, Chet and I will be taking a 1000 mile trip to Virginia and back in one day.  Yep, one day.  In the process, we will be raising funds for Paul Patrick, a friend of Chet’s daughter and son-in-law.  Paul has been diagnosed with a rare kidney disease that has left him and his young family struggling financially for quite some time.  If you’d like to read more about Paul and his story, you can click here.  If you happen to pass me on the interstate on Saturday, wave quick.  Sorry, but I won’t be stopping to chat.  We’ve got a long way to go and a short time to get there.

Which brings me to the topic of safety eyewear for motorcycling.  Most riders are aware of the need for eye protection while riding.  Bugs are yucky and a stray pebble will make your eye yucky.  I never want to see that.  A full face helmet with shield works great, and certainly meets NYS DOT standards, but what about when you are wearing a 3/4 or half helmet?  In the past, almost any pair of glasses or sunglasses were acceptable.  They didn’t have to meet any certain impact resistance standards as long as you had something covering your eyes.  Well, the DOT realized that a stone to a lens at 60 mph can cause a standard “dress” lens to shatter and that can cause more damage than the stone itself.  With that knowledge, the bar has been raised.  Here are the newest standards:

“All motorcycle operators must wear approved eye protection even if the motorcycle is equipped with a windshield.  Any windshield must also be of an approved type.  Prescription or made-to-order safety glasses may be used if the user can present written certification that they meet DMV standards.  The eye protection must be manufactured in conformity with the regulations established by the American National Standard Institute (ANSI – Z87.1).   However, the DMV recommends approved goggles or a face-shield for full protection.”

What that means is that standard eyewear is no longer acceptable.  Your riding glasses or sunglasses MUST meet the Z87.1 standards, just like industrial safety glasses at work.  The frame and lens MUST be stamped with the Z87.1 certification, or you must be able to provide proof that your eyewear meets the Z87.1 standards.  The law changed a few years ago, and I’ve heard cases where it’s starting to become enforced at traffic stops and safety checkpoints.  At Clarity Eye Care, we prescribe Liberty Sport eyewear for our motorcycling enthusiasts.  The frames and lenses meet or exceed Z87.1 standards, can be made in almost any prescription, and can also include Transitions lenses so you don’t have to stop and switch glasses as the day changes to night.  Most include magnetic removable side seals to block wind when you’re riding and to work as sunglasses or safety work glasses when you are not.  You can check out the full line of Liberty Sport motorcycle eyewear by clicking here. 

Be safe.  Happy riding.  Keep the shiny side up.

Dr. Bryant


Share →
Skip to content