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Becoming Familiar With The Motorcycle Helmet Law

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Motorcycles American Government

Becoming Familiar With The Motorcycle Helmet Law

Matt LeClair
September 11, 2009

The motorcycle helmet law is a popular point of discussion for many avid motorcyclists today and continues to be a controversial subject throughout our country for many different reasons. On a state by state level, there is some variation to the particular rules and regulations adopted regarding motorcycle helmets. Currently, there are three different types of motorcycle helmet law classifications among the 50 United States. The three types of motorcycle helmet laws are Universal law which covers all riders regardless of age, Partial law which covers riders based on age, and 100% Free states which have no motorcycle helmet law whatsoever.

Universal law means that the motorcycle helmet law has been put into place for all riders regardless of their age. So whether you are a first time rider, or someone who has been riding for 30 plus years, you must always where a helmet while riding your motorcycle. The type of motorcycle helmet required also varies by state. Some states may require motorcycle helmets that meet or exceed DOT standards, some may not. It’s important that you become familiar with your states statute regarding motorcycle helmet law.

Partial law is used when there are age restrictions when it comes to having to where a motorcycle helmet while riding a motorcycle. The majority of the states that have adopted the Partial law motorcycle helmet law have an age limit of 17. It the motorcyclist is 17 or younger, a helmet must be worn at all times. There are also instances in which the helmet law may be lifted for these riders, for example, if a rider has completed a rider safety course. These types of exemptions vary by state and my not exist in every state that has adopted the Partial motorcycle helmet law.

100% Free law means that the particular state is completely free of any motorcycle helmet requirements while riding. Currently there are only a few states that still have not adopted a motorcycle helmet law, either Universal or Partial. Those states are Illinois, Iowa, and New Hampshire. In these states, motorcyclists are completely free of any motorcycle helmet laws.

Motorcycle helmet laws vary by state as I have mentioned above, so it’s important to identify the state in which you will be riding and become familiar with that state’s helmet law. If you are going to be taking a motorcycle trip which covers multiple states, it is probably a good idea to always where your motorcycle helmet, that way you don’t have to worry about whether or not you are in compliance with a particular state’s helmet law. It is generally a good idea to where protective clothing such as a motorcycle helmet, motorcycle jacket, and proper footwear. Not only does this eliminate the need to worry about the motorcycle helmet law all together, it also helps keep you protected while you are riding your motorcycle which helps you enjoy your experience much more than if you weren’t protected.

Matt LeClair is an experienced motorcycle rider and enjoys sharing his experiences and knowledge about motorcycles, motorcycle helmets, and more. Matt is the owner and founder of Motor Medley, a wonderful resource for bringing you information, and competitively priced, high quality motorcycle helmets, motorcycle jackets, and more. http://www.motormedley.com

Source:  Amazines.com

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