Helmet law confusions….
December 29, 2008 at 6:24 pm #2430
Well here in NC with increased riders, there is a very big debate about Helmets.
First and always is the “Mandatory helmet laws are unconstitutional”. This one is for each individual to argue on their own merits. Personally, every person has the right to decide their own fate, but I will continue to wear mine regardless of outcomes.
Second- What helmets qualify. Here in NC, the best I could find is this-
§ 20‑140.4. Special provisions for motorcycles and mopeds.
(a) No person shall operate a motorcycle or moped upon a highway or public vehicular area:
(1) When the number of persons upon such motorcycle or moped, including the operator, shall exceed the number of persons which it was designed to carry.
(2) Unless the operator and all passengers thereon wear on their heads, with a retention strap properly secured, safety helmets of a type that complies with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218.
(b) Violation of any provision of this section shall not be considered negligence per se or contributory negligence per se in any civil action.
(c) Any person convicted of violating this section shall have committed an infraction and shall be fined according to G.S. 20‑135.2A(e) and (f). (1973, c. 1330, s. 6; 1989, c. 711, s. 1; 2007‑360, s. 7.)
Now trying to track down what exactly that means I managed to come across this link:
Well now doesn’t that just clear it up? You would think.
Increasingly there is confusion here about what is legal and what is not, also to further muddle it up is the in ability for clear classification on “styles” of helmets.
Though “skid lids” or “bean covers” can carry the DOT standard some LEO’s here are under the idea that it is illegal to wear them in NC. I cannot find this stipulation anywhere. Whats worse is you can ask one LEO and get one answer and another one and get the reverse.
Here is a link to a site protesting here locally and it seems they are connected throughout the country.
http://bikersmag.com/html/nc_biker_rights.htmlJanuary 24, 2009 at 12:47 am #15960
In Texas its just as strange:
1. Helmets are required for those under the age of 18 operating a motorcycle.
2. Ages above 18 helmets are not mandatory, unless the operator has taken the MSF course. Individuals with M-Class licenses obtained through the MSF must wear a helmet.
3. Operators can obtain an M-Class License with an helmet excemption clause. Meaning you can go to the DMV/DPS and tell them you do not want to wear one. Then on your license they put it as an exemption.
Very SILLY!!!January 26, 2009 at 12:27 am #16011
Sangria7, you are wrong about the helmet law in Texas. Helmets are mandatory unless you’ve taken an MSF-type course or you can prove you have health insurance then you are technically exempt from the helmet law. I took the MSF course and I have medical insurance but I still wear a full face helmet because I want to not because I have to.
I just verified this info by Goggling “texas motorcycle statutes” and clicking on this link…
Munch, I can’t imagine using that unconstitutional argument when there are mandatory seat belt laws that are not deemed unconstitutional. There are also laws against suicide. So we are not always allowed to decide our own fate.January 26, 2009 at 4:21 am #16015
lol…. you are always allowed…just might have some extra consequences to go with your decision.February 22, 2009 at 1:45 pm #16648
ok ok SO I had it backwards….LOLFebruary 23, 2009 at 3:26 am #16651
Just want to make clear.. .I am all about helmet usage. The constitutional argument has actually worked on some cases. Though I do not have to worry cause my skull is worth more to me then a lawsuit or ticket.
The thing that got me searching is the fact that I work on some LEO’s private cars here and they couldn’t ever agree on one standard. Even the DOT sticker is subjective as apparently there are some out there with bogus ones that tend to muddle it up more.
I have heard even in some cases in NY where a LEO (I’m not from there, this is from an ex LEO) has it in his power to step on the alleged helmet or infraction and if it cracks they get ticketed twice. Not to mention buy a new helmet.March 29, 2009 at 9:45 pm #17415
I have begun to see more and more of this. “If you are stopped and you are not wearing your seat belt, we will add $35 to your ticket.” Don’t worry, it isn’t really a law, more of a suggestion. You won’t be stopped for not using your seat belt. Now fast forward 4 years. You can be stopped for not wearing your seat belt and it has it’s own points and fine assigned. Under 18 laws are just the tickler to a full blown helmet law. Most states are caving to the seat belt and helmet laws because the Feds say if you don’t, we MAY not be able to help you out with YOUR highway funds that YOU collected for us. Almost a law is a slippery slope. I think wearing a helmet is a great idea, I think being forced to wear a helmet is BS.April 3, 2009 at 2:57 pm #17508
Pennsylvania is weird. The law here in PA states that you are not obligated to wear a helmet provided you have had your Class-M (unrestricted license) for at least two years. Below two years you are required to wear one.
Personally I believe that helmets should be required under all circumstances in all states, because I have been hit by debris in my helmet that I know would have caused me to lose control of my bike and crash if I were not wearing a helmet because it would have hurt a LOT. That creates a hazard that is dangerous for everyone else around you.April 3, 2009 at 3:19 pm #17509
Here in Michigan, if you bust your head and don’t have insurance, Blue Cross picks it up and the state covers the premium. Which means I get to pay for your accident twice.
The first time, because my tax money had to be used to cover your premium. The second, because I have blue cross insurance myself. And the state pays really low rates, so blue cross charges their paying customers a disproportionately high rate to make up the difference.
So I don’t really give a fig about your “rights.” I care about the fact that I have to pay higher taxes and higher insurance because you were too special to wear a helmet. Michigan is also a mandatory helmet state, so I don’t actually wind up having to pay for that very often. But if a push is made to eliminate the helmet laws, I’ll be working for the campaign to keep them.April 3, 2009 at 3:53 pm #17510
you might as well fight for a mandatory gear law then too as i suspect you’d be paying the tab twice again for someone not wearing gear and not having insurance and getting something like road rash or a broken back.April 3, 2009 at 4:07 pm #17511
And that’s probably a more likely cause of uninsured injury. Helmet laws are just the ones that people get bent about right now. But a mandatory gear law would probably cause at least as big of a feces storm. I know a couple of guys whose only concession to road rash is a thin leather vest.
I have absolutely zero problem with a mandatory jacket law. There would have to be some kind of rating standard for jackets though, which I don’t think there is yet.April 3, 2009 at 9:17 pm #17512
WeaponZero and Clay make great points. Choices that an individual makes impacts their families, possibly innocent bystanders, and other taxpayers and citizens.
We say that we live in a free country but it’s illegal to yell fire in a public facility when there is no fire. We cannot do whatever we want. I say we have privileges more than freedom. Our representatives try to decide what privileges are most appropriate for our society.
God bless the USAApril 5, 2009 at 4:05 am #17528
Even though I can see and sympathize with your points and views… but where does it stop? Mandatory helmet law… ok… I can be cool with that….mandatory gear….nope… lets see whats next ….hmmm deaths by motorcycle are more prevalent on sport bikes….lets get rid of those too….. oh yea and hep B from tattoo’s….might as well make those go away….cell phones have a slight risk of causing cancer… sorry those are gone to, how about TV, books, computers..they all have some slanted report of eye sight problems…. ok whats next… fast food, related to obesity… parenting? yup there are some bad parents out there too so to avoid that risk lets just stop having kids all together. Trees are known to fall on people… gone…wait then green peace gets upset and riots… they’re gone to! Lets not forget wildlife they are known to attack once in a while to.
Think I am going to extremes with this….read your paper, watch the news, hell just look at all the new signs popping up at your local haunts. Let’s quit protecting idiots and teach them. At what point are you willing to stop living and just exist?
Every day we bitch and moan about what this costs “US” and what that costs “US” in the short run. Never stopping to think what flood gates are being opened. What we lose in the future as far as freedom of thought, and choice. You ride because you have the freedom to do so. Cause the guys and gals in uniform fight to keep that freedom of choice available to us. Yet year after year we let some white collar out of touch pencil pusher take this stuff away from us for fear that it may add $5 or $10 to our premiums.
Get your soul out of your wallet. Ride for your life and the freedom to do so!
The best saying I have heard in a long time is:
“Only bikers can truly understand why a dog sticks his head out the window of a car”
Think about that the next time you feel the wind hitting your face and the smile you just seem unable to wipe off.April 5, 2009 at 4:24 am #17531
Ok …. so why is it so easy for you to pass judgement on giving up someones rights for them instead of firing or voting against the idiot that forces you to pay for some one elses mistakes?April 5, 2009 at 4:43 am #17533
You are right that there is a line that is too far. I don’t think that having to wear a helmet or seatbelt (and I don’t like wearing a seat belt) is over that line, that’s just my opinion. And the thing about “what’s too far” is that we have millions of opinions on that. So I guess one good thing you or I can do is let our representatives know what we believe about having to wear a helmet. We are lucky to live in a country where we do have a voice.
Hmm, I wonder how many people in office ride motorcycles?
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