Helmets No Longer Mandatory for Most Michigan Motorcyclists

AASHTO Journal, 20 April 2012

Motorcyclists in the state of Michigan are no longer required by law to put on a helmet when they venture out for a ride.

Last Thursday, Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law Public Act 98 of 2012, which allows motorcyclists to decide for themselves whether to wear a helmet. These drivers and riders must be at least 21 years old, carry additional insurance, and have passed a motorcycle safety course or have had their motorcycle endorsement for at least two years. Any passengers wishing to not wear a helmet need to be at least age 21 and carry additional insurance.

From 1967 through last week, all motorcyclists had to wear a helmet to fulfill U.S. Department of Transportation requirements for federal funding. Other states have also begun changing helmet requirement laws including Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania. Only 19 states require helmets for all motorcycle riders. Three states do not have a motorcycle helmet law, while 28 states (like Michigan) require helmets for specific riders, normally those under a certain age.

The bill is available at 1.usa.gov/MImotorcycle.

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