AAA Poll Shows Overwhelming Support For Helmet Law

HARTFORD – As opponents and supporters of a proposed universal helmet law in Connecticut spend the weekend urging riders to attend a public hearing on Monday at the state legislature, a result from a poll done in January reveals that nearly 75 percent of drivers in the state support having a helmet law that requires all motorcyclists to wear protective headgear.

RIDE-CT & RIDE-NewEngland has learned that the independent poll of approximately 900 drivers done for the AAA clubs in Connecticut revealed that by a 74 percent to 26 percent margin, drivers overwhelming support a helmet law. The poll involved safety-related issues and included a single motorcycle question that asked if riders should be required to wear a helmet. Both AAA members and non-members were surveyed.

The new poll essentially mirrors the results a similar of 3,000 drivers poll done two years ago by AAA Northeast, one of two AAA clubs in the state.

The helmet issue will likely draw a passionate crowd to the Legislative Office Building on Monday for a 10:30 a.m. public hearing planned by  the General Assembly’s Transportation committee.

Under discussion will be Raised Bill No. 7140, which was introduced Wednesday on the recommendation of the Department of Transportation. It would require all motorcycle operators and their passengers to wear helmets.

State law currently only requires riders under age 18 to wear a helmet. Under the bill, anyone not wearing a helmet could be fined “not less than ninety dollars.” The bill excludes “autocycle” operators and their passengers from having to wear a helmet.

Expected to state their positions before the committee are members of the Connecticut Motorcycle Riders Association, which has long opposed helmet legislation, and a newly-revealed coalition of a health care professionals from the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and Hartford Hospital as well as safety experts, all of whom believe a helmet law is necessary. Some of the coalition’s members state their case in a video that was included in a previous post.

CMRA Facebook post


The CMRA has been using social media to rally its membership. The group regards helmet usage as a freedom of choice issue. The pro-helmet law coalition maintains that a mandatory helmet law will save lives and money.

(Updated at 9:10 a.m. Saturday to clarify nature of the poll.)

About Bud Wilkinson

Bud Wilkinson writes the "RIDE-CT" motorcycle column and the "My Ride" classic car feature in the "Republican-American" newspaper in Waterbury, CT. A graduate of Vermont Academy, he received a B.A. degree journalism from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1975. He is the recipient of a Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Award in 1992 and a 1991-92 regional Emmy Award for commentary. He currently rides a 1987 BMW R 80 RT and a 2014 Triumph Bonneville and drives a 2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata and 2008 Ford Ranger pickup.


  1. Awesome job Rich!!! For those of you so interested in putting down the CMRA I would like to remind you of how motorcyclist rights began in the early 1900’s. The sort of layman’s story to it goes like this…Back then, this guy from CT named George used to ride down to NYC to meet with other motorcyclists and to test out his new products. When he got into NYC, he would park his motorbike, go visit with friends and come back to find his motorcycle gone. Well, that guy went to the local police station and upon his approach to report his stolen motorcycle, he saw the police officers were riding his new contraption. He’d pay his $10 fine and have to walk to find gas because the police wouldn’t replace what the used joyriding. New York had just started requiring tags on vehicles and this was new for the nation. Motorbike riders felt this was wrong and started to gather to work with legislators to avoid their motorbikes being ridden away by police. Mororcyclists began sharing information about each county, state, and national concern with the right to ride. It all worked out with the first motorbikes being designed with license plate holders and NYC had created the very first known motorcycle patrol riding Indian motorcycles. The Federation of American Motorcyclists began, now known as the American Motorcyclist Association….to be continued…

    I have work to do and feel you all need to understand why we need to continue to unify versus playing the blame game! There Are numerous helmeted riders very involved with motorcyclist rights. Catch up with you all more later!

  2. I have never been polled by AAA in 18 years of being a member. I have since refused to renew my AAA membership. This reference is a complete lie. If I had been asked, I would have opted for freedom of choice in helmet use.

  3. Yet were anyone of these people polled actual riders? Very doubtful.