Two Attempts To Repeal Helmet Laws Fail

By Bud Wilkinson

Michigan repealed its helmet law in 2012, allowing riders 21 and older to go lid-free, but similar efforts in other states since then have failed. Two attempts this year to wipe helmet laws from the book, including one in New England, failed.

In the Vermont legislature, the Senate Transportation Committee voted 20 to 8 in mid-March to reject an amendment to a bill that would have made miscellaneous changes to motor vehicle laws, including the repeal of the helmet requirement. The Associated Press reported that senators opposed to the repeal “pointed to statistics showing fatalities are lower in states with helmet laws than without.”

In Tennessee’s legislature, the Senate Finance Committee voted 6-5 on Tuesday against a measure that would have allowed riders 25 and older to go without a helmet if they could prove they had at least $200,000 in medical insurance and $100,000 in liability coverage.

In our region, there’s no consistency from state-to-state on helmet requirements. New Hampshire has no law, while Massachusetts, Vermont and New York require all riders to wear a helmet. In Connecticut and Maine, riders 17 and under must wear a helmet, while in Rhode Island riders 20 and under must have a lid.

Nationally, 19 states and the District of Columbia have universal helmet laws requiring all riders to wear a helmet. Only three states have no helmet law of any kind. Here’s a map show the laws state-by-state:

Helmet map

Courtesy of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety


About admin

Since 2010, RIDE-CT & RIDE-NewEngland has been reporting about motorcycling in New England and portions of New York.