One of the more contentious issues for riders are the existence of helmet laws. Every state has different rules regarding helmets. They can generally be broken down into three different categories. (1) Mandatory Use States – states that require anyone riding a motorcycle to use a helmet. California is a mandatory use jurisdiction. (2) Partial Use- these states require anyone under a certain age to use a helmet while riding. An example would be Pennsylvania, which require riders age 20 or younger to use a helmet while riding. (3) States with no law – currently only Iowa and Illinois fall within this category. These is no law requiring the use of a helmet while riding a motorcycle, no matter the age, in those states.
Proponents of these laws believe it is a safety issue, pure and simple. Opponents of the law, especially riders, believe that motorcycle riders are being unfairly singled out. Helmets would also reduce the risk of injury for drivers of car and trucks, or even the pedestrian walking down the street, but there are no laws in place of those individuals. In essence, the motorcycle rider is simply stating that the decision as to wear a helmet should be left to the rider of the motorcycle, that it is not the governments role to make it mandatory, and thus subject to potential criminal proceedings.
What do you think?