Table 2-5: Helmet Use Laws: 2005

Table 2-5: Helmet Use Laws: 2005

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State Motorcycle riders covered by helmet law Bicycle riders covered by helmet law
Alabama All riders Younger than 16
Alaska Younger than 18 2 No law
Arizona Younger than 18 No law
Arkansas Younger than 21 No law
California All riders Younger than 18
Colorado No law No law
Connecticut Younger than 18 Younger than 16
Delaware Younger than 19 Younger than 16
District of Columbia All riders Younger than 16
Florida Younger than 21 3 Younger than 16
Georgia All riders Younger than 16
Hawaii Younger than 18 Younger than 16
Idaho Younger than 18 No law
Illinois No law No law
Indiana Younger than 18 No law
Iowa No law No law
Kansas Younger than 18 No law
Kentucky Younger than 21 3,4 No law
Louisiana All riders Younger than 12
Maine Younger than 15 5 Younger than 16
Maryland All riders Younger than 16
Massachusetts All riders Younger than 17 10
Michigan All riders No law
Minnesota Younger than 18 4 No law
Mississippi All riders No law
Missouri All riders No law
Montana Younger than 18 No law
Nebraska All riders No law
Nevada All riders No law
New Hampshire No law Younger than 16 11
New Jersey All riders Younger than 17 12
New Mexico Younger than 18 No law
New York All riders Younger than 14 10
North Carolina All riders Younger than 16
North Dakota Younger than 18 6 No law
Ohio Younger than 18 7 No law
Oklahoma Younger than 18 No law
Oregon All riders Younger than 16
Pennsylvania Younger than 21 8 Younger than 12
Rhode Island Younger than 21 9 Younger than 16
South Carolina Younger than 21 No law
South Dakota Younger than 18 No law
Tennessee All riders Younger than 16
Texas Younger than 21 3 No law
Utah Younger than 18 No law
Vermont All riders No law
Virginia All riders No law
Washington All riders No law
West Virginia All riders Younger than 15
Wisconsin Younger than 18 4 No law
Wyoming Younger than 19 No law

1 Laws in effect as of September 1, 2005; 2 Alaska's motorcycle helmet use law covers passengers of all ages, drivers younger than 18, and drivers with instructional permits; 3 Florida, Kentucky, and Texas provide exceptions for riders over a certain age. In Florida and Kentucky, the law requires that all riders younger than 21 years wear helmets, without exception. In Florida, those 21 years and older may ride without helmets only if they can show proof that they are covered by a medical insurance policy. Texas exempts riders 21 years and older if they can prove they either have successfully completed a motorcycle operator training and safety course or if they can show proof of having a medical insurance policy; 4 Motorcycle helmet laws in Kentucky, Minnesota, and Wisconsin also cover drivers with instructional or learner's permits; 5 Maine's motorcycle helmet use law covers passengers 14 years and younger, drivers with learner's permits, and passengers if their drivers are required to wear a helmet; 6 North Dakota's motorcycle helmet use law covers all passengers travelling with drivers who are covered by the law; 7 Ohio's motorcycle helmet use law covers all drivers during the first year of licensure and all passengers; 8 Pennsylvania's motorcycle helmet use law covers all drivers during the first two years of licensure unless the driver has completed the safety course approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation; 9 Rhode Island's motorcycle helmet use law covers all drivers during the first year of licensure and all passengers; 10 Bicycle helmet use laws in Massachusetts and New York prohibit people from transporting passengers younger than 1 year old; 11 Law becomes effective January 1, 2006; 12 Law becomes effective March 1, 2006.

SOURCE: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety-Highway Loss Data Institute, Helmet Use Laws, available at http://www.hwysafety.org/laws/state_laws/helmet_current.html as of Sept. 19, 2005.