Table 2-5: Helmet Use Laws: 2012

Table 2-5: Helmet Use Laws: 2012

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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 181 No law
Arizona Younger than 18 No law
Arkansas Younger than 21 No law
California All riders Younger than 18
Colorado Younger than 18 and their passengers younger than 18 No law
Connecticut Younger than 18 Younger than 16
Delaware Younger than 192 Younger than 18
District of Columbia All riders Younger than 16
Florida Younger than 213 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 214 No law
Louisiana All riders Younger than 12
Maine Younger than 185 Younger than 16
Maryland All riders Younger than 16
Massachusetts All riders Younger than 17 (riding with children younger than 1 prohibited)
Michigan Younger than 216 No law
Minnesota Younger than 187 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
New Jersey All riders Younger than 17
New Mexico Younger than 18 Younger than 18
New York All riders Younger than 14 (riding with children younger than 1 prohibited)
North Carolina All riders Younger than 16
North Dakota Younger than 188 No law
Ohio Younger than 189 No law
Oklahoma Younger than 18 No law
Oregon All riders Younger than 16
Pennsylvania Younger than 2110 Younger than 12
Rhode Island Younger than 2111 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 2112 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 1813 No law
Wyoming Younger than 18 No law

1Alaska's motorcycle helmet use law covers passengers of all ages, operators younger than 18, and operators with instructional permits.

2In Delaware, every motorcycle operator or rider age 19 and older shall have in their possession a safety helmet approved by the Secretary.

3In Florida, the law requires that all riders younger than 21 years wear helmets, without exception. Those 21 years and older may ride without helmets only if they can show proof that they are covered by a medical insurance policy.

4In Kentucky, the law requires that all riders younger than 21 years wear helmets, without exception. Those 21 years and older may ride without helmets only if they can show proof that they are covered by a medical insurance policy. Motorcycle helmet laws in Kentucky also cover operators with instructional/learner's permits.

5Motorcycle helmet laws in Maine cover operators with instructional/learner's permits and operators in their first year of licensure. Maine's motorcycle helmet use law also covers passengers 17 years and younger and passengers if their operators are required to wear a helmet.

6In Michigan, the law requires that all riders younger than 21 years wear helmets, without exception. Those 21 years and older may ride without helmets only if they carry additional insurance and have passed a motorcycle safety course or have had their motorcycle endorsement for at least two years. Motorcycle passengers who want to exercise this option also must be 21 or older and carry additional insurance.

7Motorcycle helmet laws in Minnesota cover operators with instructional/learner's permits.

8North Dakota's motorcycle helmet use law covers all passengers traveling with operators who are covered by the law.

9Ohio's motorcycle helmet use law covers all operators during the first year of licensure and all passengers of operators who are covered by the law.

10Pennsylvania's motorcycle helmet use law covers all operators during the first two years of licensure unless the operator has completed the safety course approved by PennDOT or the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.

11Rhode Island 's motorcycle helmet use law covers all passengers (regardless of age) and all operators during the first year of licensure (regardless of age).

12Texas exempts riders 21 years or older if they can either show proof of successfully completing a motorcycle operator training and safety course or can show proof of having a medical insurance policy. A peace officer may not stop or detain a person who is the operator of or a passenger on a motorcycle for the sole purpose of determining whether the person has successfully completed the motorcycle operator training and safety course or is covered by a health insurance plan.

13Motorcycle helmet laws in Wisconsin cover operators with instructional/learner's permits.

SOURCE: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute, Motorcycle and bicycle helmet use laws, August 2012, available at http://www.iihs.org/laws/HelmetUseCurrent.aspx as of August 2, 2012.