Texas Motorcycle Helmet Laws
Is there an offense in Texas for not wearing protective headgear? Maybe. If you are under the age of At any age you must have health insurance to avoid a ticket. Officers are not permitted to pull a motorcyclist over to check for insurance.
Texas has an insurance and age requirement before motorcyclists can legally consider not wearing a helmet.
If a Texan wants to head out onto the highway helmet free they were required to meet these requirements:
- Must be 21 years of age or older.
- Must be covered by an applicable health insurance plan.
- Must have completed a motorcycle operator training and safety course.
Formerly a Texas motorcyclist was required to be covered with a minimum of $10,000 in health insurance if they would like to be exempt from an offense of operating or riding a motorcycle without a helmet. These rules were overruled on September 1, 2009 and repealed the helmet exemption sticker program.
Kids on Motorcycles: You might think twice before going for a stroll with the little one. Children below the age of 5 are prohibited from riding on a motorcycle. There is one exception – kids under 5 may ride in a sidecar attached to the motorcycle.
Under Malorie’s Law in Texas, motorcycles carrying more than one passenger are required to have handholds, bars, or something else for the passenger seated on the back to hold onto.
California Motorcycle Helmet Laws
Motorcyclists in California are subject to a universal motorcycle helmet law. All motorcycle drivers and passengers are required to wear a helmet while on a motorcycle.
It is even illegal for a helmeted passenger to ride with a rider who is not wearing a helmet. The helmet must meet minimum safety standards as set by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218.
The helmet must:
- Thick inner liner: A helmet liner is typically at least an inch thick and constructed of polystyrene foam
- Riveted chin straps: Solid rivets should connect chin straps to the shell of the helmet
- Weight: Helmets meeting the standards typically weigh at least three pounds
- Helmet Design: nothing is allowed to protrude from the surface of the helmet by more than two-tenths of an inch
Helmet Laws in U.S. Marked by Cycles of Change
Many motorcyclists in Texas are not required to wear a helmet. Critics of motorcycle helmet rights say that the costs saved by wearing helmets are never actually passed down to consumers.
According to economic data by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), areas with a universal helmet law saved an average of $725 in economic costs for every registered motorcycle in the state. That’s nearly four times the savings of those in states with no such law ($198).
Despite data from CDC showing that universal helmet laws can prevent injury and death, in 1997 Texas lawmakers reversed a universal helmet law in the state of Texas. Arguments from anti-helmet laws have been effective in enacting helmet law repeals.
Helmets have been said to create some visibility issues for motorcyclists on the road. Anti-helmet advocates claim that helmet laws reduce the number of riders out on the road (such as in California).
A Michigan lawmaker who sponsored a bill repealing the great lakes state’s mandatory helmet law later died in a motorcycle crash. A pickup truck made a fatal left turn into Peter Pettalia’s lane. Despite his advocacy for repealing universal helmet law he was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.
It is true that no helmet, even when properly fitted cannot stop a motorcycle crash. Above all both advocacy groups agree: Don’t drink, drug and ride.