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Old 09-04-07, 07:26 AM   #1
fritz1255
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Helmet Laws?

This came up this past weekend, when I was visiting my mother in CT. I forgot my helmet back at home in PA, so was riding without one on an old bike that she picked up at a yard sale. As I started riding up one of the main roads, it occurred to me that I might be in violation of some sort of state law regarding helmets. I had more than one run-in with the State Police when I was growing up there, so I know they won't hesitate to stop you if they feel you are in violation of some minor statute. Does anyone know how I can find out what the laws are in various states concerning mandatory helmet use? Are the laws generally age-specific (kids must wear helmets, optional for adults)? My 14-year-old son also rides there when we visit.
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Old 09-04-07, 07:43 AM   #2
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http://www.helmets.org/mandator.htm
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Old 09-04-07, 10:11 AM   #3
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Nice link, thanks for that. Helmet laws were something I used to get into little spats with fellow students (public health at Hopkins) about. I'm opposed to mandates on adults (but support usage) and a lot of public health people are in the "all helmets, all the time" camp. It's nice to have a single and fairly up-to-date source for the age reqs.
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Old 09-05-07, 05:42 AM   #4
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Thanks also for the link. I feel the same way - support usage, but oppose mandates.
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Old 09-05-07, 12:10 PM   #5
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In CT it's 16 and under as mandatory if I remember. I grew up there and haven't had a problem with police there while cycling.
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Old 09-07-07, 07:57 AM   #6
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So, in NO STATE are adults REQUIRED to wear a helmet, although I won't be moving to Washington state anytime soon - and not just for the helmet law craziness theie either!
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Old 09-07-07, 08:12 AM   #7
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Recently, a local motorcyclist (helmet-less) was killed when a semi pulled out in fron to of him. This prompted the newspaper to write an editorial supporting mandatory helmet laws. Evidently, the editorial was posted on a motorcyclist board and the paper was swamped with responses. I sent the following letter to the editor in response to the motorcyclists replies.

"The recent West Branch Times editorial suggesting a mandatory helmet law seems to have struck a nerve with the Times’ national audience. As a cyclist (two wheels, no motor), I regularly wear a helmet. But, instead of the government mandating its use, I would prefer that riders (motorized and not) take the initiative to protect themselves. Obviously, a helmet is not going to provide 100 percent protection, but it will decrease the chance of severe head trauma. In most circumstances, a cycle-car collision is not going to end well for the cyclist, but in the instance of a lesser wreck, a helmet can be a life saver. Wearing a helmet is not about eliminating all chances of bodily damage; it is about reducing the possibility of major head injury."
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