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Posted 10/18/2017

California Motorcycle Helmet Laws

California Motorcycle Helmet Laws

There's a lot of confusion surrounding California's motorcycle helmet laws. For years, people have come to the Golden State thinking that they could ride a motorcycle without a helmet. However, that’s simply not true, and it’s a violation of state law to ride without a helmet—and has been for decades.

In fact, California helmet laws state that passengers need to wear helmets, as well. So, anyone who is driving or riding on a motorcycle or motorized bicycle must wear a helmet or face the consequences of violating the law.


Enforcement Is Inconsistent  

Some of the confusion comes from enforcement and a lack of consistency. The law states that someone who doesn't have a helmet on can correct it and pay a small fine for the violation. In other words, if someone is pulled over without a helmet, the officer can give them the opportunity to correct the problem and pay a small fine.

However, California Highway Patrol (CHP) has stated that not wearing a helmet poses an “immediate safety hazard,” and therefore, people without a helmet can be subject to a much larger fine and probation.


The Helmet Could Be a Problem

In addition to needing to wear a helmet, the state has passed laws regarding what helmets are safe. This means that you could be cited if an officer doesn’t think your helmet fits correctly or provides adequate coverage. You can fight the citation with the help of a lawyer.


An Attorney Can Protect Your Rights

When the state legislature passes laws, it is up to the police and the state highway patrol to enforce them. This can create a gray area when agencies like CHP create a set of administrative rules that are not necessarily aligned with the letter of the law.

If you’ve had a legal issue involving a motorcycle helmet or have been in a crash and are worried that California’s helmet laws could impact your financial compensation, it is smart to call an attorney for help. You can do so by calling Crowell Law Offices at 916-303-2800 or by reaching us on our website.


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