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03 Dec 2008

Michigan Helmet Laws | Abate of Michigan

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Michigan law requires motorcyclists to always wear an approved, properly-fastened safety helmet on their head.  Many bikers oppose Michigan’s helmet law, including ABATE of Michigan, because they believe individual motorcycle riders can best decide what type of safety gear is appropriate for their rides.

In fact, ABATE of Michigan is a very active non-profit organization that is dedicated to preserving the rights of motorcyclists and promoting safe operating practices among motorcyclists.  ABATE of Michigan monitors current and proposed legislation, encourages its members to become politically involved, hosts thousands of safety programs throughout the State of Michigan, and donates a large amount to various charities.  ABATE and other like-minded bikers may succeed in repealing Michigan’s helmet law, either sometime soon or eventually, but for now motorcyclists are currently required to wear a helmet in accordance with the helmet law.

MCL 257.658 says: “A person operating or riding on a motorcycle, and any person less than 19 years of age operating a moped on a public thoroughfare shall wear a crash helmet on his or her head. Crash helmets shall be approved by the department of state police. The department of state police shall promulgate rules for the implementation of this section pursuant to the administrative procedures act of 1969, Act No. 306 of the Public Acts of 1969, being sections 24.201 to 24.315 of the Michigan Compiled Laws.”  MCL 257.658 (emphasis added).

One of the chief complaints with Michigan’s helmet law is that, although it requires crash helmets to be approved by the state police, the Michigan State Police have not generated a list of approved helmets.  In fact, if you visit one Michigan State Police Motorcycle Helmet webpage, you will see several statistics about the use of helmets before being directed to the Michigan Secretary of State’s office.  At the Secretary of State’s Motorcycle Helmet webpage, you will see that the Secretary of State erroneously states helmets must be approved by the US Department of Transportation.  If you visit another Michigan State Police webpage, you will find a series of guidelines that might be used in approving a helmet but no list of which helmets are approved.  At the very least, this conflicting information renders Michigan’s helmet law ambiguous, but at its worst, the helmet law as currently written may actually discourage helmet use since a motorcyclist cannot readily tell which helmet to use.

If you would like more information about your rights after a Michigan motorcycle accident, you can order our FREE book, “The Ultimate Michigan Motorcycle Accident Handbook” by calling our law firm.  We will send it along with other important information.

If you would like to speak with one of our Michigan Motorcycle accident attorneys about your case, feel free to call us anytime at (800) 606-1717 or simply submit this contact form and we will get back to you quickly.

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