If you own and ride a motorcycle in California, you must know the state laws that apply to motorcycle riders and obey them. One of such law is the California helmet law, which seems to be confusing to many motorcyclists and car drivers alike.
Regardless of whether the motorcycle helmet was used at the time of your motorcycle crash, it is a good idea to speak with a Montebello motorcycle accident attorney from The Hayes Law Firm to protect your rights.
According to the Insurance Institute Information, nationwide motorcycle helmet use has dropped from 71 percent in 2000 to 65 percent in 2017, though the CDC estimates that helmets reduce the risk of death by 37 percent.
Wearing a motorcycle helmet also reduces the risk of brain injury by almost 70 percent, according to the CDC. Still, a large percentage of motorcyclists in California choose to operate their bike without a helmet for various reasons – many do not wear a helmet because it is a “cool” thing to do, while others believe that helmets reduce visibility and impair hearing.
While many states have repealed the mandatory helmet use law, California is not one of those states. Our state requires all motorcyclists to wear helmets for their own safety.
Under California law, a person operating a motorcycle and any passenger must wear a helmet that meets federal safety standards. The helmet use law applies to motorcycles, motorized bicycles, and motor-driver cycles.
Not wearing a helmet while a motorcycle is in motion is prohibited by California law. The same rule applies to bikers riding on both rural and urban roads in Montebello and elsewhere in Los Angeles County.
California law has a plethora of requirements for the type of helmet that must be used by a motorcyclist. One of such requirement is that the helmet must comply with federal laws and fit the biker’s head securely.
As a rule of thumb, a helmet that is compliant with federal safety standards must have the Department of Transportation (DOT) sticker on it. While the current helmet law in California makes it mandatory for motorcyclists of all ages to wear a helmet, opponents of the law are pushing for change.
In recent years, lawmakers in California began discussing an amendment to the existing motorcycle helmet use law in the state. One of such change could be to allow motorcyclists over the age of 21 who completed a safety training program to operate a bike without a helmet.
Failure to wear a helmet in California does not only put your health at risk but also exposes you to potential penalties and fines.
Under the existing helmet use law, a police officer in California has the right to stop a motorcyclist operating a bike without a helmet and can either charge him or her with an equipment violation or opt for a greater penalty.
An equipment violation is a $10 fine that requires proof of correction. However, if a police officer chooses to follow the California Highway Patrol’s guidelines, which identify a violation of the mandatory helmet law as an “immediate safety hazard,” the motorcyclist could face up to $250 in fines and one year of probation.
If California’s helmet laws seem unclear or confusing, do not hesitate to speak with our Montebello motorcycle accident attorney here at The Hayes Law Firm. Get a free consultation by calling at 323-477-1415.
At The Hayes Law Firm, APC, we serve all of Los Angeles and the Inland Empire, so whether you need a personal injury attorney in Montebello or a premises liability attorney in San Bernardino, we are here to serve you. Unlike other attorneys who view clients as cases, we understand that your experience has a human story behind it, and when you are in our offices, you are like a member of the family. We are ethical and compassionate, and we will take the time to find the best solution for your unique case and will work together with you every step along the way. Contact us today for a free consultation.