Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys - Group

Motorcycle Helmet Law

Michigan Compiled Law 257.658 repealed the Motorcycle Helmet law, which required all motorcycle operators in Michigan to wear a protective helmet. The repeal is effective immediately. Michigan’s mandatory motorcycle helmet requirement was also repealed for certain motorcycle operators and passengers.

A motorcycle operator is not required to wear a helmet if all of the following conditions apply:

  • The operator is at least 21 years of age
  • The operator has had their motorcycle endorsement for at least two years or has successfully passed a motorcycle safety course conducted according to MCL 257.811a or MCL 257.811b
  • The operator has insurance for first-party medical benefits payable if they are involved in a motorcycle crash for at least $20,000 for the operator or $20,000 per person if the operator is carrying an additional passenger and the passenger does not have at least $20,000 security

Motorcycle Helmet Law for Passengers

A motorcycle passenger is not required to wear a crash helmet if all of the following conditions apply:

  • The passenger is at least 21 years of age
  • The passenger has in effect at least a $20,000 security for the first-party medical benefits payable if they are involved in a motorcycle accident, or the operator of the motorcycle has in effect security that covers the operator and the passenger for at least $20,000 per person

Michigan motorcycle operators should know that MCL 257.658 does not require a motorcycle operator to carry proof that they have possessed a motorcycle endorsement for at least two years or have successfully passed the motorcycle safety course.

Additionally, the motorcycle helmet law does not require a motorcycle operator or passenger to carry proof of the $20,000 security required to operate or ride a motorcycle without a helmet.

Operators and passengers who violate MCL 257.658 are responsible for a civil infraction, as detailed in MCL 257.656.

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“Can the police stop a motorcycle because the driver is not wearing a helmet?”

Police officers and county sheriffs must have articulable and reasonable suspicion that a violation of the Michigan Vehicle Code has occurred to lawfully stop a vehicle for a violation of the Michigan Vehicle Code. The reasonable suspicion requirement also applies to motorcycle operators not wearing helmets. For example, officers may not stop a motorcycle operator for not wearing a helmet based on the mere possibility the operator or passenger may not be exempt from the requirement to wear a helmet. For a stop to be legal, officers must possess facts rising to the level of reasonable suspicion that the operator or passenger is required to wear a helmet and is violating the requirement.

“Should motorcyclists be required to wear helmets?”

The debate over whether motorcycle drivers should be legally required to wear helmets involves several compelling arguments on both sides. Advocates for mandatory motorcycle helmet laws often cite safety and public health concerns as primary reasons for such legislation. Helmets are proven to significantly reduce the risk of head injuries and fatalities in accidents; thus, mandating their use can be a preventive measure that protects the riders and reduces the burden on public health systems and emergency services. Moreover, helmets effectively mitigate the severity of injuries, leading to quicker recovery times and less medical expenditure.

On the other hand, opponents of mandatory helmet laws argue for personal freedom and the right to choose. They believe that individuals should have the autonomy to decide whether or not to wear a helmet, emphasizing that the government should not control such personal decisions. Some argue that helmets can impair a rider’s peripheral vision and hearing, potentially increasing the risk of accidents. This perspective prioritizes personal responsibility and the rights of individuals to assess risks and make their own safety decisions without government interference.

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Michigan Motion to Suppress and Dismiss Lawyers

The criminal defense lawyers with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have decades of experience winning in court. We have an unparalleled track record of success and achieving extraordinary results. If a stop is made based upon the failure to wear a helmet alone, any evidence seized due to that illegal stop and seizure would be ripe for a Motion to Suppress. We are not afraid to win! If you have questions regarding Michigan law, including the motorcycle helmet law, please do not hesitate to call us for a free consultation.

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.

We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

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