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Helmet Laws by State (source: www.iihs.org)

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  • Laws requiring all motorcyclists to wear a helmet are in place in 20 states and the District of Columbia
  • Laws requiring only some motorcyclists to wear a helmet are in place in 27 states
  • There is no motorcycle helmet use law in 3 states (Illinois, Iowa, and New Hampshire)
The history of motorcycle helmet laws in the United States is characterized by change. In 1967, to increase motorcycle helmet use, the federal government required the states to enact helmet use laws in order to qualify for certain federal safety programs and highway construction funds. The federal incentive worked. By the early 1970s, almost all the states had universal motorcycle helmet laws. Michigan was the first state to repeal its law in 1968, beginning a pattern of repeal, reenactment, and amendment of motorcycle helmet laws. In 1976, states successfully lobbied Congress to stop the Department of Transportation from assessing financial penalties on states without helmet laws.

More Information: www.iihs.org/laws/helmetusecurrent.aspx

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