Mandatory Helmet Law

Mississippi



STATUTE:
Title 63. Motor Vehicles and Traffic Regulations. Chapter 7. Equipment and identification -- General Provisions. Section 63-7-64. Motorcycle Crash Helmets. :
FINE:
We are informed by Steve Simmons, Pike County Deputy Assessor, that he was told by numerous Clerks of Court that the fines vary form city to city and county to county. "The last fine I had for operating a Motorcycle without a Helmet the fine was $45.00. I have since been informed that the fine is now $70.00, in that same city". Section 63-9-11 Penalties for violations
  1. It is a misdemeanor for any person to violate any of the provisions of Chapter 3, 5, or 7 of this title, unless such violation is by such chapters or other law of this state declared to be a felony.

  2. Every person convicted of a misdemeanor for a violation of any of the provisions of such chapters for which another penalty is not provided shall for first conviction thereof be punished by a fine of not more than $100.00 or by imprisonment for not more than 10 days; for the second such conviction within 1 year thereafter such person shall be punished by a fine of not more than $200.00 or by imprisonment for not more than 20 days or by both such fine and imprisonment; upon a third or subsequent conviction within 1 year after the first conviction such person shall be punished by a fine of not more than $500.00 or by imprisonment for not more than 6 months or by both such fine and imprisonment.
STANDARDS:
We are currently researching the Mississippi regulations to determine exactly what standard they have adopted to define a "crash helmet". Apparently the "American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators" inspects and approves Mississippi's so-called safety equipment, so we will locate the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators and ask what they consider an approved "crash helmet."
COURT DECISIONS:
Federal Code - Traffic and Vehicle Safety Act Title 15, chapter 1392

Supremacy of Federal Standards; allowable higher standards for vehicles used by federal or state governments (d) Whenever a Federal motor vehicle safety standard established under this subchapter is in effect, no State or political subdivision of a State shall have any authority either to establish, or to continue in effect, with respect to any motor vehicle or item of motor vehicle equipment any safety standard applicable to the same aspect of performance of such vehicle or item of equipment which is not identical to the Federal standard. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the Federal Government or the government of any State or political subdivision thereof from establishing a safety requirement applicable to motor vehicles or motor vehicle equipment procured for its own use if such requirement imposes a higher standard of performance than that required to comply with the otherwise applicable Federal standard.

Excerpt is from Juvenile Products v. Edmisten:

"Under National traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, states play a role in enforcement of federal regulatory scheme created by Act, but states may enforce no standards which are not identical to federal standards."

That excerpt is from Juvenile Products v. Edmisten, citing the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966, Section 103(d), as amended, 15 U.S.C.A. Section 1392(d).

Mississippi has declared by statute that the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators "inspects and approves helmets" which is not "identical to federal standards" and therefore not lawful. More on this decision is at Preventing Helmet Disasters Web Site.

In addition, the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators has never and does not inspect or approve helmets. - Lee JordanAmerican Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, 4301 Wilson Blvd. Suite 400, Arlington,VA 22203. Phone 703-522-4200, Fax 703-522-1553.

CURRENT ACTIVITY:

SB 2281 relates to motorcycle helmets; revises requirement to wear.

RECENT ACTIVITY:

HB500 - Jan 30/02 - 21+ helmet mod bill l moves out of the House Transportation Committee first time after previous years attempts. Originally introduced by Rep. Nicholson as an 18 and over mod bill, it was rewritten in Committee to 21 and over with a $10,000 of medical insurance requirement. For more info Bill Text

Helmet repeal bill was defeated in the first committee of the MS legislature for the third year in a row in 1999.


WEBSITES:


-- DISCLAIMER --The foregoing is provided as educational information only and is not legal advice.