Mandatory Helmet Law

Nevada



STATUTE:

Title 43. Vehicles and Watercraft. Chapter 486. Bicycles, Motorcycles and Similar Vehicles. Operation and Equipment. Section 486.231. :

FINE:

In Nevada a helmet ticket will get you 2 points on your drivers license plus fines. The fines start with a State Assessment fee and then vary from court to court from there.

STANDARDS:

Title 43. Vehicles and Watercraft. Chapter 486. Bicycles, Motorcycles and Similar Vehicles. Operation and Equipment. Section 486.231. :

COURT DECISIONS:

"Statute was legitimate exercise of state's power to preserve and improve public health, safety, morals and general welfare. NRS 486.231, which requires drivers and passengers of motorcycles to wear protective headgear when operating motorcycle on highway, was legitimate exercise of state's power to preserve and improve public health, safety, morals and general welfare." State v. Eighth Judicial Dist. Court, 101 Nev. 658, 708 P.2d 1022 (1985)

"Statute did not violate constitutional guarantees of equal protection of laws. NRS 486.231, which requires drivers and passengers of motorcycles to wear protective headgear when operating motorcycle on highway, did not violate provisions of U.S. 14th amendment or Nev. Art. 4, s 21 guaranteeing equal protection of laws, because statute was rationally related to legitimate state interest in reducing severity of injuries to motorcyclists, protecting public from increased medical costs as result of accidents involving motorcycles and promoting safety on public highways. State v. Eighth Judicial Dist. Court, 101 Nev. 658, 708 P.2d 1022 (1985)

"Statute did not violate right to privacy. NRS 486.231, which requires drivers and passengers of motorcycles to wear protective headgear when operating motorcycle on highway, did not violate defendant's right to privacy under U.S. 9th amendment or Nev. Art. 1, s 20, because right to be left alone did not include right to do as one pleases on public highway." State v. Eighth Judicial Dist. Court, 101 Nev. 658, 708 P.2d 1022 (1985)


HISTORY:

1999 - In a message dated 4/9/99, hdcowboy@mail.cvn.net writes:

SB 201 was called for a WORK SESSION and Assemblywoman Ohrenschall (D) Las Vegas quickly called for postponement, and was as quickly seconded. This allowed no discussion or amendments to the bill until the motion was voted on. Earlier in the day I had met with Jim Utterback in the Office of Traffic Safety to discuss the testimony on the bill in Tuesday's hearing. Both he and I had serious doubts as to the validity of some of the statements made by the employee of the University Medical Center's Head Trauma Unit. At my urging Assemblyman Gustavson called Mr. Utterback and discussed the items in question. These items would have brought serious doubt on the testimony. But the SLAM_DUNK done by Ohrenschall and her cohorts stole the opportunity of Nevada motorcyclists their proper representation.

1997 - Don Gustavson (R-Reno) introduced a bill that removed the helmet wearing requirement for those over 21 who had at least one year riding experience. The bill passed the Assembly, but died in the Senate. Legislative analysts calculated passage of this bill would cost Nevada about $3.5 million a year for additional medical treatment of motorcyclists who suffered brain injuries from of accidents.


CURRENT ACTIVITY:

Apr 10, 2003 - The bill failed in the Transportation Committee. Unfortulately, NHTSA testified and lied against the bill and the Trans Committee unfortunately was destracted/ignored the main issue that the law is unenforceable as is. Mr. Snodgrass of NHTSA provided stunning half and mis-truths such as:

"California enacted their helmet law ... deaths went down 32%"

Snodgrass neglected to mention that ridership was down 40%. Less riders, riding less logically yields less accidents and therefore less deaths. To say/imply that helmets provide safety benefits that result in fewer deaths is a disingenuous lie. It is less ridership that reduces deaths. Full transcript at Bolt of Nevada's Website.

We all need to be very clear about what is really going on. Less ridership, not helmets, is responsible for reducing death and helmet laws are being used to get/keep bikers off the road. Whether you wear a helmet or not or do and don't want to, if your state has a helmet law, that law is manipulating and curtailing your freedom.

Mar 13, 2003 - SB 274 - Full Helmet Repeal Bill introduced by Senator Shaffer. Email to Senator Nolan from Colonel David Hosmer (NV DPS, Highway Patrol) on the impossibility of enforcing the current law.

In the meantime here's BOLT's angle on this situation: NV's Helmet Fight.

Nov 5, 2002 - Nevada's helmet law is in crisis. The latest published opinion by the Attorney General, unbeknownst to her, spells out that it's impossible to comply and enforce with their helmet law with certainty. Even the Nevada highway patrol agrees. Background | AG's Opinion: HTML | PDF


RELATED ACTIVITY:

Apr 17, 2001 - AB-88 - Pursuant to Joint Standing Rule No. 14.3.1, no further action allowed. Bill killed.

Feb 13, 2001 AB-88 article in the Las Vegas Review Journal.

Feb 12, 2001 - AB-88 - Helmet law modification bill for over 21 introduced by State Assemblyman Don Gustavson (R), Sun Valley. Bill Updater.

May 11, 1999 AB-59 - The Senate Trans Committee voted do pass as amended.  The next deadline is May 21st for the Senate Floor vote. AB-59 Clarifies that person with disability may obtain special license plate and parking sticker to park motorcycle in space designated for handicapped.

Apr 8, 1999 - SB 201 - Motion to postone indefinitely killed the bill in Transportation Committee.

Feb 21, 1999 - AB 201 has been forwarded to the Transportation Committee and we are working on the legislators and our presentation for the hearing. The hearing date has not been set as of yet (per Danielle Kohler, ABATE of Nevada State Secretary, Newsletter Editor, Government Relations).

Feb 12, 1999 - Assemblyman Don Gustavson (R-Reno) introduces AB 201 to amend Nevada's 28-year old mandatory helmet law to allow freedom of choice for riders over 16 years of age.

If you know of any current activity regarding efforts to remove or amend Nevada's helmet law, in the Legislature or the Courts, please e-mail that information to us so we can update this site.

WEBSITES:


-- DISCLAIMER --

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