Alabama Motorcycle Helmet Laws
Title 32. Motor Vehicles and Traffic; Chapter 5A; Rules of the Road; Article 11. Motorcycles; Section 245. Headgear … required for motorcycle riders …”:
“No person shall operate or ride upon a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle unless he is wearing protective headgear which complies with standards established by section 32-12-41.”
Title 32. Motor Vehicles and Traffic; Chapter 12. Motorcycles and Motor-driven Cycles; Article 3. Helmets; Section 41 Specifications:
“The protective helmet shall meet the following specifications:
“(1) Design. — One which is specifically designed for motorcycle riders and motorcycle passenger use.
“(2) Exterior shell. — A hard exterior shell of nonshatterable material, resistant to impact and penetration.
“(3) Cradle. — A firmly secured shock absorbent cradle for the head designed to support the helmet and maintain separation between the head and outer shell. Materials used in this portion of protective helmet shall be of durable quality and with characteristics that will not undergo appreciable alteration under the influence of aging or of the circumstances of use to which the helmet is normally subjected. Materials commonly known to cause skin irritation or disease shall not be used for these parts of the assembly which come in contact with the skin.
“(4) Padding. — Impact-resistant, absorbent padding or cushioning material of substantial thickness in all areas where the head is in close proximity with or may contact the outer shell.
“(5) Chin strap. — A permanently attached adjustable chin strap that will hold the helmet securely in place. A rider must at all times, while a motorized vehicle is in motion, have a chin strap firmly in place on or under the chin.
“(6) Visor. — Not required, but, if the helmet is so equipped, the visor must be flexible or of a snap on type; however, no external projections shall be more than one-quarter inch above surface of the exterior shell.”
Title 32. Motor Vehicles and Traffic; Chapter 12. Motorcycles and Motor-driven Cycles; Article 5A. Rules of the Road; Article 11. Motorcycles; Section 245 . . . approval of headgear . . . (d)
“The director of public safety is hereby authorized to approve or disapprove protective headgear, and to issue and enforce regulations establishing standards and specifications for the approval thereof. The director of public safety shall publish lists of all protective headgear which have been approved by him.”
There is only one case on record where the Alabama helmet law was ever challenged in a court of record. This was in 1971, and it appears that the Defendant/Appellant lost because he failed to propertly do his paperwork. The case was Skelton v. Tuscaloosa, 243 SO.2D 388, 46 ALA.APP. 404.
If you know of any current activity regarding efforts to remove or otherwise amend Alabama’s helmet law, in the Legislature or the Courts, please e-mail that information to us so we can update this site. Thanks.