Georgia Motorcycle Helmet Law

Mandatory Motorcycle Helmet LawGeorgia Motorcycle Helmet Law

STATUTE:

Title 40. Motor Vehicles and Traffic. Chapter 6. Uniform Rules of the Road. Article 13. Special Provisions for Certain Vehicles. Part 2. Motorcycles. Section 40-6-315 Headgear and eye-protective devices for riders. :“(a) No person shall operate or ride upon a motorcycle unless he is wearing protective headgear which complies with standards established by the Board of Public Safety. . . .”

FINE:

7/12/00. The following was copied from documents relating to current legislation before the Georgia Legislature:

A person failing to comply with the requirements of this Code section, upon conviction of such offense, be fined not more than $15.00; but, the provisions of Chapter 11 of Title 17 and any other provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, the costs of such prosecution shall not be taxed nor shall any additional penalty, fee, or surcharge to a fine for such offense be assessed against a person for conviction thereof. The court imposing such fine shall forward a record of the disposition of the case to the Department of Public Safety.”

STANDARDS:

Title 40. Motor Vehicles and Traffic. Chapter 6. Uniform Rules of the Road. Article 13. Special Provisions for Certain Vehicles. Part 2. Motorcycles. Section 40-6-315 Headgear and eye-protective devices for riders:

“(d) The Board of Public Safety is authorized to approve or disapprove protective headgear and eye-protective devices required in this Code section and to issue and enforce regulations establishing standards and specifications for the approval thereof.

The Board of Public Safety shall publish lists of all protective headgear and eye-protective devices by name and type which have been approved by it.”

NOTE: The law is contingent on a “list” adopted by the Board of Public Safety. In the absence of a “list” of helmets approved by the Board of Public Safety, there is no foundation for a helmet law in Georgia!

COURT DECISIONS:

“This Code section is a valid exercise of police power.” Ritter v. State, 258 Ga. 551, 372 S.E.2d 230 (1988).

(Note: This decision has to do with the limited question of the State’s right to impose safety regulation on individuals under the police powers, and not on the subject of unconstitutional vagueness. In other words, the definition of “protective headgear” is vague; which means the Georgia statute requiring motorcyclists to wear “protective headgear” is vague; which means the Georgia helmet law is unconstitutional . . . Ritter v. State notwithstanding.)

CURRENT ACTIVITY:

SB 192 – no recent activity

RECENT ACTIVITY:

SB 192 – 2/14/01 – read in Senate and referred to committee. A bill to be entitled an Act to amend Code Section 40-6-315 of the Official Code of GA Annotated, relating to headgear and eye-protective devices for riders of motorcycles, so as to provide an exception from the protective headgear requirements of said Code section for motorcycle operators who are 18 years of age or older and who meet certain other criteria; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

HB 184 – 4/27/01 – Vetoed by Governor!

  • 3/14/01 – The “No points for violation” bill passed the Senate 49 to 3 and goes to the Governor for signature.
  • 1/12/01 – Motorcycles; headgear violations; amend penalty provision. Basically a repeat of last year’s SB 342 which Gov. Barnes vetoed. The bill provides that a violaton shall not be a moving traffic violation. HB 184 bill info at GA General Assembly Website.

RELATED INFORMATION:

Georgia – 3/28/00 – SB342 – A bill to amend headgear and eye-wear laws, so certain violations won’t be criminal acts…

Georgia Court Rules Helmet Law Vague – Vagueness of a criminal law rests on a constitutional principle that procedural due process requires fair notice and proper standards for adjudication.

WEBSITES: