Hawaii Motorcycle Helmet Law

image18 Years OldHawaii Motorcycle Helmet Law

STATUTE:

Division 1. Government. Title 17. Motor and Other Vehicles. Chapter 286. Highway Safety. Part IV. Safety Equipment. Section 286-81. motorcycle, motor scooter, etc.; protective devices. :“No person shall:”(1) Operate a motorcycle or motor scooter, on any highway in the State unless the person and any passenger the person carries on the motorcycle or motor scooter wears (A) safety glasses, goggles, or a face shield, in the case of a motorcycle or motor scooter that is not equipped with windscreens or windshields; and (B) any other protective devices, other than a safety helmet, required by rules and regulations adopted by the state director of transportation. . . .

“(3) . . . No person less than eighteen years of age shall operate or ride as a passenger on a motorcycle or motor scooter on any highway in the State unless the person wears a safety helmet securely fastened with a chin strap.”

FINE:

$25 equipment violation. If you’re under 18, you might not be able to ride home.

STANDARDS:

Division 1. Government. Title 17. Motor and Other Vehicles. Chapter 286. Highway Safety. Part IV. Safety Equipment. Section 286-81. motorcycle, motor scooter, etc.; protective devices. :“For the purpose of meeting the requirements of this paragraph, a required device must meet the specifications and requirements established by rules and regulations adopted by the director of transportation.”

Note: Apparently the “director” establishes regulations regarding Hawaii’s so-called safety equipment, so we will locate the “director” for Hawaii and ask. When we get an answer, you will find it here.

COURT DECISIONS:

“Former helmet requirement was proper exercise of police power. — Former subparagraph (1)(A), which required a safety helmet, and the regulations promulgated pursuant to it were within the proper exercise of police power. The accelerating rate of deaths and injuries due to motorcycle accidents, coupled with the increase in motorcycle registrations, had reached such proportions and the class of motorcycle users had become so large and widespread that the continued viability of society required that they protect themselves from physical injury or death.” State v. Lee, 51 Haw. 516, 465 P.2d 573 (1970).”Former helmet requirement for motorcyclists did not violate equal protection. — In view of the underlying differences between cars and motorcycles with respect to the protection against head injuries afforded their respective users, a legislative distinction between them in terms of the mandatory wearing of helmet was reasonable and did not violate the equal protection rights of motorcyclists.” State v. Cotton, 55 Haw. 138, 516 P.2d 709 (1973).

NOTE: These decisions have 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 “safety helmet” is vague; which means the Hawaii statute requiring motorcyclists to wear a “safety helmet” is vague; which means the Hawaii helmet law is possibly unconstitutional . . . State v. Lee and State v. Cotton notwithstanding.

CURRENT ACTIVITY:

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

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