Pennsylvania Motorcycle Helmet Law
21 Years Old
Title 75. Vehicles. Part III. Operation of Vehicles. Chapter 35. Special Vehicles and Pedestrians. Subchapter B. Special Rules for Motorcycles. Section 3525. Protective Equipment for Motorcycle Riders. :“(a) Protective Headgear.–Except as provided in subsection (d), no person shall operate or ride upon a motorcycle or a motor-driven cycle (other than a motorized pedalcycle) unless he is wearing protective headgear which complies with standards established by the department. . . .”
The fine itself is $25.00. BUT, we have court cost, CAT fund and other add-ons that brings the total up to $92.00. $67.00 worth of extras that get paid on any fine, be it helmet or speeding ticket.” Our thanks to Hdcowboy for the info.
Title 75. Vehicles. Part III. Operation of Vehicles. Chapter 35. Special Vehicles and Pedestrians. Subchapter B. Special Rules for Motorcycles. Section 3525. Protective Equipment for Motorcycle Riders. :“. . . (c) Approval of equipment.–The department may approve or disapprove protective headgear and eye-protective devices required under this section and may issue and enforce regulations establishing standards and specifications for the approval of the headgear and devices. The department shall publish lists of all protective headgear and eye-protective devices by name and type which have been approved. . . .”
“Statute requiring that helmet be worn while operating motorcycle but not while operating automobile or pedalcycle did not deny motorcyclist equal protection of laws in light of additional protection afforded automobile drivers by enclosed vehicles, and reduced risk to pedalcyclers because of lower maximum speed.” Com. v. Kautz, 491 A.2d 864, 341 Pa.Super. 374, Super.1985, appeal denied.
“Statute requiring helmets to be worn while operating motorcycle was reasonably related to state’s interest in controlling access to highways, and was thus not an unconstitutional exercise of state’s police power.” Com. v. Kautz, 491 A.2d 864, 341 Pa.Super. 374, Super.1985, appeal denied.
“Statute requiring helmet to be worn while operating motorcycle was not unconstitutionally vague for requiring that helmets comply with standards promulgated by Department of Transportation.” Com. v. Kautz, 491 A.2d 864, 341 Pa.Super. 374, Super.1985, appeal denied.
“Promulgation of motorcycle helmet standards by Department of Transportation represents constitutional delegation of authority.” Com. v. Kautz, 491 A.2d 864, 341 Pa.Super. 374, Super.1985, appeal denied.
Sept 5 – 7 2003 – Freedom Ride from MA to PA to celebrate PA’s Adult Freedom of Choice WIN and to promote awareness for Freedom of Choice for ALL riders in MA, CT, NY and NJ.
July 6, 2003 – HB 152 – Governor Ed Rendell signed Senate Bill 259, a bill to modify Pennsylvania’s 35-year-old mandatory helmet law. The law will take effect in 60 days.
Motorcyclists in Pennsylvania who are 21 years of age or older with two years riding experience or who have successfully passed the Motorcycle Safety Program can to ride helmetless. Passengers that are 21 years of age or older may exercise their choice in the use of a helmet too.
Dec 9, 2002 – HB 152 – repeals its handlebar height law effective 2/7/03. HB 152 amends Vehicle Code § 3524, which required handlebars be no higher than shoulder height. The new law also adds that all bikes built after 1973 must have headlights on day and night.
Apr 21, 1999 – SB 241 – A clean bill which did not modify the need for eye protection was introduced in the PA Senate in 1999 and voted on in April 1999. It was defeated by a vote of 26 – 24 when two Republican co-sponsors, Brightbill and Rhoads, jumped ship and voted against the bill.
Another clean bill was introduced in the PA House by Rep. Forcier and sits smothered in the Transportation Committee where it will never be voted out onto the floor for a vote. Our only hope is to amend a bill in the House with our language that already has Senate approval. This will not happen before the November election.
Feb. 1, 1999 – Pennsylvania introduces twin helmet mod bills – House Bill 568 (Rep Teresa Forcier) with 73 co-sponsors and SB 241 (Senator Clarence Bell) with 18 co-sponsors. SB 241 was introduced to the Senate Transportation Committee on 2/1/99, which reportedly has Governor Tom Ridge’s approval after vetoing last year’s mod bill (SB 279), because in addition to modifying mandatory helmet use for adults, inadvertantly included eyewear too.
Penn Governor Vetos Helmet Mod Bill SB 279 – After passing the house and senate, the governor vetoed SB 279, because the bill language made both helmets (sec. a) and protective eyewear (sec. b) optional over 21. Eyewear was not listed, nor the intent, of the original bill. How it got into the bill and why no one took it out is now the subject of much heated debate. Eye protection being essential, having a bill that makes it optional is an obvious Achilles Heal. Perhaps ABATE was afraid to re-amend the bill for fear of bringing too much attention to it. Regardless, leaving section b in assured the bill’s death.
Pennsylania Modifies Helmet Law SB 279 – After 30 years PA’s legislature voted 27 to 22 (12 Dems + 15 Reps) to modify its lid law to 21 with 2 years riding experience, no additional insurance. There are now 5 states with no helmet law, 26 with partial or modified laws and 22 still with mandatory laws for all. See State chart.
Snookered Again! – by Cowboy, regarding the unexpected veto set back.
Pennsylvania Helment Repeal Moves to ’97 – Assembly bill not picked up for 1996, but majority of 130 of 203 members favor repeal!
Pennsylvania – Their 20 and under bill SB-165 passed their Senate 27 – 22 and goes to the House next…
Pennsylvania – SB 516 passed Senate Trans & Appropriations & now awaits floor vote.
Pennsylvania House – 134-62 (9/29) to grant adult riders freedom of choice. HB 43 was amended to S.279 and returned to the Senate for a concurrance vote and then goes to Gov. Tom Ridge for signature.
If you know of any current activity regarding efforts to remove or amend Pennsylvania’s helmet law, in the Legislature or the Courts, please e-mail that information to us so we can update this page.