MOTORCYCLE HELMET EXEMPTION
In the event of an accident while riding your motorcycle, wearing a helmet could save your life. While everyone SHOULD wear a helmet, there is a “motorcycle helmet exemption” that allows certain individuals to legally be allowed to NOT wear a helmet.
Who is eligible for this motorcycle helmet exemption? People who are over the age of 21 and who are covered by an insurance policy providing at least $10,000 in medical benefits. If you do not fall into these two categories, then you are legally obligated to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle.
This law has been in effect since July 1, 2000, so you should already be well aware of this. In case you’re not up to speed with this rule, we’d like to inform you of all the details you need to know!
If you’re in the company of law enforcement officers who are requiring proof of your insurance, make sure you have the kind of proof they’re looking for- a health insurance card from a recognized health insurance provider. The card must be current. Limited motorcycle medical coverage will be acceptable as well. Take note of the fact that PIP coverage under a personal passenger vehicle policy would be insufficient for either the operator or passenger on the motorcycle.
So, let’s imagine you’re cruising around on your motorcycle, living life on the edge without a helmet on (risky business we do not recommend), but you’re not quite 21 yet, or you don’t have the required health insurance coverage. Can you get stopped by law enforcement simply for not wearing a helmet? Well, like Florida’s seat belt law, enforcement for this provision of law should be secondary. That means that an officer should not initiate a traffic stop for the sole purpose of determining if you have insurance coverage or to check your age. However, they are entitled to stop a motorcyclist riding without a helmet based on reasonable suspicion that the driver is under the age of 21. They can also pull over a motorcyclist if they are driving recklessly or breaking some other roadway law such as speeding, and then tack on an extra fine if they discover you are breaking the motorcycle helmet laws.
Whether or not you qualify for this motorcycle helmet exemption, we strongly recommend every motorcyclist rides with extreme caution and wears a helmet. It could be the difference between life and death in the event of an accident.