Title 29-A. Motor Vehicles. Chapter 19. Operation. Subchapter I. Rules of the Road. Section 2083. Protective Headgear. 1. Requirement. :
"The following persons must wear protective headgear :
"A. If under 15 years of age, a passenger on a motorcycle, motor-driven cycle or an attached side car;
"B. If under 15 years of age, an operator of an off-road motorcycle or motor-driven cycle;
"C. An operator of a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle, operating under a learner's permit or within one year of successfully completing a driving test; and
"D. A passenger of an operator required to wear headgear."
If you have information about the amount of the fine for violating Maine's helmet law, please e-mail it to us. Thanks.
Title 29-A. Motor Vehicles. Chapter 19. Operation. Subchapter I. Rules of the Road. Section 2083. Protective Headgear. 3. Standard. :
"Protective headgear must conform with minimum standards of construction and performance as prescribed by the American National Standards Institute specifications Z 90.1 or by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 218."
We have not found any published cases from any of the Maine courts of record regarding challenges of the state's helmet law on constitutional grounds, or any other.
We realize that most motorcyclists in Maine do not feel impacted by the helmet law in any real way, at this time. There are two reasons, we believe, that it is important to maintain a constant vigilance regarding the Maine helmet law: 1) We believe that helmets are dangerous in many situations, in that in addition to all the commonly accepted problems -- vision and hearing impairment, heat retention, and others -- the weight and design of most of the traditionally accepted helmet styles make then a serious threat to the neck, particularly a young neck. And, 2) a modification of the statute to include adults is much more of a threat when the statute is already on the books, and there are no complaints about it. We think it is very very important that motorcyclists complain, early and often. The price of freedom is, after all, eternal vigilance.
From our beginning in 1993, it has been the position of the Helmet Law Defense League that all helmet laws are unconstitutional , in the absence of clear guidelines on how to comply with the statute -- like, for instance, with a list of "approved helmets."
NO LIST? NO LAW!
If a state, any state, cannot answer the question:
"How can a motorcyclist comply,
with certainty ,
with the provisions of the helmet law?"
that state's statute(s) requiring the wearing of
a "helmet," "safety helmet," or "protective headgear"
is unconstitutionally vague.
The Maine Legislature is as a matter of law confined to adopting only those standards for helmets set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. If the Maine Legislature has caused any other standard to be adopted, anything other than Federal Motor Vehicle Standard (FMVSS) 218 -- which it has, in adopting as one of the two standards the American National Standards Institute specifications Z 90.1 -- the Maine helmet law can be successfully challenged on that basis alone, and removed. (see Juvenile Products v. Edmisten , 568 F.Supp. 714 (1983))
If the Maine Legislature had instead adopted FMVSS 218, they would thereby render the Maine helmet law unconstitutionally vague. (see Washington v. Maxwell , 74 WASH.APP. 688, 878 P.2D 1220 (1994))
We believe that if someone will write to the head of the Maine Highway Patrol and ask how to comply with the helmet law, "with certainty," they can take the answer (or, more likely, refusal to answer) to the courts and Maine will be 100% FREE of its helmet law!
Last updated: April, 1997
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