In 2003, Pennsylvania changed its motorcycle helmet law. Now, a rider who is 21 years or older, has 2 or more years experience riding a motorcycle, and passes a safety course can decide for himself whether or not to wear a helmet. State law does not require it.
Pennsylvania is not alone. Historically nearly all of the states had mandatory helmet laws. If they didn’t then they wouldn’t receive the full amount of highway funds from the federal government. However, Congress has since repealed that requirement and many states have repealed their helmet laws.
Now, there is discussion that the mandatory helmet law could come back. Federal authorities are citing an increase in motorcycle fatalities, in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, at a time when other types of motor vehicle fatalities are decreasing. Reasons given for the new pressure to enact a statewide helmet law are the increase in fatalities and the increase in healthcare costs.
Groups of motorcyclists are against such a state law, claiming that wearing a helmet is a decision that should be up to the individual biker.
What do you think? Does the state have the right to mandate the use of motorcycle helmets or is this an individual decision best left to each Pennsylvania motorcyclist?