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Is there a law regulating motorcycle helmets?

If you or a loved one rides a motorcycle in Connecticut, you likely pay close attention to laws for motorcyclists. Recently, a law about helmet usage has been proposed. Although many people may regard helmets as a safety necessity, this headgear is not required in all states across the country.

Although many states have helmet laws, Connecticut does not. According to U.S. News and World Report, a helmet law has not been in place since 1976. Connecticut is one of 31 states without a helmet law, leaving this choice to individual motorcyclists. Currently, the state partially regulates helmet usage; children younger than 18 usually must wear protective headgear.

However, a state representative has suggested that it may be time to put a helmet law back into effect. Originally, this representative was against helmet legislature but changed his mind due to changing road conditions. With more drivers texting behind the wheel, distracted driving has become more common, and a helmet law is seen as one way to ensure that motorcyclists will be protected from drivers who are not paying attention. A director of an injury prevention center says that death rates generally decrease in states which require helmets.

The idea of a new helmet law is not welcome among all motorcyclists, though. A former chairman of a motorcycle association says that regulating helmet usage is singling out one potential hazard while ignoring other dangerous activities. He notes that a rider education program has been responsible for decreasing motorcycle deaths across the state. With only 49 fatalities in 2016, some motorcyclists feel a law is unnecessary.

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