Pa. Lawmaker Seeks Reinstatement of Helmet Law

A bill introduced by a state legislator would reverse the 2003 law that made wearing a helmet optional for most motorcycle riders in Pennsylvania.

Under current law, motorcyclists younger than 21 must wear helmets. Helmet use is optional for those who are at least 21 and have been licensed to ride for two years or have finished a state-approved safety course.

But state Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, has introduced legislation to reverse the law. Prior to 2003, helmet use was mandatory in Pennsylvania.

“We mandate that people wear seat belts,” Frankel said. “Individual choice has to be tempered by the cost to the public.”

He said there are too many deaths and injuries suffered by helmetless motorcyclists and that the associated medical costs are driving up costs to the public.

The Alliance of Bikers Aimed Toward Education, which fought for voluntary helmet use, disputes claims that making helmets optional caused a crisis.

“We’re not encouraging anybody to ride without a helmet,” said Charles Umbenhauer, a lobbyist for the group. “We’re just for choice.”


Information from: The Patriot-News,