South Carolina Considers Mandating Motorcycle Helmets for All Riders
South Carolina State Senator Ralph Anderson (D-Greenville) is sponsoring a bill that would require all motorcyclists in the state wear protective headgear. Under current state law, only riders under the age of 21 are required to wear helmets.
All motorcycle riders in the state were required to wear helmets from 1967 to 1980. In 1980 the state changed the mandatory helmet law limiting it to only riders and passengers under the age of 21. In recent years the city of Myrtle Beach, SC tried to enact a local ordinance expanding the helmet law to all riders and passengers, however the local ordinance was over rulled by the state Supreme Court.
The new bill - S.1046 - was prefilled on December 5, 2011 and is currently residing in the Senate Committee on Transportation. The bill reads as follows...
TO AMEND SECTION 56-5-3660, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE WEARING OF A HELMET BY CERTAIN PERSONS WHO OPERATE OR RIDE UPON A TWO-WHEELED MOTORIZED VEHICLE, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THIS PROVISION APPLIES TO ALL PERSONS WHO OPERATE OR RIDE UPON A TWO-WHEELED MOTORIZED VEHICLE.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Section 56-5-3660 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 56-5-3660. It shall be unlawful for any person
under the age of twenty-one to operate or ride upon a two-wheeled motorized vehicle unless he wears a protective helmet of a type approved by the Department of Public Safety. Such a helmet must be equipped with either a neck or chin strap and be reflectorized on both sides thereof. The department is hereby authorized to adopt and amend regulations covering the types of helmets and the specifications therefore and to establish and maintain a list of approved helmets which meet the specifications as established hereunder."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
For more onformation on what you can do to ensure wearing a helmet reamins a choice in South Carolina, visit the ABATE of South Carolina website.
Update Jan 12, 2012:
Just saw this story posted today...
Gov. Nikki Haley has the support of Upstate senators and motorcycle rights advocates who say it’s not the government’s responsibility to police personal safety by tightening the state’s motorcycle helmet law.
Haley has promised to veto a bill by Sen. Ralph Anderson, a Democrat from Greenville, that would require all motorcyclists to wear helmets, regardless of age. The current law requires that only riders younger than 21 wear helmets. The bill was read in Senate for the first time Tuesday and has been referred to the transportation committee. In 1967 an all-inclusive law was passed, but it was loosened in 1980 and has remained unchanged since then.