Proposed Bill Could Close Texas Helmet Loophole
Texas is one of the few states where motorcycle riders are allowed to ride their bikes without the requirement of wearing a helmet. This privilege to ride helmetless has many stipulations that come along with it, but simply riding without a helmet does not give the police the ability to pull over a rider.
However, a proposed bill in the Texas legislature would close this loophole and allow police to stop riders solely for not wearing a helmet.
Current Texas Helmet Law
It is an undisputed fact that wearing a helmet, and protective gear in general, can help protect you from catastrophic injury and/or death on the road. But, we here at King Law Firm recognize riders’ right to make their own decisions.
The state of Texas will allow you to ride without a helmet only under these conditions:
- The rider must be 21 or older.
- The rider must have completed the required motorcycle safety course.
- The rider must carry appropriate health insurance.
The way the law functions, violating these rules is seen as “secondary,” meaning law enforcement cannot pull you over on suspicion of being in breach of these regulations. But if you are riding helmetless and are pulled over for a “primary” infraction – like running a red light – they may also ask if you meet the standards to ride without a helmet.
The Proposed Change
Texas HB 748 will still allow riders who meet the above criteria to ride without wearing a helmet, but it gives police the authority to stop any rider not wearing a helmet, in order to check that they meet all the qualifications necessary to legally ride without head protection.
While these are reasonable stipulations, riders who comply with the law now stand to be stopped regularly. This can easily become an inconvenience for law-abiding motorcycle riders, as police will be allowed to pull over any rider not wearing a helmet even though he is acting within the boundaries of the law.
At the time of writing, the bill is still going though the Texas state legislature. There have been no updates on when it will come for a vote, and if it is likely to pass. Ray King, “The Motorcycle Attorney,” believes strongly in sharing upcoming Texas motorcycle news, especially when it comes to changes to the laws surrounding bikers.
Motorcycle Accident? Call Ray King!
The team at the King Law Firm will keep readers updated on any happenings regarding Texas HB 748, and if you or a loved one needs legal representation after a motorcycle accident, contact us at (512) 375-4455 for a consultation.