Helmets Again Law in Louisiana
August 19, 2004
Filed under Features
Helmet use by motorcyclists in Louisiana is again mandatory as of this week. The new law, which stems from legislation passed earlier this year, replaces a 1999 rule that required helmets only for those under 18.
All motorcycle operators and riders, not just those 18 and over, now must wear approved helmets or face fines of $50 plus court costs initially, and more for additional offenses.
Louisiana has about 95,000 registered motorcycles. It is the 20th state in the nation to make safety helmets mandatory.
Backers of the law – among them, the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission and Gov. Kathleen Blanco – used an array of statistics to bolster their case, claiming motorcycles account for 2% of motor vehicles in Louisiana but their riders make up 9% of fatalities.
Last year 79 people were killed on motorcycles in Louisiana compared to 35 in 1998, the last year the state had a mandatory helmet law.