Below is an email we recently received from a biker out in Pennsylvania regarding helmet laws in his state. He wanted to know whether passengers in PA are required to wear helmets. The short answer is, not if they are 21 or older.
I’ve read the PA motorcycle laws and am still not clear. Are passengers required to wear a helmet? The general consensus here is: YES, but I find the law ambiguous. Thanks for your help.
I did a little research on Pennsylvania law and according to what I’ve found, a passenger who is 21 years old or older does not have to wear a helmet. Here is the relevant PA statute:
Title 75. Vehicles. Part III. Operation of Vehicles. Chapter 35. Special Vehicles and Pedestrians. Subchapter B. Special Rules for Motorcycles. Section 3525. Protective Equipment for Motorcycle Riders:
. . .
(d) Exception.–The [above helmet requirements] shall not apply to the following:
. . .
(2) A person 21 years of age or older who has been licensed to operate a motorcycle for not less than two full calendar years.
(3) A person 21 years of age or older who has completed a motorcycle rider safety course approved by the department or the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.
(4) The passenger of a person exempt under this subsection, if the passenger is 21 years of age or older.
In other words, motorcycle passengers 21 years old or older are not required to wear a helmet, as long as the rider is at also 21 or older, and has taken a motorcycle safety course, or been riding and licensed for at least two years.
Although Pennsylvania law may not require use of a helmet in all instances, as motorcycle accident lawyers who see accidents every day, we strongly encourage EVERYONE on a motorcycle to wear a helmet and other safety equipment!