Florida Amends Mandatory Helmet Law

On June 16, 2000, Florida Governor Jeb Bush signed HB-1911 into law. This bill, which goes into effect July 1st, will allow motorcyclists over the age of 21 to ride without a helmet provided they carry $10,000 in medical insurance. According to the State of Florida web page, HB-1911 reads (in part), "A person 21 years of age may operate or ride upon a motorcycle without wearing protective headgear securely fastened upon his or her head, if such person is covered by an insurance policy providing for at least $10,000 in medical benefits for injuries incurred as a result of a crash while operating or riding on a motorcycle."

Florida now joins Arkansas, Texas, Kentucky and Louisiana as states who have modified their existing motorcycle helmet laws to allow freedom of choice for adults in the last few years. Florida is also the fourth of those five states, with Arkansas being the exception, to require a medical insurance clause. Earlier this year, motorcyclists' rights activists in Kentucky were successful in their efforts to repeal the medical insurance provisions attached to their helmet legislation.

Remarking on the passage of HB-1911, MRF Vice President Tom Pauley said, "We at MRF wish to congratulate ABATE of Florida for taking this important first step in amending their helmet law. We hope that, like Kentucky, activists in Florida will be able to remove these medical provisions in the future."

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