North Carolina Motorcycle Helmet Laws
North Carolina has one of the strongest motorcycle helmet laws in the country. Ours is only one of 20 states with such a strong helmet lock. Recent attempts have been to weaken or repeal North Carolina's helmet law for motorcyclists, but these have all failed in the legislature. Many people are unaware that North Carolina has such a strong motorcycle helmet law, especially since South Carolina does not require helmets. Under North Carolina traffic laws, all passengers and drivers on motorcycles and mopeds must wear a motorcycle safety helmet. The helmet must comply with federal law.What are the Motorcycle Helmet Requirements in North Carolina?
North Carolina's motorcycle helmet law can be found at N.C.G.S. 20-140.4. The law states that no one can operate a motorcycle or moped on a highway or public area unless the operator and all passengers wear their helmets. They must be wearing their helmets with a retention strap properly secured. Additionally, the type of helmet must comply with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (F.M.V.S.S.) 218.
There is an exception listed in the helmet law. Operators or passengers of an autocycle with completely enclosed seating or equipped with a roll bar or roll cage are not required to wear helmets. This law also requires that the number of people on the motorcycle or moped, including the operator, cannot exceed the number of people that the motorcycle or moped is designed to carry.Penalties for Violating North Carolina's Motorcycle Helmet Law
Anybody found violating North Carolina's bicycle law will be charged with an infraction. They will have to pay a $20.50 fee. They will also have to pay for the following court costs:
- The general court of justice fee
- The telephone facilities fee
- The law enforcement training and certification fee
If you weren't charged with violating North Carolina's motorcycle helmet law, you would not have any driver's license points or Insurance surcharges assessed against you.Safety Standards for Helmets
You may ask yourself, how do I know if I am compliant with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (F.M.V.S.S.) 218 for motorcycle helmets? The first requirement is a thick inner liner. Motorcycle helmets need to have a firm inner liner of polystyrene foam. The foam needs to be about one inch thick. Sometimes this foam is covered by a comfort liner, but can still feel the thickness. Most non-compliant motorcycle helmets have a thin, soft foam padding and no liner.
You will also need to have a D.O.T. sticker on your motorcycle helmet. Compliant motorcycle helmets have the symbol permanently installed next to the manufacturer on the back of the helmet. Sometimes, novelty helmets that are not in compliance are supplied with a separate D.O.T.
Finally, compliant helmets will have the manufacturer's label. The label will be permanently attached inside of the motorcycle helmet. It will have the manufacturer's name or identification, date of manufacture, precise model, size, type of shell, and liner construction materials. It will also have an instruction label for cleaning and caring for the helmet.Has a Negligent Driver Injured You?
Even when a motorcyclist uses all the proper safety methods, including wearing a helmet, they can still become injured in an accident. Suppose you or your loved one have been seriously injured in a car accident involving a motorcyclist, or you are a motorcyclist who a passenger vehicle driver has injured. In that case, you may be entitled to compensation.
Everyone on the road, regardless of vehicle type, must use reasonable care under the circumstances when driving. When drivers act negligently or recklessly, causing a motorcycle accident, the victim has a right to sue the person or people responsible for the accident. They can recover economic and non-economic damages for their injuries through a personal injury lawsuit.Contact an Experienced Charlotte Motorcycle Helmet Attorney
At Arnold & Smith, P.L.L.C., we understand how motorcycle accidents can devastate a victim physically, financially, and mentally. Our attorneys have combined decades of legal experience and have a proven track record of successfully obtaining compensation for motorcycle accident victims. Our law firm will help you fight for the compensation you deserve and need after being injured in a motorcycle accident. If a negligent driver has injured you or your loved one, we can help. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.