Senate Bill 291, sponsored by state Sen. Phil Pavlov (R-St. Clair), lets motorcyclists choose whether to wear a helmet if they are at least 21 years old, carry at least an additional $20,000 insurance policy, and have passed a motorcycle safety course or have had their motorcycle endorsement for at least two years.
Motorcycle passengers who want to exercise this option also must be 21 or older and carry additional insurance.
Michigan will become the 31st state to give motorcyclists the option to choose. It joins the Great Lakes states of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Pennsylvania that have repealed or amended helmet-use laws to give riders a choice.
This motorcycle helmet law, which was vetoed twice by former Gov. Jennifer Granholm, and pushed through by Republicans, is supported by motorcyclists and others who believe helmet use should be a matter of personal choice. Republicans feel repealing the helmet law will increase tourism in the State of Michigan.
Originally, Michigan implemented its helmet-use law in 1967 to comply with U.S. Department of Transportation requirements for federal funds, which is no longer in place.
"While many motorcyclists will continue to wear helmets, those who choose not to deserve the latitude to make their own informed judgments as long as they meet the requirements of this new law," Snyder said in a press release.