senate Bill S2403

Provides that motorcyclists under the age of twenty-one shall wear protective helmets of a type approved by the commissioner when operating or riding a motorcycle

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Sponsor

Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 19 / Feb / 2009
    • REFERRED TO TRANSPORTATION
  • 06 / Jan / 2010
    • REFERRED TO TRANSPORTATION

Summary

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A4541
Versions:
S2403
Legislative Cycle:
2009-2010
Current Committee:
Senate Transportation
Law Section:
Vehicle and Traffic Law

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER: S2403

TITLE OF BILL :
An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to requiring
certain motorcyclists to wear protective helmets

PURPOSE :
This bill exempts those 21 years and over from being forced to wear
helmets while operating motorcycles.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS :
Subdivision 6 of ยง 381 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law is amended.

JUSTIFICATION :
The "Federal Aid Highway Act of 1975" abolished the power of the
Department of Transportation to withhold highway safety funds for
noncompliance with mandatory helmet laws. Since then, twenty-seven
states now have optional helmet laws for adults. Included in this
number are such neighboring states as Connecticut, Rhode Island,
Delaware, New Hampshire, Maine, and Ohio, making New York's law
inconsistent with regional policy.

A survey of 1995 data shows comprehensive mandatory helmet laws DO
NOT result in lower fatality rates. In fact, statistics show a higher
frequency of fatalities among riders in states with mandatory helmet
laws- (1 in 1574 registered motorcycles) as compared to states that
have optional laws for adult riders (1 in 1867 registered
motorcycles).

These numbers support other studies, one done using 1993 statistics
which showed fatalities per 100 motorcycle accidents in mandatory
helmet states to be 2.98 as compared to voluntary helmet states, 2.90.

Helmets are an unnatural weight upon the head of the rider and
radically increase cranial temperatures. Helmets severely restrict
peripheral vision and significantly reduce hearing. No helmet,
regardless of cost or design, is capable of resisting impact stresses
above 13 m.p.h., as Federal Department of Transportation testing has
evidenced, and, in lateral skids, helmets deteriorated at 1 1/2 m.p.h.

Thus, taking into account that survey result the choice of when and
where to wear the helmet would best be left up to the person operating
the motorcycle, as is the case in the several other states.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY :
S.1953 of 2005/2006
S.2836 of 2007/2008

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS :
None to the state.

EFFECTIVE DATE :
This act shall take effect on the 45th day after it shall have become
a law.
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