Repeal and Modification of Mandatory Motorcycle Helmet Legislation: A Review of Available Information: Final Report

Report No: 78-R30

Published in 1978

About the report:

In 1975, Congress relieved the Secretary of Transportation of the power to impose sanctions upon states for not having a law requiring the use of helmets by motorcyclists. Shortly afterward, the states having such laws began repealing or modifying them. This report reviews the available literature on the subject of mandatory motorcycle helmet legislation, and presents the results of a survey of states that have repealed their laws. From the information available, it was determined that the use of motorcycle helmets reduces the incidence of serious and fatal head injury among motorcyclists without interfering with their ability to operate their vehicles safely. Additionally, it was determined that the mandatory motorcycle helmet laws are constitutional and that they have the support of both the general public and motorcyclists in Virginia.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


  • Cheryl W. Lynn

Last updated: January 27, 2024

Alert Icon

Please note that this file is not ADA compliant. Choose one of below options: