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Minnesota Motorcycle Laws

Author / Coordinator:  
Minnesota
March 2007

STATUTE:

Chapter 169. Traffic Regulations -- Micellaneous Provisions. Section 169.974 Motorcycles, motor scooters and motor bikes. . . . :

"Subd. 2. License requirements. No person shall operate a motorcycle on any street or highway without having a valid standard driver's license with a two-wheeled vehicle endorsement as provided by law. . . . No person who is operating by virtue of a two-wheeled vehicle instruction permit shall: . . .

(d) Drive the motorcycle without wearing protective headgear that complies with standards established by the commissioner of public safety. . . ."

"Subd. 4. Equipment for operators and passengers.

"(a) No person under the age of 18 shall operate or ride a motorcycle on the streets and highways of this state without wearing protective headgear that complies with standards established by the commissioner of public safety; . . ."

FINE:

If you have info about the amount of fine for violating Minnesota's helmet law, please e-mail it to us. Thanks.

STANDARDS:

We are currently researching the Minnesota regulations to determine exactly what standard they have adopted to define "protective headgear". Apparently the "Commissioner of Public Safety" determines which "protective headgear" with standards established by their office, so we will locate the "Commissioner of Public Safety" for Minnesota and ask which standards they have created or adopted. When we get an answer, you will find it here.

COURT DECISIONS:

"The section requiring motorcyclists to wear safety helmets does not unfairly discriminate against motorcyclists and is based on proper classification." State v. Edwards, 1970, 287 Minn. 83, 177 N.W.2d 40. legislative requirement that motorcyclists wear protective headgear while operating motorcycles on streets and highways of state is constitutional under legislature's plenary power over regulation of privilege to use streets and highways for safety and best interests of public." State v. Edwards, 1970, 287 Minn. 83, 177 N.W.2d 40.

"A city may not require the use of protective headgear by motorcycle operators and passengers, as highway traffic regulations are to be uniform throughout the state and this section occupies the field of regulation." Op.Atty.Gen., 989-b-5, June 13, 1977.

CURRENT ACTIVITY:

June 2002 - HB-1383 - eliminates handlebar height limit which previously could not extend above the shoulders.

PAST ACTIVITY:

SF 1762 - June 1999 - Signed into law prohibiting the admissibility into evidence of proof of the
use or failure to use protective headgear (helmets) by adult motorcycle operators or passengers in litigation involving personal injuries or property damage resulting from the use or operation of a motor vehicle, authorizing actions for damages from incidents involving allegedly defective protective headgear