For Further Research

Maine statutes

Library catalog search

News clippings by subject


About Topical
Legislative Histories


Abbreviations & Terms

Motorcycle Helmet Legislation in Maine
Last updated: June 2018

Introduction

The 1967 federal Highway Safety Act (PL 89-564) required states to enact universal motorcycle helmet laws to retain federal highway funds. Maine enacted its helmet law that year, which required “every person operating a motorcycle or motor driven cycle, or riding as a passenger on a motorcycle or motor driven cycle or in a sidecar attached to a motorcycle or motor driven cycle” to wear protective headgear (PL 1967, c. 267). The federal mandate was reversed in 1976, and Maine repealed its universal helmet law (PL 1977, c. 22). Currently, helmets are required for operators or passengers of a motorcycle who are under 18, operators under a learner’s permit or who are within one year of completing a driving test, and the passenger of an operator required to wear headgear (see 29-A MRS §2083).

This legislative history covers proposed and enacted legislation related only to motorcycle helmet provisions. It does not include changes related to moped and autocycle helmet requirements. Likewise, helmet laws related to ATVs and snowmobiles are located in other sections of the statutes. If you need assistance with your research, please Ask a Law Librarian.


Browse by LD / Session Law:  

Year LD Amendments Final
Disposition
Legislative Record Committee Files / News / Study Reports Full LD
History
1967 LD 240

An Act Relating to Protective Headgear by Persons Riding Two-Wheeled Motor Vehicles

OTP-ND:
LD 1560
N/A PL 1967, c. 267 No debate. N/A N/A
1968 LD 1867

An Act to Correct Errors and Inconsistencies in the Public Laws
Enacted with amendments:

S-358
S-362
S-366
S-367
PL 1967, c. 544, §§75, 78 House, January 24, 1968
p. 401-405

House, January 24, 1968
p. 411-412

Senate, January 24, 1968
p. 424

House, January 25, 1968
p. 436-438
N/A N/A
1971 LD 1991

An Act Implementing the Reorganization of the Department of Public Safety
Enacted with amendment:

S-348
PL 1971, c. 592 Senate, February 29, 1972
p. 580
N/A N/A
1973 LD 867

An Act Revising Certain Motor Vehicle Laws
Enacted with amendment:

H-160
PL 1973, c.222, §7 No debate. N/A N/A
1975 LD 1084

An Act to Repeal the Requirement for Wearing Motorcycle Helmets
N/A Died between houses House, March 18, 1975
p. B189-B190

House, May 22, 1975
p. B1226-B1229

House, June 2, 1975
p. B1510
News:  "Cyclists Ride Roughshod Over Laws At Hearing." Portland Press Herald, 5/1/1975. N/A
1977 LD 9

An Act Repealing the Requirement for Wearing Motorcycle Helmets
N/A PL 1977, c. 22

Veto overridden
House, February 17, 1977
p. 128-129

Senate, March 15, 1977
p. 269-270

House, March 16, 1977
p. 273-275
News:  "Motorcycle Fatals Up in No-Helmet States." Portland Press Herald, 3/8/1977.

News:  "Veto Blocks Bike Helmet Law Repeal." Maine Sunday Telegram, 3/13/1977.

News:  "Bikers Assail Longley Helmet Veto." Portland Press Herald, 3/14/1977.

News:  "Helmets and fatalities." Kennebec Journal, 3/15/1977.
N/A
1977 LD 1890

An Act to Make Additional Corrections of Errors and Inconsistencies in the Laws of Maine

OTP-ND:
LD 1896
Enacted with amendment:

H-913

And numerous amendments not relevant to the motorcycle helmet law
PL 1977, c. 564, §§106-A, 106-B House, July 7, 1977
p. 2302-2311

Senate, July 7, 1977
p. 2318

Senate, July 7, 1977
p. 2335-2336

Senate, July 7, 1977
p. 2337

Senate, July 7, 1977
p. 2340

Senate, July 7, 1977
p. 2343-2346

House, July 11, 1977
p. 2386
N/A N/A
1979 LD 123

An Act to Require Motorcycle Operators and Passengers and Motor Driven Cycle Operators and Passengers to Wear Helmets if they are Minors
N/A Died between houses House, February 22, 1979
p. 210

Senate, February 26, 1979
p. 232-234

Senate, February 28, 1979
p. 258-260

House, March 6, 1979
p. 305-306

Senate, March 9, 1979
p. 353-354
N/A N/A
1980 LD 1700

An Act to Require that Children who are Under 15 Years of Age Wear Helmets when they are Passengers on Motorcycles
Enacted with amendment:

S-410
PL 1979, c. 593 House, January 22, 1980
p. 62-63

Senate, January 24, 1980
p. 84

Senate, February 5, 1980
p. 118-120

House, February 7, 1980
p. 131

House, February 7, 1980
p. 133

Senate, February 13, 1980
p. 177-179
News:  "Children's helmet bill debated in committee." Bangor Daily  News, 1/10/1980. N/A
1981 LD 453

An Act Requiring Protective Headgear for Motorcycle Riders
N/A Died between houses House, April 16, 1981
p. 731-733
News:  "Helmet law is debated anew." Bangor Daily News, 4/2/1981.

News:  "Doctors, bikers clash on  helmets." Portland Press Herald, 4/2/1981.
N/A
1983 LD 1072

An Act to Require the Wearing of Protective Headgear by All Motorcycle, Motor Driven Cycle and Moped Riders
Enacted with amendment:

H-263
PL 1983, c. 415 House, May 2, 1983
p. 695-697

Senate, May 5, 1983
p. 747-749

House, May 9, 1983
p. 769-772

House, May 9, 1983
p. 778-779

Senate, May 10, 1983
p. 801

Senate, May 10, 1983
p. 805-807

House, May 26, 1983
p. 1023-1024

Senate, May 31, 1983
p. 1063-1064
N/A N/A
1985 LD 89

An Act Requiring Protective Headgear for All Motorcycle, Motor Driven Cycle and Moped Riders
N/A ONTP Senate, May 28, 1985
p. 798

House, May 29, 1985
p. 826-827
Committee File:  Yes

News:  "Heads butt over helmet bill." Portland Press Herald, 3/13/1985.

News:  "Motorcyclists, medical officials renew debate over helmets." Bangor Daily News, 3/13/1985.

News:  "Backers buckle down to seat-belt backing." Portland Press Herald, 4/19/1985.
N/A
1985 LD 856

An Act Concerning Reduction of Damages for Persons Not Wearing Safety Seat Belts or Helmets
N/A ONTP House, May 29, 1985
p. 827-828

Senate, May 30, 1985
p. 879-881
Committee File:  Yes

News:  "Bill proposes financial push for seat belts." Portland Press Herald, 5/10/1985.
N/A
1987 LD 712

An Act to Provide Positive Incentives for the Use of Motor Vehicle and Motorcycle Safety Features and Equipment
N/A Leave to withdraw No debate. Committee File:  Yes N/A
1989 LD 512

An Act Requiring Protective Headgear for All Operators and Passengers on Motorcycle, Motor Driven Cycle and Moped Riders
N/A Died between houses No debate. N/A Yes
1993 LD 1038

An Act Clarifying Certain Traffic Infraction Provisions of the Motor Vehicle Laws
Enacted with amendment:

S-131
PL 1993, c. 224, §8 No debate. Committee File:  Yes Yes
1994 LD 841

An Act to Revise and Recodify the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 29
Enacted with amendment:

S-549
PL 1993, c. 683 Senate, April 5, 1994
p. S-1878
Committee File:  Yes Yes
1995 LD 1088

An Act to Require Consumer Information on Motorcycle Helmets
N/A ONTP No debate. Committee File:  Yes Yes
2005 LD 172

An Act Requiring Protective Headgear for All Operators and Passengers on Motorcycles, Motor-driven Cycles and Mopeds
N/A ONTP House, May 5, 2005
p. H-474-H-475
Committee File:  Yes

News:  The Law Library has numerous articles related to this legislation. Please contact a Reference Librarian.
Yes
2006 LD 1464

An Act to Amend the Laws Relating to Motorized Scooters, Motor-driven Cycles and Mopeds
Enacted with amendments:

H-730
H-747
PL 2005, c. 577, §33 Senate, February 1, 2006
p. S-1466-S-1467

House, February 9, 2006
p. H-1220-H-1221
Committee File:  Yes

Yes
2009 LD 437

An Act To Require a Person under 18 Years of Age To Wear a Helmet While on a Motorcycle
N/A PL 2009, c. 50 No debate. Committee File:  Yes

News:  "Bikers: Don't put helmet on all riders." Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. 3/13/2009, p. A2.

News:  "Helmet issue back on agenda." Kennebec Journal. 3/16/2009, p. B1, B5.

News:  "Helmet law overdue." Bangor Daily News. 3/19/2009, p. A6.

News:  "Statehouse committee: Helmets for those under 18."  Kennebec Journal, 3/20/2009, p. A1, A2.

News:  "Helmet law second chance." Bangor Daily News. 4/3/2009, p. A8.
Yes
2009 LD 453

An Act To Require Motorcyclists To Wear Helmets
N/A ONTP House, May 18, 2009
p. H-515-H-516

Senate, May 21, 2009
p. S-746-S-749
Committee File:  Yes

News:  The Law Library has numerous articles related to this legislation. Please contact a Reference Librarian.
Yes
2010 LD 1805

An Act To Correct Errors and Inconsistencies in the Laws of Maine
Enacted with amendments:

H-832
S-535
S-545
PL 2009, c. 652, §C-5 Senate, April 12, 2010
p. S-1835
Committee File:  Yes Yes
2011 LD 351

An Act Concerning Motorcycle Safety
N/A Leave to withdraw No debate. Committee File:  Yes Yes
2013 LD 66

An Act to Require That Motorcyclists Wear Helmets
N/A ONTP House, April 9, 2013
p. H-298-H-299

Senate, April 10, 2013
p. S-445
Committee File:  Yes

News:  "Bills to ban driving with hand-held cellphones, motorcyclists without helmets fail in committee." Bangor Daily News. 2/20/2013, p. B1.

News:  "Helmet law DOA in Maine Legislature." Sun Journal. 4/11/2013, p. A5.

News:  "Maine considers mandatory motorcycle helmets." Kennebec Journal. 2/13/2013, p. B3.
Yes