South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley said she will veto any bill that would require all motorcycle riders to wear helmets. Senator Ralph Anderson of Greenville, SC introduced a bill including language that, if passed, would require all motorcyclists to wear a helmet. South Carolina law currently requires only motorcycle riders who are younger than 21 years of age to wear a helmet. According to the South Carolina Highway Patrol 102 fatalities of motorcycle riders occurred in 2011, compared to only 82 in 2010. The bill, which was first discussed in legislative sessions on January 10, 2012, has attracted responses from individuals and organizations both in favor of and opposed to the law. “I’ve heard from parents and friends of people who have been hurt or killed,” said Anderson.Governor Haley met with bikers’ rights lobbyists the day after the bill was first discussed and promised them she would veto the bill.
Governor Haley is a member of the Lexington County Chapter of ABATE of South Carolina.
South Carolina Senator Larry A. Martins said, “I certainly wouldn’t want to ride one without a helmet, but I don’t want to impose a law if they don’t want it.” He added that he did not see reason to spend time on a bill that the governor indicated she would veto.
“If you’re 21 and if you’re foolish enough not to wear a helmet, in my opinion it’s not the government’s place to make you,” said SC Senator Kevin Bryant.
In 1967 South Carolina law required all motorcycle riders to wear helmets. The current law requiring South Carolina motorcyclists under the age of 21 to wear helmets was enacted in 1980.
In 2010 the Supreme Court of South Carolina invalidated a Myrtle Beach city ordinance that required all motorcycle riders to wear helmets. The court ruled that a city ordinance could not preempt state law, which required helmets to be worn by only motorcycle riders under 21 years of age.
If you are injured in a motorcycle accident in South Carolina or anywhere else in the United States, seek free legal advice from the motorcycle lawyers at the law firm of Brown, Koro & Romag. The motorcycle attorneys at Russ Brown have won millions of dollars in compensation for injured motorcyclists since 1975 and have success rate of 98% of all retained cases. Call 1-800-4-BIKERS for a free motorcycle injury case evaluation, or go to RussBrown.com to learn more about the personal injury law firm, as well as BAM, a nationwide network of Bikers that provides free roadside breakdown assistance and free legal advice to injured motorcyclists.
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South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley at 2008 Helmet Rally