Portsmouth, VA Motorcycle Helmet Laws
Wearing a helmet is one of the best ways to protect yourself while operating a motorcycle, and especially while traveling at high speeds. In Virginia, though, wearing a helmet is not just a matter of personal safety, but also a matter of compliance with state law.
Being aware of Portsmouth, VA motorcycle helmet laws is important if you want to avoid getting issued a ticket and fined while riding, but it can be even more important in the event of an accident. Not only could a proper safety helmet save your life, but—as a motorcycle wreck attorney could explain in further detail—it may be key to preserving your right to file suit for accident-related damages.
Who Must Wear a Motorcycle Helmet in Portsmouth?
While some states only mandate motorcycle helmets for riders under a certain age, Virginia is not one of those states. According to Virginia Code §46.2-910, both operators and passengers on motorcycles must wear safety helmets at all times while their vehicle is in motion, regardless of their age or level of experience.
In order to fulfill the requirement set by state law, a motorcycle helmet must meet or exceed the safety specifications set by the United States Department of Transportation, the American National Standards Institute, Inc., and/or the Snell Memorial Foundation. In addition, if a helmet does not have a face shield attached to it and a motorcycle does not have a windshield or safety glass, motorcyclists and passengers must also wear an external face shield, safety goggles, or safety glasses while riding.
The only situation in which a motorcycle helmet is not required by law for riders in Portsmouth, VA is during a parade that occurs with the authorization of the Virginia Department of Transportation and under the supervision of local law enforcement. In this particular scenario, helmetless motorcycle riders may not legally exceed speeds of 15 miles per hour at any point during the parade.
Legal Consequences for Not Wearing a Helmet
As pursuant to Virginia Code §46.2-113, a violation of the state’s motorcycle helmet laws could result in a fine of up to $250 with a Class 4 misdemeanor offense, as well as additional sanctions and consequences depending on the driving history of the motorcyclist in question. However, the legal consequences of not wearing a helmet may be more extreme after a motorcycle accident.
State civil courts follow a strict contributory negligence system, under which a claimant who bears any degree of fault for their own injuries is ineligible to seek any compensation for the incident in question. Accordingly, if a motorcyclist in Portsmouth, VA suffers a head injury in a wreck because they disobeyed state motorcycle helmet laws, they may be unable to recover for their injuries even if another person was fully to blame for the actual accident.
Learn More About Motorcycle Helmet Laws from a Portsmouth VA Attorney
It is always a good idea to wear a safety helmet while operating or riding on a motorcycle. Since wearing a helmet is mandated by law, it is even more essential that you wear one at all times while riding.
If you have any questions about the Portsmouth, VA motorcycle helmet laws, a knowledgeable attorney from Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers would be happy to answer them. Get in touch today to set up a free consultation with a legal professional.