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THE GEORGIA HELMET LAW

O.C.G.A. 40-6-315.

(a) No person shall operate or ride upon a motorcycle unless he is wearing protective headgear which complies with standards established by the Board of Public Safety. 

(b) No person shall operate or ride upon a motorcycle if the motorcycle is not equipped with a windshield unless he is wearing an eye-protective device of a type approved by the Board of Public Safety. 

(c) This Code section shall not apply to persons riding within an enclosed cab or motorized cart. This Code section shall not apply to a person operating a three-wheeled motorcycle used only for agricultural purposes. 

(d) The Board of Public Safety is authorized to approve or disapprove protective headgear and eye-protective devices required in this Code section and to issue and enforce regulations establishing standards and specifications for the approval thereof. The Board of Public Safety shall publish lists of all protective headgear and eye-protective devices by name and type which have been approved by it.

O.C.G.A. 40-6-316. 

The Board of Public Safety is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to carry this part into effect and to establish regulations for safety standards for the operation of motorcycles.

 

I sent an e-mail to The Georgia Department of Public Safety to inquire about the list of approved protective headgear and received this response from them: 

"There is not a list of individual models of protective headgear published by the Board of Public Safety, nor is a list required by law. The Board, pursuant to its rule making authority, has elected to promulgate rules setting forth the specifications for protective headgear. If you wish to receive (either by fax or mail) a copy of the Department of Public Safety Rules, please call Legal Services at 404-624-7423 and we will be glad to fax or mail you a copy of Rule 570-13. " 

Apparently someone at DPS missed sub-paragraph (d) above.

So, next I decided to look in the Motorcycle Operator Manual that I received from Georgia State Patrol when I took my motorcycle permit test. The manual stated that "The Georgia standards are in compliance with the standards on helmets as set forth by the American National Standards Institute - Z90.1". So I looked up ANSI on the internet at www.ansi.org, and after about 20 minutes of searching the website, found how to get a copy of Z90.1. Here is what the website said: 

Designation: ANSI Z90.1-1992 

Title: Specifications for Protective Headgear for Motor Vehicular Users 

Standard Type: S&H 

Publisher: ANSI

Price: 28.00

Do I call Georgia DPS legal services and pay long distance or do I spend $28.00 with ANSI to get the truth about motorcycle helmets in Georgia? I don't know and I suspect that DPS, judges and police don't know either. Isn't it about time to get rid of this ridiculous and unenforcable helmet law in Georgia and give adults back freedom to make their own choices?

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