January 23, 2013

Maine bill would require all motorcyclists to wear helmets

The Associated Press

AUGUSTA — A new bill to require all motorcyclists to wear helmets in Maine has been referred to committee.

click image to enlarge

A motorcycle parade thunders down Water Street in Gardiner in this 2010 photo. Current law requires only motorcyclists under 18 years old to wear a helmet when driving or riding as a passenger.

John Ewing / Staff Photographer

Lawmakers on Tuesday sent Rep. Paulette Beaudoin's bill to the Transportation Committee. The Biddeford Democrat introduced a similar bill in 2009, but it was rejected.

Current Maine law requires motorcyclists under 18 years old to wear a helmet when driving or riding as a passenger. The law also applies to motorcyclists operating under a learner's permit or within one year of completing a driving test.

Beaudoin's bill requires all operators and passengers of motorcycles to wear protective helmets, restoring a law that was repealed in the late 1970s.

Lawmakers also referred to committee Beaudoin's bill to prohibit the use of a handheld mobile telephone while operating a motor vehicle.

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