Always Wear A Helmet When Riding on a Motorcycle

Riding a Motorcycle Without a Helmet

Many motorcyclists may agree that helmets aren’t cool, or they make your head sweaty. They can be uncomfortable and heavy, especially full face helmets. Many Harley Davidson enthusiasts prefer the half helmets, like the Jockey and German biker helmets. However, most of these are not DOT-approved for roadway use. In reality, head-covering helmets offer the most protection for your health and your wallet. Not wearing a helmet or wearing an improper helmet will result in a traffic infraction.

What are the Penalties for Riding without a Motorcycle Helmet Per California Vehicle Code 27803 VC?

California’s Vehicle Code 27803 VC requires all drivers of motorcycles to wear a DOT approved safety helmet. Refer to our Helmet Blog for more information on helmet safety ratings.

Penalties for a Vehicle Code 27803 conviction may results in: a fine of about $200 for first offense.

Although there is a fine for the violation of this vehicle code, there are no points against your driving record for this violation. Typically, repeated violations will result in an accumulation of points against your DMV Record. Your insurance company will use these points against you, often raising your insurance costs. If there are too many citations and points against your driving record, the DMV will suspend your driving privileges.

What If I Ignore My Ticket?

Even though this ticket does not go against you with points, it is important not to ignore any court dates or citation information that comes in the mail. Always pay your fine and don’t ignore official letters. Ignoring a court summons for a helmet violation traffic infraction that doesn’t hurt you, will become a misdemeanor for failure to appear that WILL. Your $200 fine will quickly turn into a $1,000 fine, and you face up to 6 months in jail.

Defense Against a No Helmet Violation

When it comes to defending against a citation for this offense, it is not easy to mount a defense. For traffic violations, normally attorneys fight to keep points off of your license and avoid unnecessary fines. The two possible ways are:

    •  It would be hard to prove a mistake made by an officer in this case, considering the only thing you’d have to be doing to violate this code is operating a motorcycle with no helmet.
    • This reason would likely be having to prove the first one, but if you weren’t actually in the action of riding a motorcycle or driving one, they can’t give you a ticket for this infraction. For example, if you were parked in a spot but were not going anywhere.

So, unless you weren’t actually driving the motorcycle, it would be hard to give a valid reason that prevented you from wearing a helmet.  It might be in your best interest to just pay the fine for this infraction and move on with your day. An attorney would also be a good source for information on this subject.

I Wasn’t Wearing a Helmet, Can I Still Sue for Injuries?

Violating Vehicle Code 27803 does not prevent a driver of a motorcycle from opening a personal injury lawsuit. The act of not wearing a helmet does not void your right to do so, but it will affect the outcome of their compensation. The at fault party had a responsibility to drive safely and they were negligent. As well as the motorcycle driver who has the responsibility to wear a helmet and was negligent in their choice to drive without one.  If you were injured on a motorcycle, speak to an attorney to see if you qualify for compensation. Personal Injury consultations are usually always free.