Motorcyclists in Texas don't always wear helmets because they don't have to. Well, some of them don't anyway ...

A motorcycle is defined in Texas as "a motor vehicle designed to propel itself with not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, and having a saddle for the use of the rider".

Valero Texas Open - Round Two
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Texas law says anyone on or operating a motorcycle who is under the age of 21 must wear a DOT approved helmet. Bikers who are 21 and over have the option of riding without a helmet if they have completed an approved motorcycle safety course or if they are named on a health insurance plan that covers injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident.

How the cops determine this is a little tricky as they cannot stop a biker for the sole purpose of checking that these requirements have been met. (

New Mexico State v Cal State Bakersfield
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Our neighbor to the north, New Mexico, requires every biker under 18 to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle or "moped" and that's pretty much it for them. In this case, NM keeps things super simple.

Something they're not exactly praised for when it comes to laws, rules, regulations, ordinances, etc.

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I like the fact that both states pretty much "let those who ride, decide" as the saying goes.

I typically wear a helmet but, not so long ago, I never wore one. While they can make a major difference in the event of an accident, I wear mine now more for sand and bug deflection than anything else.

Whatever the riders motivation may be, I applaud both states for giving us an option.


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