If you’re riding a motorcycle in Tennessee, you must wear a helmet. If you’re riding a bicycle, you must wear a helmet if you’re younger than 16 years old. Find out more in my video.

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Video Transcript

Hello, I’m Darrell Castle. I’m an attorney licensed to practice law in the state of Tennessee and on this video, I’m going to answer the question of whether or not you have to wear a helmet in Tennessee when you ride a motorcycle or a bicycle.

As to motorcycles, the answer is yes, you have to wear a helmet. It is unlawful not to. That helmet has to meet federal safety standards and have a sticker on the side of it that is approved by the agency that approves federal safety procedures.

There are other regulations that surround what the helmet must be but generally speaking you have to wear a motorcycle helmet that’s approved by federal safety standards.

If you do not wear the helmet, it is a Class C Misdemeanor in Tennessee which really doesn’t mean that much – just generally a $50 fine. It can be higher, but generally speaking, it would be a $50 fine – a non-moving violation in other words.

Now, on the other side of the coin, if you ride a bicycle in Tennessee, do you have to wear a helmet? The answer to that question is no, if you’re 16 years old or older. If you’re under 16, you have to wear a bicycle helmet that is once again approved by federal safety standards. If you’re under 16 and you do not wear the bicycle helmet and you are caught or ticketed, it is a $2 fine. It’s just their way of saying, “You should do this, you have to do it.”

The insurance company of course is very happy about these laws, but the point is, you’ll be much safer if you wear a helmet. Whatever your reason for not wearing one, in Tennessee, it’s illegal not to wear one, so you should wear one.

It’s also quite silly not to wear one because you can chart out the statistics showing the lives that wearing a helmet actually saves. It is much safer and much more sensible. So, go ahead and ride, but be careful and wear a helmet.