Planning a riding trip to Sin City and wondering about Nevada motorcycle helmet laws? Well, the short answer to the question on your mind is, Yes.
You are required by Nevada state’s motorcycle helmet law to wear a helmet at all times while riding a motorcycle or motor-driven scooter, or similar vehicle in Las Vegas or anywhere else in the state of Nevada.
In addition to wearing a helmet, you must also wear goggles, protective glasses, or face shields if you’re riding a vehicle with no transparent windscreen. Motorcycle riders coming to Vegas should be aware that the local authority will be looking to make sure these safety measures are being adhered to.
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Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles Clarifies Helmet Laws
In fact, according to the Nevada Dept of Motor Vehicles website, you are required by Nevada helmet laws to wear helmets whether you are a passenger or a driver on “motorcycles, mopeds, and trimobiles, or three wheeled vehicles with handlebars and a saddle seat.”
If you are riding in or driving a trimobile or three-wheeled motor vehicle equipped with a steering wheel and enclosed cab, wearing a helmet is not required by law.
Nevada Motorcycle Helmet Must Meet USDOT Requirements
Drivers or passengers of motorcycles, mopeds, three-wheelers, scooters, etc. anywhere in Nevada, including Las Vegas, must wear helmets approved by the United States Department of Transportation requirements.
In order to meet the requirements of the USDOT, a motorcycle helmet must do all of the following.
- Weigh no less than at least three pounds.
- Have a thick inner lining that has an inch of firm polystyrene foam.
- Have no accessories that protrude over two-tenths of an inch above the surface of the motorcycle helmet.
- Have a durable chinstrap that is mounted with strong rivets and is durable.
- When riding in a vehicle without a windscreen, both the driver and passenger will have to wear protective glasses, goggles, or face shields.
Motorcycle Helmet Laws Do Not Apply Off Road or During Parades
Motorcycle helmets are not required by anyone riding a motorcycle, scooter, moped, or other motor-driven vehicles in Nevada during some parades or events. This must be a parade authorized by local authorities, however.
In addition, motorcycle riders and others riding this type of motor vehicle are not required to wear a helmet when operating the vehicle off-road.
However, if you are riding or driving one of these vehicles off-road and hop up onto the black-top, even for just a short trip, you can still be charged if you are caught. Motorcycle helmets must be worn at all times when driving on roads in Las Vegas and in Nevada as a whole.
What Happens If I’m Caught Riding Without a Helmet?
A motorcyclist who is caught not wearing a helmet in violation of Nevada’s motorcycle helmet law will have two demerit points taken from his or her driving record, and be fined. Those demerit points will stay on your driving record for a year within the state.
If you have 12 or more demerits taken from your driving record within a year in the state of Nevada, your license will be suspended for 6 months.
The fines vary city by city. A violation for not wearing a helmet in Reno, Nevada will cost upwards of $80, while in Las Vegas, you could pay more than $200 for a first offense.
It’s also important to note that Nevada judges will quickly issue a bench warrant if you fail to appear to pay a fine or ticket or if you don’t show up for a court date in the state. Wearing a motorcycle helmet in the state of Nevada is a regularly enforced law.
Why Are Motorcycle Helmets Required in Nevada?
Nevada motorcycle helmet laws were put in place to protect motorcycle drivers from sustaining a serious head injury during a motorcycle accident.
Traumatic brain injury and other head injuries are a very real threat during a motorcycle crash when a driver’s or rider’s head comes into contact with the ground or other object.
The safety standards put in place with the Nevada law have gone a long way toward lowering the chances of serious injury or death during a motorcycle accident in the state. In 2019, for example, only three motor vehicle accident deaths were attributed to someone not wearing a helmet.
It is also important to note that in many cases, an insurance company won’t even file a claim in your favor if you were not wearing a helmet when injured. They could, instead, claim negligence on your part for your own safety in this event.
So, in other words, not wearing a helmet can give an insurance company a way out of paying your claim even if you’re not at fault.
Is There a Way to Fight the Charges?
A Nevada law firm explains that in order to fight the charges once you’ve been ticketed for not wearing a helmet, there are three main arguments that you can claim.
If the vehicle that you were on was not a motorcycle, then the charges could be dropped. It is not required by law for someone on a bicycle, for instance, to wear head protection in Nevada. The same is true if you were not on a public road while driving or riding a motorcycle or other vehicle.
You might also be able to have the charges dropped if you were falsely accused. This may be a bit hard to prove, but a good attorney might be able to find an eyewitness, surveillance video, or even photographs to show that you were wearing a helmet at the time you were pulled over.
Motorcycle Helmets Not Required for Electric Bikes
Wearing a helmet and/or protective headgear is not required for those who are riding on or a passenger on an electric bike.
The definition of an electric bike is listed as a device that a person can ride, which has two or three wheels and is powered by a battery.
The United States Department of Transportation goes on to explain that an electric bicycle features fully operational pedals, is a motor-driven cycle with a small engine, can produce no more than 1 gross brake horsepower, and has no more than three wheels in contact with the road, is not a tractor, and goes a maximum speed of no more than 20 miles an hour with a 170-pound passenger on board.
For these types of electric bikes, wearing a helmet, registration, insurance, and having a driver’s license are not required by Nevada motorcycle helmet laws. It is also not required for you to wear glasses, goggles, or face screens.