Nebraska Modifies Helmet Law - ABATE of Ohio

Nebraska Modifies Helmet Law

Lawmakers in Nebraska last week updated their new helmet law to make life easier for both Nebraska bikers and those traveling through the Cornhusker State.

As you may remember, after decades of fighting to let those who ride decide whether to wear a helmet, Nebraska repealed the state helmet mandate, effective January 1, 2024. However, as happens with new legislation, unforeseen loopholes and implementation issues need addressing. The Nebraska State Legislature, at the urging of ABATE of Nebraska, passed a corrective bill that clarifies some of the requirements in the original bill.

There are three fundamental changes to the law in Nebraska. First, the bill eliminates requiring out-of-state riders to take a safety course to ride without a helmet. Out-of-state riders need only be over 21 and wear eye protection. 

Second, Nebraska riders who received their M endorsement before May 1, 2024, can take a three-hour online course to qualify for helmet choice. This online course replaces the skills test requirement for all riders stated in the original bill. Again, to ride without a helmet, Nebraska bikers must be over 21 and wearing eye protection.  

Finally, the new bill eliminates the rider education course requirement for motorcycle passengers to qualify for helmet choice. A passenger need only be over 21 to ride without a helmet, assuming the rider meets the above safety course requirements, is over 21 and wears eye protection. 

When Nebraska’s new helmet law rolled out earlier this year, experienced riders were flooding safety training courses to comply with the law to ride without a helmet. Allowing experienced riders to take an online course frees up safety instruction for new riders, ensuring they have the needed skills to operate a bike in the state.

The final vote of 39 yes, 4 no and 3 not voting demonstrates the broad support for these commonsense fixes. Signed by Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen on April 2nd, this corrective bill takes effect immediately.

Congratulations to the bikers in Nebraska on their victory! Cornhusker bikers prove that persistence and hard work become legislative victories. Well done!

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