Delaware’s New Motorcycle Helmet Law Aims to Reduce Fatalities

Motorcycle Safety Training CoursesImage via Pixabay

DELAWARE — The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) and the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) aim to reduce motorcycle fatalities with a new endorsement motorcycle helmet law that went into effect on Friday.

SB 86, sponsored by numerous legislators: David P. SokolaSean M. LynnDaniel B. ShortKyle Evans GayKyra HoffnerBryan TownsendDavid L. WilsonPaul S. BaumbachRuth Briggs KingFranklin D. CookeTimothy D. DukesRonald E. GrayKrista GriffithJeff HilovskyKendra Johnson and Edward S. Osienski, was signed by Governor John Carney on June 30, 2023. The new law will require everyone who obtains a new motorcycle endorsement on or after the above date or anyone riding with that person to wear a helmet and eye protection for two years after they receive their endorsement.

Currently, every adult operating or riding as a passenger on a motorcycle must have a helmet in their possession and wear eye protection while operating or riding a motorcycle. And every person up to 19 years of age must wear a helmet and eye protection.

Helmets and eye protection are already required for those operating with a temporary motorcycle instruction permit as required under § 2703 of Title 21 of the Delaware Code and no passengers are allowed.

SB 86, will now require anyone obtaining a new motorcycle endorsement starting September 1, 2023, to wear a helmet and eye protection during the first two years of their endorsement. A civil penalty will be assessed to those found to be in violation.

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“We know helmets save lives and prevent serious head injuries. We know a quarter of all motorcycle accidents that occurred last year involved a newly endorsed rider,” shared Secretary of Transportation Nicole Majeski. “By requiring this group to take extra precautions and wear a helmet we’re able to help keep Delawareans safer.”

“It’s our responsibility to keep Delawareans safe,” said Governor Carney. “This legislation, along with the current activities and protection measures, will save lives.”

“Seeing the increase in fatalities on our roadways each week is heart-wrenching. This new law will help protect riders when they are their most vulnerable,” added Amy Anthony, Director of the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles.

Nineteen states and the District of Columbia currently require all motorcyclists to wear a helmet.

As of August 30, 2023, there are 22,174 motorcycles registered in the State of Delaware.

Riders interested in improving their skills can also enroll in one of the DMV’s Motorcycle Safety Courses. For a list of available courses or enrollment details, visit dmv.de.gov and search on motorcycle courses, email motorcyclecourse@delaware.gov, or contact the below for more information:

Beginner Rider Program
New Castle County – 302-832-5163
Kent County – 302-744-2658
Sussex County – 302-853-1030

Experienced Rider Program
New Castle – 302-862-5163
Kent County– 302-744-2658
Sussex County – 302-853-1030

Last year, 22 motorcyclists were killed on Delaware roadways. As of August 31, 2023, twelve motorcyclists have been killed. Always use caution while operating a vehicle or motorcycle. Look twice at intersections, don’t tailgate, and eliminate distractions. For more motorcycle safety tips for both riders and motorists visit arrivealivede.com.

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