Protection From Helmet Law

It’s summertime in Colorado and the motorcyclists are out, but it’s not just record setting temperatures that’s bringing the heat down on them this year.

Both the City and County of Denver, as well as the state legislature, have passed new rules that bikers say attack their freedoms. Here in the Mile High, city ordinance 242 gives police more power to ticket bikers for loud pipes. It was passed in response to citizen complaints from the racket, according to at least one city councilman and while the motorcycle community generally concedes that it’s a few bad bikers spoiling it for the whole- revving their bikes at 3 am. On residential streets--some argue that loud pipes are a safety necessity to keep motorists aware of riders.

“For years we’ve asked motorcyclists to police themselves or else someone else would police us, well, this is a perfect example,” said Terry Howard, state coordinator for the non-profit motorcycle advocacy group ABATE of Colorado.

Perhaps another example would be that of young children riding around on motorcycles without helmets, which, as of July 1, is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 in Colorado.

“It’s not that we’re opposed to children wearing helmets,” Howard says. “This will be the first statute for a head protection device on the Colorado law books and it’s the opening to make a mandatory all adult helmet law.”

Which, the motorcycle community is afraid, will be where the anti-motorcycle momentum heads in next year’s legislature.--Luke Turf

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Crystal Preston-Watson