New Jersey Motorcycle Helmet Law

New Jersey law requires that all motorcycle riders, regardless of age, wear a helmet that has a neck or chin strap and is reflectorized on both sides.
Written by Samuel Todd
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
New Jersey
law, all motorcycle riders must wear a DOT-approved helmet, regardless of age. The helmet should have a neck or chin strap and be reflective on both sides.
In the 1960s, states started passing motorcycle helmet laws to fight the high rate of fatalities and save lives on the streets. The
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
estimated that, in 2017 alone, helmets saved the lives of 1,872 motorcyclists
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Do you have to wear a motorcycle helmet in New Jersey?

Yes. All riders are required to wear a helmet, whether they’re driving the motorcycle or tagging along as a passenger. 

Exceptions to New Jersey’s motorcycle helmet law

Unlike some states, there are no exceptions to New Jersey’s motorcycle helmet law. Riders of any age have to wear a helmet—so be sure to clip one on each time you ride!
Likewise, there are no vehicles—like mopeds—that escape New Jersey’s law. The Garden State is one of the strictest when it comes to wearing motorcycle helmets.

Penalties for breaking New Jersey’s motorcycle helmet law

In New Jersey, violating the motorcycle helmet law will land you a fine of up to $25. You don’t have to worry about any points being added to your driving record unless your helmet violation was coupled with a more serious offense like reckless driving.

Why it’s important to wear a motorcycle helmet

Although the $25 fine is just a slap on the wrist, the true cost of riding a motorcycle without a helmet is much greater: a rider with a helmet has a 40% higher chance of surviving a crash than a rider without a helmet.
The story of motorcycle helmets began in 1935 when renowned British diplomat and army officer T.E. Lawrence (better known as Lawrence of Arabia)
died in a motorcycle accident
at the age of 46. In the wake of the high-profile death, neurosurgeon Hugh Cairns began research on motorcycle helmets—helmets have become more and more effective as time goes by.
Today, the research is clear: helmets save hundreds of lives each year in the United States. Though helmets saved nearly 2,000 lives in 2017, the NHTSA estimates that an additional 749 lives could have been saved if all riders had been wearing helmets.
The statistics are just as compelling in New Jersey: between 2012 and 2016, there were
nearly 12,000 motorcycle crashes
in the Garden State. Thankfully, because of NJ’s strict helmet laws, the fatality rate was low and many of those riders are still on the streets.

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No doubt, buckling up your helmet is the best way to stay protected on your bike.
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