Northern Ireland Mandatory Helmet Law talks on-going
Contrary to what you may have recently heard, Northern Ireland’s intention to impose a mandatory helmet law for trike riders and passengers is still an on-going discussion.
Representatives of the BMF, Motorcycle Minds and other lobbying groups have been involved in discussions of the issue for some time. Despite a recent ‘successful’ meeting in July, we are given to understand that the matter is still being discussed pending ministers being fully briefed on the subject.
A consultation on the proposal was launched on June 24 last year by the Northern Ireland Department for Infrastructure, concluding on August 19 2015.
Of the 104 responses, 90% opposed the new law (the majority of whom were “motorcycling enthusiasts”). Furthermore, statistics cited within the consultation suggest that helmets may not have a noticeable effect on casualty numbers anyway. Despite this, the department decided that it would proceed with the implementation of the law.
Throughout the UK, you are not always required to wear a crash helmet when riding a trike. However, as explained in our know your rights advice article, trike regulations are more complicated than those of motorcycles.
A trike rider or passenger may have to wear a helmet and some may even have to wear seat belts depending on vehicle’s licensing classification. Factors such as the weight of the machine and whether you sit astride or in a seat are factors that have to be considered.
The BMF will continue talks with the relevant parties involved and will update you when a successful conclusion has been reached.
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