A new law passed by the Maine State Legislature yesterday will require all motorists to wear a helmet while driving, regardless of the vehicle. Maine is the first state in the country to adopt such a law, although several other New England states have been researching the idea for several years, including Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.
Maine governor Paul LePage (R), said that the new law would be a “huge leap forward” for the safety of the people of Maine.
“Before this law, we had no regulations on helmets at all. Motorcycles could whip down the highway at 70 MPH, and the driver was not legally required to wear any protection.” Said LePage. “This completely disregarded the fact that we had a seatbelt law for all occupants of regular cars and trucks. Why would we have one law, and not the other? It’s asinine. So we really went full-on with this new regulation.”
Previous law said that anyone, whether passenger or driver of a vehicle, must wear a seatbelt. This new law would also require them to wear a helmet, either bicycle-style or those designed for motorcycles – basically just something to protect the head in a crash.
“From now on, it doesn’t matter if you’re riding a Harley or driving a Honda, you are going to be required to put on a helmet.” Said LePage.
Opponents of the new law have not easily been silenced, including the Maine chapter of the Wheels of Satan , a notorious motorcycle club with several charters across the country. Members of the group are furious, personally blaming LePage for taking away their freedom to ride without a helmet, something they say they hold dear to their hearts.
“I hate helmets, and I came to Maine to avoid the strict helmet laws of other states.” Said Brent “Hefty” Capabianco, president of the Wheels of Satan’s Portland, Maine charter. “Not only are they forcing us to wear a helmet while riding, now I also have to wear a helmet when I get in my Godd— truck, too? This state is out if its mind. The Wheels are not happy, and we’re going to be making that fact known.”
The law, which was voted on yesterday, will take effect September 1st. At that point, police will be able to levy fines on any motorist not wearing DOT approved head protection. The fines begin at $75, the same as Maine’s seatbelt fines.