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64 S.D. L. Rev. 313 (2019)
The Helmet Law in Nevada: How to Hassle Harley Riders

handle is hein.journals/sdlr64 and id is 355 raw text is: 


                             TRAVIS N. BARRICKt

     Motorcycle  helmet laws  have long been  a source of controversy between
lawmakers,  law enforcement, and riders. Nevada's Helmet Law, enacted in 1971,
is no different. This article shows how  Nevada's  Helmet  Law  hassles riders,
particularly Harley riders, through its arbitrary and inconsistent enforcement. No
one  knows for certain which helmets do  or do not qualify under the law. This
hassle often causes ticketed riders simply to pay the fine rather than challenge it
in court. Revenue generated from  unchallenged tickets encourages counties and
law enforcement  to continue writing tickets. In instances where tickets have been
challenged  in court, a  dismissal invariably follows.   When  brought  to the
legislature, lawmakers justify the law as a safety measure, disregarding its overall
ineffectiveness. Thus, the kabuki theatre known as the Nevada Helmet Law plays

                             I. INTRODUCTION

     The  only thing that is clear about Nevada's Helmet Law is that it is not clear
what  constitutes an illegal helmet. It is very clear, based upon the current state of
the law and its enforcement, that the Helmet Law is being arbitrarily applied in
a consistently pretextual manner, predominantly against Harley riders.


     The  Nevada  Helmet  Law   was enacted  in 1971.1  The  law has remained
 fundamentally unchanged  since then.2 Nevada Revised  Statutes section 486.231,
 in its current form provides, in pertinent parts:

         1. The Department shall adopt standards for protective headgear and
         protective glasses, goggles or face shields to be worn by the drivers
         and passengers of motorcycles  and transparent windscreens for

 Copyright C 2019. All Rights Reserved by Travis N. Barrick and the South Dakota Law Review.
 tTravis N. Barrick, Esq. Mr. Barrick is a native Nevadan and is licensed to practice law in the state and
 federal courts of California (2003), Nevada (2005) and Utah (2006), before the Department. of Veterans
 Affairs (2008) and the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (2009). He received his B.A. in Legal Studies
 (1997) and Masters in Public Administration (1999) from National University, San Diego and his J.D.
 (2002) from the University of San Francisco School of Law.1. NEV. REV. STAT. ANN. § 486.231 (West
 1971 & Supp. 1985).
     2. Id.

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