On July 1, 1967 South Carolina began enforcing a federal government coerced mandatory helmet law for any person “operating or riding upon a two-wheeled motorized vehicle” punishable with a fine of not more than $100 and/or not more than 30 days in jail. Although motorized bicycles and other similar vehicles met the definition of a “two-wheeled motorized vehicle” the law was enforced only against motorcycle operators and passengers.

After several years of petitioning “the Government for a redress of grievances” on June 16, 1980 the helmet law was amended by adding the words “under the age of twenty-one” thus recognizing the principle of adult responsibility. In South Carolina adult motorcycle operators and passengers are no longer threatened with arrest, incarceration, and/or fine when wearing or not wearing head gear they deem appropriate.
Recognizing the principle of age of adult responsibility is not unprecedented and in fact well known in South Carolina. Recognized ages of responsibility include; Tobacco 18, Alcohol 21, South Carolina Governor 30, South Carolina Senate 25, South Carolina House 21, United States President 35, United States Senate 30, United States House 25, Law Enforcement 21, Military Service 18 (17 with parental permission), and many more examples too numerous to list.

It is the position of ABATE of South Carolina that the long held principle of adult responsibility must continue in all areas, including helmet laws, if we are to remain a free people, state, and nation.

Jesse McDugald

While I breathe I hope

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