2019 Tennessee Code
Title 55 - Motor and Other Vehicles
Chapter 9 - Equipment — Lighting Regulations
Part 3 - Required Equipment on Motorcycles and Motor Driven Cycles
§ 55-9-302. Crash helmet required for driver and passenger -- Exceptions.

Universal Citation: TN Code § 55-9-302 (2019)
  • (a) The driver of a motorcycle, motorized bicycle, as defined in chapter 8 of this title, or motor-driven cycle, and any passenger on any of these, shall be required to wear either a crash helmet meeting federal standards contained in 49 CFR 571.218, or, if the driver or passenger is twenty-one (21) years of age or older, a helmet meeting the following requirements:

    • (1) Except as provided in subdivisions (a)(2)-(4), the helmet shall meet federal motor vehicle safety standards specified in 49 CFR 571.218;

    • (2) Notwithstanding any provision in 49 CFR 571.218 relative to helmet penetration standards, ventilation airways may penetrate through the entire shell of the helmet; provided, that no ventilation airway shall exceed one and one-half inches (1½″) in diameter;

    • (3) Notwithstanding any provision in 49 CFR 571.218, the protective surface shall not be required to be a continuous contour; and

    • (4) Notwithstanding any provision in 49 CFR 571.218 to the contrary, a label on the helmet shall be affixed signifying that the helmet complies with the requirements of the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM), the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the Southern Impact Research Center (SIRC), or the Snell Foundation.

  • (b) This section does not apply to persons riding:

    • (1) Within an enclosed cab;

    • (2) Autocycles, as defined in § 55-1-103, that are fully enclosed;

    • (3) Golf carts;

    • (4) In a parade, at a speed not to exceed thirty (30) miles per hour, if the person is eighteen (18) years of age or older; or

    • (5) In a funeral procession, memorial ride under a police escort, or body escort detail; provided, that:

      • (A) The driver travels at a speed not to exceed thirty (30) miles per hour;

      • (B) The driver or passenger is twenty-one (21) years of age or older; and

      • (C) The funeral procession, memorial ride, or body escort detail does not exceed a distance of fifty (50) miles.

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