Myrtle Beach Helmet Law Struck Down by SC High Court

Jun 9, 2010

The South Carolina Supreme Court this week unanimously overturned a controversial helmet law for motorcycle riders in the city of Myrtle Beach. Myrtle Beach is no longer enforcing an ordinance that requires motorcycle riders of all ages to wear a helmet. The State Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that ordinance conflicted with state law requiring helmets only on riders under 21. Allowing cities to pass their own helmet laws would limit a person's ability to move freely throughout the state, the court said. Myrtle Beach city officials passed the helmet ordinance after years of complaints from residents about noise and traffic from motorcyclists along the Grand Strand. "The court's decision does not change the city's position that it no longer wants to be the location for these huge motorcycle rallies that occupied three weeks of the month of May every year," says Myrtle Beach spokesman Mark Kruea. People who were fined for riding in Myrtle Beach without a helmet will get a refund. Kruea says about 380 citations have been issued since the ordinance took effect in 2008. During that time, the big motorcycle rallies have moved elsewhere, including New Bern, North Carolina.