New Legislation Aims to Allow ORV Drivers, Passengers to No Longer Wear Helmets on Private Property

If you’re an avid ORV driver or passenger, a new law in Michigan may change the way you ride in some places.

Under new legislation on its way to Governor Rick Snyder’s desk, off-road vehicle operators and passengers will no longer have to wear a helmet on their own private property.

The bill, sponsored by Representative Bruce Rendon, will apply to anyone who is over the age of 17.

9&10’s Meredith Barack takes a look at the pros and cons.

“I bet you in the last 5, 6 years its increased 25% to 50% since we got the ORV’s passed where we could go down the county roads, its increased tremendously.”

The popularity of ORV’s in Northern Michigan is only growing. While many people use them on public roads and trails, others use them frequently on their own private land. This bill will exempt property owners, as well as family members and guests from the state’s ORV helmet law.

“For a safety point, you should wear them. Definitely on state property or federal property. It should be a must, definitely a must,” says Kirk Anderson, General Manager of Hacker’s.

Representative Rendon says this won’t change the law for people riding ORV’s on public property, but it will give more freedom to folks who are riding them on their own land.

“When you’re working in your yard or in the fields, stuff like that, you’re doing shoveling, digging, just doing work and stuff, yes definitely I don’t see that being a real big factor.”

Anderson says he hopes people still do use their helmets if they decide to crank up speed while on their own property.

“When you’re out having fun, you tend to get a little reckless. I mean we’ve all got common sense, hopefully everybody uses it the right way.”