High court strikes down helmet rule for bikers
Jun 8, 2010 12:49:00 PM - thestate.com
Bikers coming to Myrtle Beach for annual rallies can once again ride their motorcycles without helmets or eyewear.
The South Carolina Supreme Court unanimously ruled Tuesday that the city cannot mandate the protective gear in the absence of a state law. The Myrtle Beach city council adopted the ordinance in 2008 after years of complaints from residents about noise, lewd behavior and congestion along the 60-mile Grand Strand, and the helmet ban had an almost immediate effect: rallies saw double-digit percentage drops in attendance last spring.
Individual cities each making distinctive rules on helmets and eyewear would lead to chaos for motorcycle riders, the justices ruled.
"Local authorities might enact ordinances imposing additional and even conflicting equipment requirements," wrote Justice Costa Pleicones. "Such burdens would unduly limit a citizen's freedom of movement throughout the state."
Calls to Myrtle Beach officials and lawyers who sued the city seeking to overturn the ordinance were not immediately returned Tuesday.
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