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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So recently I've been working for a private school with a decent sized campus, approx 80-90acres. Occasionally when traveling between far corners I'll just hop on the bike, especially if I have a bunch of supplies I can toss in the tank bag.

Today I got a warning from a campus security guard about not having my helmet on. Yes I know I should have probably grabbed it, but since the speed limit on campus is 15mph I didn't think anything of it at the time.

The question is this, do helmet laws apply on private property? Or can someone point me to a specific resource to research this? I'm really rather curious. And yes I'm aware that free legal advice on the Internet is worth exactly as much as I paid for it. :)
 

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The property owner sets the rules. If the security guard told you to wear a helmet, it's probably because your campus has a policy that it's required. (Either that, or he's making up the rules as he goes.) If the school requires it and you don't comply, IMO it would be treated by your employer as a violation of their policies, rather than a violation of your jurisdiction's helmet law.

In any case, you already know that you should be wearing your helmet whenever the bike is moving with you on it. Can you hit your head and die or suffer irreversible brain damage at 15 mph or less? Absolutely.
 

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^ +1

Some campus', violations of their policy not only can have disciplinary actions brought against you, but also monetary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I checked the employee handbook for anything regarding vehicles, traffic, dress code, employee recreational use of facilities, and parking. I didn't see anything even sort of mentioned that could apply

I am wondering if like Digasi said that state law extends to private property in this case. I'm not even sure where to search, I did try Google.

Just to be clear I'm not looking for a excuse to not wear my helmet, I'm more curious if the threat of a ticket was valid or if the campus security was just flexing for me.
 

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As noted above, it is a question of the property owner's rules. I would doubt that a state helmet law would apply, but it might affect subsequent litigation.

As to the safety aspect, you are at very little risk in not wearing a helmet under those circumstances. Of course, you "could" fall and injure/kill yourself at 15mph, just as a maniac could run you down. Odds are in your favor. I'm an ATGATT kind of guy, and don't intend to change, but sometimes good habits can turn into fanatacism and/or paranoia.

Advice? Find out what the rules are and follow them. Work to get them changed if they are truly out of line. If the security guard was correct, thank him for his concern. If he was wrong, you'll have to decide how to tactfully get him informed.
 

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I checked the employee handbook for anything regarding vehicles, traffic, dress code, employee recreational use of facilities, and parking. I didn't see anything even sort of mentioned that could apply

I am wondering if like Digasi said that state law extends to private property in this case. I'm not even sure where to search, I did try Google.

Just to be clear I'm not looking for a excuse to not wear my helmet, I'm more curious if the threat of a ticket was valid or if the campus security was just flexing for me.

Google <state> traffic laws or go to your state governments website or dmv site should have links to the traffic laws.
 

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Let me pose a question: If you think traffic laws (including helmet laws) don't apply on private property, why did you bother riding on the right side of the roadway on your campus trip?

Look at Maryland Statutes §21-101
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Let me pose a question: If you think traffic laws (including helmet laws) don't apply on private property, why did you bother riding on the right side of the roadway on your campus trip?
Just because a common law doesn't legally apply doesn't mean that it's effect on has not created a normal acceptable circumstance that others are socially expected to follow. As such, I would like to NOT end up a hood ornament by some soccer mom who's paying more attention to her cell phone than the idiot who is driving at her in "her" lane because said idiot just felt like tossing social norms to the wind. Hence, right side of the road. :)

Thank you for the vehicle law reference. I'll check it out!
 

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Just because a common law doesn't legally apply doesn't mean that it's effect on has not created a normal acceptable circumstance that others are socially expected to follow.
???
Huh?
 

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You wanted to see if the security was flexing. He asked you to put on a helmet, something that would benefit you if something uneventful happens. So lets say it's not property rules. Either or, it's no big deal. It's not like he told you once you get on campus grounds, you have to get off and push your bike around.

I've had a cop bug me about my mirror a few years back. He wasn't a [email protected] about it, just always had something to say. Everytime we crossed paths, he always gave me the warning to get another mirror. He'd give me the whole "that's not a factory mirror, I can have the bike removed from the road." But since I came across as nice guy, he'll let me off. I'm not sure if it was the 4th or 5th time he tells me no hard feelings, he has to give me a ticket. I told him NYS allows only one mirror on motorcycles and doesn't matter which side. I've told him that each time. Fine I get a ticket.

I went to court, fought it, won and now he waves at me when I pass.

Note: for all those asking why I had only one mirror, a parked car tipped my bike and broke the barend mirror and I was waiting for the new one to come in.
 

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I'd also check with the local police department as many places accord college campus police the same rights and powers due regular police. If so, if state law requires a helmet, the campus security officer was justified in his actions.
 

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Is your brain worth protecting?

Then wear a helmet regardless.

Sure, we can get into all sorts of debates over if the law/rules requirement, but at least in this case (and in my not so humble opinion), it's not worth the time :dizzy:

Just m $0.02 worth. -UD
 

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I'm probably not the best one to respond to this post, I should probably keep my fingers and opinion out of it (I know of one person in particular who will pounce on it)...but here I go anyway.....

First, legalities, I do believe you need to keep within the legal boundaries.

Second, if it's legal to go without, and you're comfortable in that choice...who are we to pressure you into otherwise? Is it a risk? Most likely. Is it life saving...not necessarily. In the end, it's your choice...just as it's mine, off1's, Frick's, LSC's, and anybody elses...our choices...our decisions....and just cause we don't agree, well, that's all it is....we don't agree. (I just pulled names outta memory, not saying we disagree or agree).

Third, opinions are like *******s (do I need to use DICK here?)....everyones got one. ;)
 
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Dont be such a ***** ass *** dumbass, wear proper headgear
 

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Dont be such a ***** ass *** dumbass, wear proper headgear
He's a big boy, he can do what he wants. I've ridden across campus without a helmet before, but it's not illegal here. I don't see anybody yelling at all the skateboarders to put on a helmet. Although, that's their own **** business too.
 

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The state law would apply on state /public roads unless they have some sort of extra nanny provision that also applied on private property.
IANAL, $.02, etc.
 

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A Google search for "Maryland traffic law enforcement on private property" and found this on Officer.com - http://forums.officer.com/t170211/
I didn't see Maryland specifically addressed, but it appears most states have some kind of provisions to allow enforcement of at least some of their state traffic laws on private property.
 
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