By Adam Fogle | February 4th, 2010 | 8 comments

myrtlebeachhelmetSigns posted on Highway 17 warning motorcyclists to wear a helmet in Myrtle Beach April 28, 2009 (AP Photo)


The debate over the constitutionality of a Myrtle Beach motorcycle helmet law headed to the South Carolina supreme Court on Wednesday.

The city of Myrtle Beach legal counsel and attorneys for a group of motorcyclists cited under the ordinance presented oral arguments before the five members of the state’s high court.

In 2008, in an effort to push annual motorcycle rallies outside of the city, Myrtle Beach officials enacted a law requiring riders to wear a helmet in the city. But state law mandates that only those under 21 must wear head gear — everyone is free to ride without a helmet.

Tom McGrath of the Motorcycle Law Group, who is representing nearly 50 people ticketed for helmet infractions, and his fellow attorneys argued that the law that violated the state constitution.

“This is bigger than the helmet laws,” said State Rep. Thad Viers, who is representing his brother in one of the cases. “This is what a local government can do and whether a local government can make a law stronger and more stringent than a state law.”

Justice Don Beatty questioned the motives of the law.

“I realize the issue is narrow here, but don’t pretend like we don’t know what’s going on,” Beatty said to Myrtle Beach attorney Mike Battle. “We read. We all know why the city [passed the rally ordinances].”

The justices won’t likely rule in the case for at least a few more months.

8 Responses to “SC Supreme Court hears Myrtle Beach helmet law cases”

  1. 1.

    Don’t the lawmakers have anything else to do? Helmets should be left up to the Rider. I wear one, but I don’t think it should be a law. Perhaps they should work on REAL problems.

  2. 2.

    [...] Source: [The Palmetto Scoop] [...]

  3. 3.
    Posted by Dennis K. Graham on 02/19/10 at 1:26 pm

    This is why efforts were made to reform the Family Court in SC. When tyou allow good ol boy politics to creep in to our lives for the benfit of only a select few (the good ol boys) you have created inequality. Get rid of the aboluter control of politicains and you can absolutely remove corruption.

  4. 4.
    Posted by Dennis K. Graham on 02/19/10 at 1:27 pm

    This is why efforts were made to reform the Family Court in SC. When you allow good ol boy politics to creep into our lives for the benfit of only a select few (the good ol boys) you have created inequality. Get rid of the absolute control of politicians and you can absolutely remove corruption.

  5. 5.
    Posted by Dennis Spencer on 02/22/10 at 7:29 pm

    The people I feel sorry for are the business owners. Myrtle Beach has knocked the feet out from under ever resort, restaurant, and gift shop in the city limits. In these hard economic times every dollar spent helps, and the businesses in Myrtle beach are not getting any. I will spend my money in North Myrtle, not a cent will be spent inside the city limits. It is a sad day for our country when the wills of few are forced upon many.

  6. 6.
    Posted by RON on 03/1/10 at 4:10 pm

    I went to the atlantic bike fest last year and had to spend hundred dollars to by a helmet because i didn’t know they passed the law and i have been going every year for the past 4 years. Every place of business we entered cursed the mayor and his decision because it is hurting there business. I think it is retarded what he has done because myrtle beach strives on all the motocycle events that goes on during the year that is there base of income.

  7. 7.
    Posted by They sure are dragging their feet on this... on 03/5/10 at 8:13 am

    Apparently justice isn’t swift in South Carolina. This issue has been going on for almost two years now. I’m starting to wonder if the Supreme Court is going to make a decision or not …

  8. 8.
    Posted by marshall on 04/12/10 at 10:40 pm

    Is this revenue in place of running out bike week. ( we need to make money some how. ) sad, adults should have the choice to wear a helmet or not. city of myrtle beach dont have the authority to make their own laws to placate to old have nothing to do people, than wine about noise and bad people. 21 days a year make the myrtle beach financial base. chase gangs and hood rats not bikers.

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