Motorcycle helmet laws in Europe

Written by meredith mooney
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Motorcycle helmet laws in Europe
When exploring the streets of Europe, know where you need to wear a helmet. (motorcycle image by Bionic Media from

Many travellers to Europe dream of hitting the open road on a motorcycle, scooter or moped. Before you go, it's a good idea to know which countries have adopted helmet laws so you can be properly outfitted. Studies show that proper helmet use greatly reduces the chance of traumatic brain injury, yet some people still prefer not to use one.

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Countries where helmets are mandatory

Helmets are mandatory for motorcycle riders in all European Union countries.

Other personal motor vehicles

EU countries also require helmets for all moped, scooter and motorcycle riders.


Belgium, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands allow for some flexibility in helmet laws for drivers of mopeds meeting certain conditions. In Belgium, the mopeds must not exceed 25 km/h (15 miles/h); in the Czech Republic, they must not exceed 40 km/h (24 miles/h); in the Netherlands, they must not exceed 20 km/h (12 miles/h).

Uneven enforcement

Greek and Italian law enforcement may not pull you over for not wearing a helmet. However, you are required to wear one in these countries. In addition, any insurance you have may be rendered invalid if you don't wear one.

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