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Motorcycle helmet laws in Europe

Updated April 17, 2017

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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About the Author

Meredith Mooney is a freelance writer living in the Houston area. She has been a professional writer for more than five years. She has a Bachelor of Music degree (summa cum laude) from the University of Houston. Mooney enjoys writing about health and fitness, personal finance, and anything related to music. She has contributed to Grandparents.com as well as eHow, Travels, and Answerbag.

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