Doff Your Helmet to Richard Quigley


Richard Quigley, who has been resisting California's motorcycle helmet law for years, has won an important victory in Santa Cruz County Superior Court. A judge dismissed a dozen or so citations against Quigley for failing to wear a helmet, agreeing with him that the requirement is unconstitutionally vague because the California Highway Patrol has never specified what qualifies as a safety helmet. Quigley, who was featured in my November Reason story about helmet laws, likes to ride his bike while wearing a trucker cap with a plastic insert, saying it satisfies the nonexistent standards as well as any other headgear. The transcript of Quigley's June 1999 brush with police in Capitola, California, is worth a look just for the surreally comic dialogue, which reads like a collaborative effort by David Mamet, Kevin Smith, and Larry David.