Soria proposes motorcycle helmet exemption for Sikhs

Sikhs and other who wear turbans would not have to wear helmets under a proposed California law.

California motorcycle riders could be exempted from wearing a helmet if they wear a turban instead. 

Asm. Esmeralda Soria introduced Assembly Bill 2392 this week to the Legislature. 


The big picture: AB 2392 would establish a helmet exemption for anyone who wears a turban as an expression of religious belief and practice when riding a motorcycle, motor-driven cycle or motorized bicycle. 

  • Current California law requires helmets regardless of religious belief. 
  • In a statement announcing the bill, Soria noted that California is home to half of the Sikhs in the United States, totaling around 250,000 people. 
  • Many men and some women wear turbans in the Sikh faith. 

What they’re saying: “AB 2392 ensures we safeguard our Sikh community’s right to practice their religious expression freely, while also protecting their and other motorcyclists’ safety on California’s roads,” Soria said. 

  • Sukhdev Cheema and Rajwinderpal Sing, officers of the Sikh Council of Central California, added, “Freedom of religion is a fundamental right and the Sikh Council of Central California is happy to work with the California legislature to support this bill that will allow Sikh motorcyclists to fully express their faith while celebrating their California dream.” 
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