NILES – Indiana and Michigan may share a border, but for people who ride motorcycles the laws make the two places feel like different worlds.
Marc Milhander with Kar Club in Niles said it was evident.
"When I first started seeing people park at the state line and either taking a helmet off or putting one on, it took me a while to get used to that scene," said Milhander. "It simply looked weird."
Michigan's helmet law had been on the books since the 1960s. That's when states were required to enforce a helmet law. Otherwise the states would lose federal transportation dollars.
Now, Michigan is the 31st state to give motorcyclists a choice to wear a helmet or not.
"The freedom to choose is important to people," said Milhander.
"While many motorcyclists will continue to wear helmets, those who choose not to deserve the latitude to make their own informed judgments as long as they meet the requirements of this new law," said Gov. Rick Snyder in a news release.
Drivers will be allowed to ride helmet free if they are older than 21, carry $20,000 in additional Insurance and passed a Motorcycle Safety Course or have the equivalent of two years riding experience.
"It's not going to change for me," said Milhander, "But for a lot of people the choice will mean change."
"They will report greater enjoyment riding a motorcycle because they're not required to wear a helmet," he said.