Governor Rick Snyder signed legislation Thursday that gives motorcyclists in Michigan the option of wearing a helmet.

The bill, sponsored by state Senator Phil Pavlov, gives motorcyclists the choice of wearing a helmet, if they are at least 21-years-old, carry additional insurance, have passed a motorcycle safety course, or have had their motorcycle endorsement for at least two years. Motorcycle passengers who want to go without a helmet also must be 21 or older and carry additional insurance as well.

Snyder said "while many motorcyclists will continue to wear helmets, those who choose not to deserve the latitude to make their own informed judgements as long as they meet the requirements of this new law." He added "there is no substitute for proper training, education and awareness when it comes to operating any motor vehicle. We must continue working together to keep our roads safe by making sure that everyone who gets behind the wheel of a car or on a motorcycle has the proper skills."

Michigan, which is now the 31st state to give motorcyclists the option, originally implemented its helmet-use law in 1967 to comply with the U.S. Department of Transportation requirement for federal funds. That requirement is no longer in place. With the change, Michigan joins the Great Lakes states of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Pennsylvania that have repealed or amended helmet-use laws to give riders the choice.