The other afternoon, I was taking an evening coastal moped ride with my wife. It's something we often do together, especially in the fall.

After watching the sunset, my wife and I hopped back on the scooter to head home.

Quickly she said to me, "Hey! Put your sunglasses on, it's a law." I quickly rebutted and said something along the lines of, "Live free or die, honey, and it's dark out. I'm not putting on sunglasses."

She repeated, "It's the law."


I am newer to the two-wheel community. No, I do not have a motorcycle (yet), but I am an avid moped driver. It dawned on me that I did not know the exact law.

It turns out that she was right and I was wrong...kind of.

In New Hampshire, yes, the "Live Free or Die" state, it is illegal to ride a motorcycle without eye protection, according to a Biker Shades article.

There is a small stipulation. If your bike has a windscreen, eye protection is not necessary.

Motorcycle riding
Getty Images

Now, I get it. I have rocks, tiny leaves, etc. fall into my eye while driving my moped, and it is certainly dangerous. But so is driving without a seatbelt. This law blows my mind in a state where the motto is "Live Free or Die".

Perhaps I would not be blown away if the same law was applicable across the country, but it is not.

According to a Fales Law article, drivers and passengers on motorcycles do NOT have to wear eye protection in Maine.

So you can "Live Free or Die" in New Hampshire, but make sure to wear goggles while on a bike. Or you can vacation in "Vacationland" Maine, with the freedom to let the wind flap in your eyelids.

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