I always wear a helmet and boots while riding. Pants are a must on a ride aswell. Wearing shorts I have suffered to many burns fron exhaust pipes. I really like the thought of a chest protector but the comfort is not all that great for an all day trail ride.
Me personally at 30 its my choice and I should not be required to wear safety equipment by law. I think the seat belt laws for adults are foolish. Kids on the otherhand should always wear a HELMET at the bare minimum. My son always has one on when he puts around the yard and when we go on a ride he wears a helmet, boots and a chest protector. Pants and long sleeves awell. He can decide what he wants to wear when he is an adult responsible for his safety