Missouri House approves bill to repeal helmet law - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Missouri House approves bill to repeal helmet law

The Missouri House approved a bill that would make a helmet optional for motorcycle riders over the age of 21. The Missouri House approved a bill that would make a helmet optional for motorcycle riders over the age of 21.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - It will be left up to the Missouri Senate to decide if motorcyclists in the state should be allowed to ride without a helmet.

The house has already approved House Bill 523 by a vote of 97-57.

The bill would allow riders to go with out a helmet if they are over the age of 21 and if they carry proof of medical insurance that would cover $50,000 worth of injuries.

Motorcyclists in Missouri have been required to wear a helmet since 1967, but if passed, this bill would do away with that law.

Some riders like Rick Sinclair say it is common sense to wear a helmet.

Sinclair wears his as a safety precaution.

"I've had a tire go down on me one time doing 70 miles per hour and had to stop pretty quick," Sinclair said. "I could've been injured seriously. Thankfully my wife and dog weren't on the bike with me at the time. I've not been in an accident but I wear a helmet just in case."

However, Sinclair is not in support of a law that requires riders to put a helmet on.

"The helmet laws are a little intrusive," Sinclair said. "In my opinion, it should be left up to personal decision on whether or not your want to wear helmets or not. I personally do wear a helmet. I think it's a very poor choice not to wear a helmet but I still think it should be left up to the individual."

Opponents of the bill say it is a safety concern.

According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a motorcyclist is 16 times more likely to die in a crash than an automobile driver.

However, wearing a helmet reduces that risk by nearly one third.

Of the Heartland states, only Missouri and Tennessee require all riders to wear a helmet.

The bill is scheduled for a senate hearing on Wednesday.

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