CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - If you ride a motorcycle in Missouri, many riders are no longer required to wear a helmet.
“I’m not really for it,” said Frank Stoffregen, owner of Classic Cycles.
The new law that repeals Missouri’s existing helmet law. Now, riders 26 and older with a license and health insurance are no longer required to wear one.
“I’ve never liked the government telling me I have to do something, on the other hand common sense tells you that you should wear a helmet,” he said.
Younger riders, and young adults with a permit will still need to wear a helmet.
Stoffregen said he knows firsthand how important it is to keep riders of all ages protected.
“Many people have accidents and even my grandson had an accident a few weeks ago on a motorcycle; went over the handlebars and it would have been a different outcome if he hadn’t worn a helmet,” he said.
We reached out to Cape Girardeau neurosurgeon Donald Scleicher to get his take on the new law.
“Whenever a rider sustains an accident that is unhelmeted, the risk of injury is significantly higher; not necessarily because of the way the accident happened. just because of the amount of protection that the rider doesn’t have anymore,” he said.
According to the CDC, helmets reduce the risk of head injuries by 69 percent. Dr. Scleicher said you’re taking a big risk when don’t wear one.
“During my training at Cook County Hospital that does not have a motorcycle helmet law, whenever a patient would come in after a motorcycle accident going 60 miles or over the fatality rate was always 100 percent,” he said.
As for Stoffregen, he wondered how long this new law will stand.
“If we’re paying for a lot of peoples’ injuries that shouldn’t have had an accident to start with, then they’ll change the law again,” he said.