Helmet Laws – The Never Ending Story


We’re smack dab in the middle of a new legislative season, and lawmakers across the country continue to debate the pros and cons of helmet laws.
In Arkansas, a bill that would’ve required riders to wear helmets or otherwise show proof of $10,000 worth of health-insurance coverage last month stalled for the second time in the Senate Transportation Committee.

In Illinois, legislation requiring helmets for motorcyclists recently failed by a vote of 14-42 in the Senate.

In Maryland, lawmakers continue to debate a proposal that would make helmets no longer required for drivers 21 and older who have been riding for two years or passed a motorcycle safety course.

In Tennessee, a bill repealing the helmet law died for a lack of a second in aHouse subcommittee.

In West Virginia, a bill proposing to repeal the mandatory helmet law died in the Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The bill called for a rider to carry proof of $25,000 in insurance coverage, up $15,000 from the original amount. Nevertheless, the committee voted it down after doctors from trauma centers from all over the state said that normally the average cost of head injury trauma services would be around $200,000.

In Missouri, the state Senate last month voted to allow people at least 21 years old to ride a motorcycle without wearing a helmet when not traveling on an interstate highway. However, it seems to be a test. The helmet provision has a sunset clause by which the law expires in five years.

In Louisiana, a Senator has filed two bills to repeal the state’s motorcycle helmet requirement for adults: one that would repeal the mandate for anyone age 18 or older, another that would get rid of the requirement for riders age 21 or older. While Gov. Bobby Jindal reportedly supports a repeal, we have yet to see how legislators feels.

Finally, in Maine, two bills to tighten up the motorcycle helmet law are being discussed. One bill would require anyone under 18 who is operating or riding on a motorcycle to wear a helmet. The present law applies to those under 15. The measure won a second vote of approval without debate Thursday and still faces further House and Senate votes.

A second bill calling for a helmet law applying to all riders and operators remains in the Senate Transportation Committee.

April is “Check Your Helmet” month.

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One Response to “Helmet Laws – The Never Ending Story”

  1. LinxStreet Scooters Says:

    I still haven’t decided how I feel about helmets. I usually wear one when I ride a scooter or a motorcycle, but I usually go without on my moped and my motorized bicycle. I’ve seen them save lives at high speeds, but I have also seen them cause injuries at low speeds. My wife still prefers for me to wear a helmet anytime I am on 2 wheels though.

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