Missouri House endorses repeal of motorcycle helmet law
March 16, 2007
Filed under Features
Missouri state House members are working to repeal Missouri’s mandatory helmet law for most adult motorcyclists.
The House gave initial approval March 14 by voice vote to legislation that would allow people age 21 and older to ride motorcycles without helmets. Another vote would send the bill to the Senate.
“It’s time Missourians make the decision whether they want to wear a helmet or not,” said sponsoring Rep. Gary Dusenberg (R-Blue Springs), a former Missouri State Highway Patrol officer who says he often enforced laws with which he personally disagreed. “The government should not make this decision for Missourians over the age of 21.”
But Republican Rep. Rob Schaaf, a physician from St. Joseph, said repealing the helmet requirement would impose costs on society through the extensive medical care required of helmet-lacking riders who suffer injuries.
Representatives defeated Schaaf’s amendment that would have prohibited state money from covering for the medical care of motorcyclists injured in accidents while not wearing helmets.
“When we pass this bill, as a result of it, people are going to die,” Schaaf said.
Missouri is one of 20 states that currently require helmets for all motorcycle riders.