Helmet Laws Could Loosen

1 decade 2 years 9 months ago Tuesday, April 10 2007 Apr 10, 2007 Tuesday, April 10, 2007 9:59:15 PM CDT April 10, 2007 in News
Senate bill 255 would put the decision of whether to wear a helmet in the hands of the riders. Currently, all motorcyclists in Missouri older than 21 must wear a helmet.

"In my mind, it's simply a freedom of choice issue," Sen. Bill Stouffer, of Napton, said. "I don't think it's right for the majority to impose something onto the minority that they wouldn't do themselves."

Proponents of the bill said they feel requiring helmet use only for motorcyclists is unfair because six of the eight states surrounding Missouri do not require helmets.

Opponents of the bill agree that the few inches of padding found in helmets can mean the difference between life and death.

"We're trying to look after all the people of the state of Missouri, and I think that once we start down this road with disallowing helmets, I'm not sure what could happen, but we're trying to improve our road safety," Sen. Rita Heard Days, of St. Louis, said.

Days said several states had to repeal similar laws allowing motorcyclists to go helmetless after death rates rose by 100 percent. If passed, the helmet free bill will go into effect Aug. 28 of this year.

Reported by Matt Zellner

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