Gov. Parson signs bill repealing helmet law

News
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ST. LOUIS – Some motorcyclists in Missouri will no longer be required to wear a helmet beginning August 28, 2020.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson signed House Bill 1963 inside the capitol Tuesday afternoon, repealing Missouri helmet laws.

“The governor signed a bill we’ve been waiting on for 39 years,” said Joe Widmer, legislative coordinator for Freedom of Road Riders.

The bill stated, “Any qualified motorcycle operator who is twenty-six years of age or older may operate a motorcycle or motor tricycle upon any highway of this state without  wearing protective headgear if he or she in addition to maintaining proof of financial responsibility in accordance with chapter 303, is covered by a health insurance policy or other forms of insurance which will provide the person with medical benefits for injuries  incurred as a result of an accident while operating or riding on a motorcycle or motor tricycle.”

Under those provisions,  motorcycle riders do not need to keep a helmet on while they are riding through Missouri and the change also means law enforcement can’t pull over motorcyclists just to check to see if they are following the new helmet laws.

Riders with instructional permits must still wear helmets.

“The riders should have the opportunity to choose how they want to ride and have a right to choose if they want to wear a helmet or not, we’re not trying to advocate that nobody should wear one, we are advocating for freedom of choice here,” said Tony Shepherd, lobbyist for ABATE for Missouri.

Cathy Chase, president for Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety released a statement after Governor Parson signed the bill Tuesday.

The statement said in part, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates) along with a coalition of Missouri-based health and safety experts and organizations provided research, facts, and figures to try to prevent this outcome, and we are gravely disappointed by the Governor’s ill-advised decision.  Common sense was sidelined by the agenda of a vocal minority with a mantra of “let those who ride decide” instead of keeping roads safe, not further over-burdening emergency rooms, and ultimately “letting those who pay have a say.”  Public health and fiscal sense took a back seat today.”

The statement went on to say, “the Governor’s decision is especially disappointing given overwhelming evidence showing the safety benefits of motorcycle helmet use – with the risk of head injury reduced by 69 percent and risk of death lowered by 42 percent.”

Shepherd said he knows not everyone is for the bill he’s been pushing for, for decades.

“There’s been a ton of people for it and against it – your lawyers, doctors, hospitals, we’ve had insurance companies testify against it,” he said.

However, Shepherd said Governor Parson’s signature on House Bill 1963 is also a win for the tourism industry, so motorcyclists don’t travel around Missouri to avoid the soon-to-be-former helmet requirement.

“He’s made a lot of motorcyclists not only in Missouri but around the nation really happy, for tourism dollars, being able to travel through Missouri now a lot less restrictions,” he said.

The addition of repealing helmet laws onto House Bill 1963 was a buzzer-beater. Widmer said this section of the bill was added on the last day of the session.

House Bill 1963 consists of much more than the new helmet law. It also includes the following, to highlight a few:

Bans eminent domain in regard to a “tube transport system”

A public right-of-way necessary for the expansion of Interstate 70 cannot be materially impeded by or transferred to a public-private partnership for the purpose of constructing a tube transport system.

“The portion of State Highway 7 from County Road 221 West continuing to Calvird Drive in the city of Clinton in Henry County shall be designated as “Police Officer Christopher Ryan Morton Memorial Highway”.”

“The portion of State Highway 13 from State Highway 52 West continuing 2 to Calvird Drive in the city of Clinton in Henry County shall be designated as “Police 3 Officer Gary Lee Michael, Jr. Memorial Highway”.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.

Popular

Latest News

More News