Change in Missouri motorcycle helmet law heads to governor’s desk

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Some motorcyclists are hoping Gov. Mike Parson will sign legislation that would result in a partial repeal of the state’s motorcycle helmet law.

The legislation was approved Friday and would allow fully licensed motorcycle drivers 26 years of age and older to drive without a helmet if they have health insurance. Passengers would still be required to wear a helmet.

State Rep. Shane Roden (R-Cedar Hill) was one of several lawmakers pushing to change the helmet requirement. He said too many bikers avoid Missouri and spend money in other states so they can avoid Missouri’s helmet requirements. He said even when bike rallies take place in the state some bikers avoid Missouri.

“So all that money is being spent over in other states,” Roden said.

The legislation still requires the governor’s signature. Gov. Parson has indicated it’s too soon to say if he will sign the legislation.

Safety groups have opposed lifting helmet restrictions. They say helmets help save lives, reduce injuries and would keep insurance costs from rising.

During testimony before a House committee earlier this year, MoDOT director Patrick McKenna spoke against a similar proposal.

“MoDOT, alongside highway safety partners across the state, have opposed helmet repeal legislation since the early 2000s on the grounds that helmets have proven to save lives and prevent brain injuries,“ he said.

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