Missouri House Considers Motorcycle Helmet Law Change

Published 05/01 2014 05:46PM

Updated 05/01 2014 07:20PM

CARTHAGE, MO.--- You could start seeing more motorcyclist on the roadways without a helmet. The Missouri House is favoring a bill that would allow people 21 and older to choose whether or not they want to wear a helmet. As you can imagine, this issue is controversial.

"Currently, all motorcycle riders in the State of Missouri have to wear a helmet while they're riding a motorcycle, even if they're from out of state and they come into Missouri, they have to have a helmet on," said Cpt. Derek Walrod, Jasper County Sheriff Office. 

Jasper County law enforcement tell us it's a $25 fine if motorcyclist are caught riding without a helmet.

"I've been on several accidents in my 18 years and I've seen people walk away from motorcycle accidents, that if they weren't wearing a helmet, I don't think they would've," said Cpt. Walrod. 

Those in favor of the law believe it's their right to choose whether or not to wear a helmet.

"If we want to get serious about safety, there's a whole lot of other things that should be coming first on this, but it's just a freedom deal," said Carl Palm, Motorcyclist. 

Carl Palm considers himself to be an experienced motorcycle rider. He says bike riders should be required to take a safety courses, but not wear protective gear. 

"I think if you're paying taxes, you ought to be able to make the decision. If you're supporting stuff, paying for the roads and stuff, you ought to be able to make that decision," said Palm. 

He also believes alcohol and drugs should be combated when it comes to keeping the roads safe.

"You drive a truck, you have to take a drug test. I think driving any vehicle, you have to take a drug test. Mandatory drug testing, to make sure the roads are safe," said Palm. 

People who oppose the potential new law say helmets help save lives, just like wearing a seat belt.

"Statistically, in traffic accidents involving motorcycles, the ones that wear a helmet have a better survival rate and less injuries compared to those who do not wear a helmet," said Cpt. Walrod. 

The issue still needs another vote by the Missouri House before going to the Senate. Lawmakers have until May 16th to make a decision.   

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