MISSOURI — New legislation signed by Governor Mike Parson may have you seeing many more motorcyclists riding without their helmets.
This legislation means motorcyclists 26 and over can ride without their helmets as long as they have health insurance.
On Tuesday, the Governor signed House Bill 1963, allowing Missouri motorcyclists who meet certain requirements to ride without head protection.
Joe Karr, Freedom of Road Riders, said, “If you are 26 or older with health insurance and a motorcycle endorsement on your licence, you can operate a motorcycle or motor tricycle in the state of Missouri without a helmet.”
Those with instructional permits must still wear their helmets.
The bill is getting attention from both sides–some say this allows them to enforce their freedom of choice, others are saying helmets are a must when riding a bike.
“We call this a win. We’re not anti-helmet. We’re not anti-without helmet, we’re not for or against it, we just want freedom of choice to do what we as adults are comfortable doing.”
Dan Haskins, Riding Academy Manager, Hideout Harley-Davidson, said, “We’re all about making safe changes for riders to change statistics to be safer as a community. I know there’s been state pushes for to reduce the number of serious injuries in fatality crashes in the state of Missouri and I think this was a step in the opposite direction.”
Statistically speaking, wearing your helmet does lessen the likelihood of a motorcycle crash being fatal.
Cpt. William Davis, Joplin Police Dept., said, “And just like a seat-belt, it may not be one of those devices that saves a life 100% of the time, but it has been proven to be effective in reducing fatality rates and serious injury rates.”
This new legislation goes into effect on August 28th.
This change also means law enforcement will not be able to pull over motorcyclists to check if they are following helmet laws.