Joplin police notice more motorcycle riders not wearing helmets - KOAM TV 7

Joplin police notice more motorcycle riders not wearing helmets

Motorcycle helmet laws vary from state to state.  But in Missouri, anyone of any age needs to be wearing their helmet.  Joplin police, though, think some motorcycle drivers have been confused with this law.

When Brandy Donnelly and her husband travel through different states, they do some research on helmet laws.

"As a responsible driver, you have to make sure you're going to follow all the states' laws," says Donnelly.

But curiosity, overall, is definitely "thumping" (just like the sound of a Harley-Davidson) at the doors of many motorcycle dealers.

"We've been getting a lot of phone calls and a lot of questions from people coming in about the helmet law in Missouri," says Paul Richardson with Hideout Harley-Davidson in Joplin.

The reason?

"It's actually people from Missouri.  But there are so many lies that are propagated on the internet, that people believe everything they see there.  Like I'm a French model," says Richardson.

"There was a lot of talk of the helmet law being repealed in Missouri over the last legislative session.  That did not occur," says Sergeant Rusty Rives with the Joplin Police Department.

So in Missouri, police are still saying "show me" you're wearing your certified helmet, or face a traffic citation.  But in Oklahoma, Kansas and Arkansas, there's more leniency.

"If I had a choice, I would obviously say no helmets.  Because I can enjoy the ride much better," says Donnelly.

"As a police department, we're always focusing on safety.  We know that wearing seat belts, wearing helmets does increase rider safety and driver safety.  So we're always going to focus on that.  Obviously we don't make the laws.  That comes down from other places.  But we'll always focus on the side of safety," says Rives.

To find the rules and regulations of motorcycle riding in your state, log on to the state's department of transportation website.  

Joplin police say there's been one motorcycle driver fatality so far this year, and 13 crashes involving motorcycles so far this year.

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