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New Bill to Repeal Missouri Helmet Law Moves Forward in State Ho - KOAM TV 7

New Bill to Repeal Missouri Helmet Law Moves Forward in State House

Updated:
A bill to repeal Missouri's motorcycle helmet law has local lawmakers at odds.

State Representative Charlie Davis rides a motorcycle and says he always wears a helmet, but believes Missouri would benefit from rider tourism dollars like Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas which don't require helmets.

Opponents say debilitating head injuries cost taxpayers. The CDC reports injuries cost $12 billion alone in 2005 in hospital bills. Joplin representative Bill White says there's also the loss of an injured rider's ability to work.

Davis says the bill adds a requirement for non-helmet wearers to have proof of a personal medical insurance policy of at least $50,000, but argues government shouldn't control everything.

"There are more people with brain injuries because of bicycles than motorcycles, yet the state of Missouri does not require bicyclists to wear helmets. Children riding skateboards or roller blades have more head injuries than do motorcycle riders. So at what point do we decide it's not the government's responsibility to continue to tell us how we have to live our lives,” says Davis.

White says "My wife is a neurosurgeon, Dr. Nichols, I don't think anybody has ever talked to her and said  after someone's been in there with a brain injury and they haven't had a helmet on, 'oh we're so glad he had the freedom to do this.' When it becomes personal it's different. I don't think this is a freedom, issue. I think it's a dollars and cents issue."

There have been several similar pushes to change Missouri's helmet law over the years, but the governor has regularly vetoed the bills.
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