State of Missouri to Change Helmet Law
Many people who think about motorcycle safety would assume that wearing a helmet is the safest thing you can do to protect yourself, especially in an accident. Protective helmets have saved many lives in motorcycle accidents, and so it seems like a no brainer that wearing a helmet while riding should be required. The state of Missouri has had a Universal Helmet Law, dating back to 1967. Just recently there has been a push by many to get the law repealed.
Why not wear a helmet?
Motorcycle helmet safety is different from state to state, as everyone has their own laws. There are currently 28 states in the nation that have optional helmet laws, which is why bikers are pushing to add Missouri to the list. Motorcycle rider and enthusiast, Brad Bryant, has been riding his bike since the 70's and always wears a full-face helmet. This is because it is the law in Missouri. If the law allowed for optional helmet use then he said might not wear the full helmet, depending on the situation. Taking a simple ride up the street to get gas might not require the need for a helmet, but bikers should have the choice.
Missouri Reps to vote soon
State Representative Eric Burlison wants to repeal the current helmet law, and has been trying to for the past several years. It has never passed, so it is uncertain if it will pass this time around. It will likely come before the Missouri House of Representatives in the coming weeks. Although there have been service announcements by the Missouri State Highway Patrol regarding drivers being aware of motorcyclists on the road, this doesn't mean that accidents don't happen. Doctors and other healthcare providers believe the law should remain the same because all it does it save lives. Still, two individuals have been killed in Springfield, Missouri already in 2016. Both were involved in motorcycle accidents where they were wearing a helmet. The new bill would give riders 21 years and older the option to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle.
Helmets do save more lives
Lucas Forest can account for this statement. He believes that there is no question that wearing a helmet saved his life in what could have been a tragic accident. He believes it should just be common sense to wear a helmet, however many people think, an accident won't happen to me. Just because you are a good, responsible motorcyclist doesn't mean there are those other crazy drivers on the road who could cause an accident. Forest says he is thankful to be alive and will always continue to wear a helmet. Many of his biker friends believe the helmet law in Missouri takes away their freedom, which he understands, but will always be an advocate for wearing a helmet when riding.
What do you think about wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle? Should it be required by the state, or should bikers have the freedom to choose? Let us know in the comments!