JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KFVS) – Governor Mike Parson signed a bill into law on Tuesday, July 14, part of which repeals Missouri’s all-rider motorcycle helmet law.
House Bill 1963 covered several transportation provisions, including repealing the helmet law to require only people under the age of 26, or older than 26 and driving it with a permit, to wear a helmet when riding in or driving a motorcycle or motor tricycle.
It stated qualified operators who are 26 or older don’t have to wear a helmet if he or she is covered by health insurance, and law enforcement cannot pull over riders to check if they are following helmet laws.
The bill states:
“Currently, every person operating or riding a motorcycle or motortricycle is required to wear protective headgear (Sections 302.020 and 302.026). This bill provides that persons under the age of 26 who are operating or riding as a passenger on a motorcycle or motortricycle shall wear a helmet when the vehicle is in motion. Similarly, a person who is 26 or older, is operating a motorcycle or motortricycle, and who has been issued an instruction permit shall wear a helmet when the vehicle is in motion. No political subdivision of the state shall impose a protective headgear requirement on the operator or passenger of a motorcycle or motortricycle. No person shall be stopped, inspected, or detained solely to determine compliance with these provisions (Section 302.020.2). The bill also provides that qualified operators who are 26 or older may operate a motorcycle or motortricycle without a helmet if he or she is covered by a health insurance policy or other form of insurance which will provide the person with medical benefits for injuries incurred as a result of a motorcycle or motortricycle accident. Proof of such coverage shall be provided on request of law enforcement by showing a copy of the qualified operator’s insurance card. No person shall be stopped, inspected, or detained solely to determine compliance with these provisions (Section 302.026).”
Cathy Chase, the president for Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, released a statement on Tuesday on the bill’s passage.
She said in part: “Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates) along with a coalition of Missouri-based health and safety experts and organizations provided research, facts and figures to try to prevent this outcome, and we are gravely disappointed by the Governor’s ill-advised decision.”
Chase cited the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in saying, “In 2018, there were nine times as many unhelmeted fatalities in states without a universal helmet law compared to states with one.”
House Bill 1963 was sponsored by Representative Travis Fitzwater. It goes into effect on August 28.