What Are the Helmet Laws in Missouri

Some Missourians will be able to ride their motorcycles without helmets starting Friday. Gov. Mike Parson (R) signed a bill in July giving Missouri motorcyclists the ability to ride without helmets. As part of the 2020 revision of Missouri`s motorcycle helmet laws, Missouri moved from a primary state of application to a secondary state of application. This means that an officer can`t stop you just because you`re not wearing a helmet. However, if you are arrested for another offence and do not wear a helmet, you could be ticketed. READ: One Year Later: Missouri Affected by Reduced Motorcycle Helmet Requirements Under a revised law that went into effect in 2020, only two categories of motorcyclists are required to wear a helmet: If you`re involved in an accident, wearing a motorcycle helmet can show that you`ve taken precautions to stay safe and avoid injury. This can make a difference in a state like Missouri, which uses comparative negligence to attribute damages. On the other hand, if the motorcyclist follows all other traffic rules, an officer or soldier cannot stop the motorcyclist simply because he is not wearing a helmet.

In late August 2020, a new motorcycle helmet law went into effect in Missouri. The bill went into effect after Governor Mike Parson signed it. Until the end of last summer, all motorcyclists had to wear a helmet or similar protective helmet. However, under the provisions of the new law, motorcyclists aged 26 and over have the choice of whether or not to wear a helmet. To ride without a helmet, riders must purchase health insurance to cover their treatment if they suffer a head injury in a motorcycle accident. In practice, however, it would be very difficult for the police to know which drivers without helmets have health insurance and which do not. The police can`t stop you just because you`re not wearing a helmet and ask you for proof of age and insurance. If they stop you for any other reason, such as driving too fast or running over a stop sign, they may ask you to provide proof that you are eligible to drive without a helmet and fine you if you don`t have or provide it. ● Reduced health insurance coverage: If you`re trying to make an insurance claim for an accident, your insurance company may reduce your payment if you`re not wearing a helmet. Not wearing a helmet is considered negligence and partly blames you for your injury, even if you didn`t cause the accident. Even more troubling is the fact that the cost of treating motorcycle injuries in Texas and Arkansas increased after the helmet was removed.

The repeal resulted in more complicated injuries that required more complex treatment. Helmet law experts say laws like Missouri`s amount to having no law at all. Law enforcement officials cannot use them to determine a motorcyclist`s age, driver`s license status, or health insurance status. Instead, they must stop them. That same year, Missouri passed a universal helmet law requiring all motorcyclists and passengers to wear helmets. ● Increased risk of death: Those who suffer head injuries as a result of an accident while wearing a helmet are much less likely to die than those who do not. Helmets can save your life. If you are over 26 and have health insurance, you are not required by law to ride or drive with a helmet. However, your health insurance must be able to cover your medical expenses in the event of a head injury from a motorcycle accident. Exemptions from pension and health insurance only apply to drivers with a full driving licence.

Members of the group from across the state travel to Jefferson City each year to ask lawmakers to support the helmet repeal. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that motorcycle helmets reduce the risk of death by 37% and the risk of head injuries by 69%. Wearing a helmet just makes sense; However, some perceive this as a violation of their rights. Others believe it will make them safer. Prior to 2020, Missouri enforced a universal helmet law as part of a federal highway funding law, meaning anyone riding a motorcycle on a state highway must wear a helmet. However, in 2020, Missouri revised that law to stipulate that some riders may be exempt from wearing helmets under certain circumstances. ● Increased risk of injury: If there is an accident and you are not wearing a helmet, you are much more likely to suffer brain damage. The skull is often the first thing to touch the ground, and it is one of the most fragile parts of your body. Even if you have statutory health insurance, you can suffer permanent disability and ongoing medical expenses for the rest of your life if you have a motorcycle accident without a helmet. The Missouri legislature took another step to gut the helmet requirement.

Under the revised law, Missouri police officers and highway patrol officers cannot wear anyone because they don`t wear helmets. This transforms Missouri from a primary executing state to a secondary executing state. Filed Under: Crime / Courts, Health / Medicine, Legislation, News, Transport Tagged with: Highway and Car Safety Lawyers, Christopher Ryan Morton, Clinton, Freedom of Road Drivers, Gary Lee Michael, House Bill 1963, Missouri Governor Mike Parson, Missouri`s Motorcycle Helmet Act, Nixa, State Rep. Jered Taylor In addition, RSMo. 302 026 offers drivers and passengers over the age of 26 not to wear a helmet if they are covered by health insurance or other insurance that provides medical benefits to the person for injuries sustained as a result of an accident while driving or operating a motorcycle or tricycle. In other words, operators and passengers over the age of 26 are not required by law to wear a helmet if they have health insurance. Choosing to wear a helmet can do more than just protect your health. It can also be helpful to claim your bodily injury. Some of the largest and most permanent declines in fatalities and serious injuries are due to stricter safety laws. Driving was a more dangerous activity before the 1980s. Drunk driving laws enacted during this period have resulted in a sharp decrease in the number of drunk driving crashes and related injuries and fatalities. Similarly, the national requirement that seat belts be a standard feature in cars has prevented many fatalities and reduced the severity of injuries caused by many car accidents.

While laws are under discussion, Missouri drivers can get a ticket if they don`t fasten their seat belts, but police can`t put you on just because you`re not wearing them. For example, if you are stopped by police for speeding and you are not wearing a seat belt, you could receive two speeding tickets, one for speeding and one for violating the Seat Belt Act. The result of these relaxed laws is that few steps are taken to ensure compliance and enforcement is minimal. Law enforcement officials cannot determine a motorcyclist`s age, driver`s license status, or health insurance status without stopping them for another traffic violation. Despite the lack of law enforcement, wearing a helmet when riding a motorcycle is still paramount. Many legal and security considerations are discussed below. Missouri`s new motorcycle helmet law became official after several years of discussions among lawmakers and at least one previous bill that failed to pass. Missouri lawmakers who support the bill, such as Rep. Jered Taylor, say it is a matter of personal freedom to allow motorcyclists to choose when to wear helmets and when to ride without helmets. The new law had many opponents, especially professionals in the health and insurance industries. Opponents of the new law argued that it would increase insurance costs because insurance companies would have to pay to treat catastrophic injuries that could have been avoided if the patient had worn a helmet. Doctors have warned that relaxing motorcycle helmet requirements could lead to a sharp rise in the number of deaths.

Another criticism of the bill is that serious injuries from motorcycle accidents without helmets would be a burden on taxpayers because they would render injured people unable to work. The answer is no, not everyone needs to wear a helmet in the state of Missouri. There is significant evidence that motorcycle helmets are effective in preventing injuries and deaths. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that helmets saved the lives of 1,872 motorcyclists in 2017. In 1967, Missouri enacted a universal helmet law requiring every person riding a motorcycle or driving as a passenger to wear a helmet when traveling on Missouri highways. Conversely, a guilty driver might take advantage of the fact that you`re not wearing a helmet, and they might try to use you to characterize you as negligent. This means that motorcyclists who suffered serious head injuries while wearing helmets were fatal without helmets. Only people with minor or moderate injuries survived without a helmet. Although Missouri law has become more relaxed when it comes to helmet enforcement, riders should still wear a helmet if possible. While we always appreciate choice, it is a simple fact that the number of deaths and injuries in motorcycle accidents has increased significantly as a result of the change in the law.

Also, many motorcycle accidents involving helmetless riders end in death or traumatic brain injury – this is not an outcome you want.