TN legislation proposes changes to motorcycle helmet law

11:51 AM, Feb 25, 2013   |    comments
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Later this week, lawmakers in Nashville will get the chance to vote on two bills that would allow some motorcyclists in the state to ride without a helmet.

Identical bills in the House and Senate would allow riders 21-and-up not to wear crash helmets. Currently, everyone in the state has to wear one.

Motorcyclist Tony Haasch said he supports the measure.

"If you're going to be riding wrecklessly, then yeah, wear a helmet, but for the days that you want to ride around the city, just to cruise, what's the point?" he said.

More Information: SB1143/HB0894 Motorcyclist Liberty Restoration Act

However, AAA said it is against the move. It said other states have not fared well when they have changed their helmet laws.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Kentucky saw motorcycle injuries increase by 37 percent in the two years after it changed its law.

"Other states who have weakened their motorcycle helmet law have seen a greater loss of life, [and] a greater cost to society," said AAA spokesperson Stephanie Milani.

Biker Charlie Holbrook agrees.

"Without [a helmet], my son would be dead," he said. "He was wearing [a helmet] when he hit a car at about 80 miles per hour, and lived through it."

Transportation committees in the House and Senate will vote on the measures Wednesday.

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