State transportation officials say motorcycle crash fatalities in Missouri have increased since the Legislature repealed the state’s helmet law.
State Department of Transportation (MoDOT) highway safety program administrator Scott Jones says Missouri has seen 116 motorcyclists killed in crashes since January. That’s a 29 percent increase over the same time last year and is almost equal to the total motorcycle fatality numbers for all of 2020, which was 118.
Governor Parson signed the helmet repeal law in August 2020. The law says Missouri motorcyclists ages 26 and older can ride without a helmet, if they have medical insurance and proof of financial responsibility.
The issue was discussed at this week’s Missouri traffic safety conference in Columbia.
Mr. Jones says Missouri has seen a 700 percent increase in unhelmeted motorcyclist fatalities this year to date compared to last year to date.
The numbers are 64 versus 5. Jones also says that in 2020, 17 of the 19 unhelmeted fatalities in the 26 and older age group occurred after August 28 of last year, which is when the helmet repeal law took effect.
Supporters of the motorcycle helmet repeal say it’s an issue of freedom. Opponents say helmet laws save lives.