Motorcycle helmet repeal likely dead for 2008
By Marshall Griffin, KWMU
Jefferson City, MO – With just over 48 hours left in the 2008 legislative session, the Missouri Senate spent most of the afternoon debating a bill that would exempt those 21 and older from the state's motorcycle helmet law.
The bill was sponsored by State Senator Luann Ridgeway (R, Smithville). She says adults should be free to choose whether they want to wear a helmet, and that helmet use does not guarantee safety.
"Right here, the senator from Howell (County) (Republican Chuck Purgason), his son was injured last week on an ATV...he had his helmet on...it still didn't stop the injury, and we don't even mandate it for that," Ridgeway said.
But State Senator Joan Bray (D, St. Louis) called it a bad bill.
"In fact, motorcyclist fatalities are rising fastest among motorcycle riders over age 40, that's who's getting hurt the most," Bray said.
Bray and fellow Democrat Chuck Graham of Columbia threatened to filibuster the bill if it was not withdrawn.
After nearly three hours of debate, Ridgeway asked that the bill be laid aside, effectively killing it for this year.
Several amendments were offered as a means of attempting to slow down or kill the bill, including one that would have required House Speaker Rod Jetton to wear a helmet in the hallways of the Capitol the rest of the week.
That amendment failed.