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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — There’s enough support in a North Carolina House committee to limit the state’s motorcycle helmet requirement to just those people under age 21.

The House transportation panel agreed Tuesday to give adults the option to ride without a helmet if they have had a motorcycle license for a year, completed a safety course and have insurance covering $10,000 in medical benefits.

Violators would face a small fine.

Bill sponsor Rep. John Torbett of Gaston County says he’s a motorcyclist who considers helmets a freedom of choice issue. Torbett said data suggests that wearing helmets does not result in improved safety.

AAA Carolinas spokesman Tom Crosby disagrees. His group says the change will lead to more injuries and medical costs.

The bill now goes to another House committee.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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23 Comments on "NC panel OKs optional motorcycle helmet for adults"

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2015 years 11 months ago

Seat belts…do they have to wear seat belts?
If someone wants to ride a motorcycle without a helmet…it’s their head…nobody will hurt their skull cap but them…unless it’s splattered brains on the road you all are worried about.

2015 years 11 months ago

Many people feel their rights are abused with mandatory safety measures like helmets and seat belts but the overall public good must also be considered. Being involved in an accident often times involves several vehicles with many people involved. The emotions and lasting guilt of an accident often fall on people and cause mental stresses. Knowing that you caused a person to be killed or damaged for life is also a factor to be considered. Helmets and seat belts save lives. Not wearing a helmet by law or by choice is a death wish you may want to place… Read more »

2015 years 11 months ago

I’m ok with helmets being optional, as long as a rider waives their right to collect any insurance benefit for injuries sustained when they wreck after choosing not to wear a helmet. I’d call that contributory negligence, and we shouldn’t have to pay increased insurance premiums because someone decided not to take advantage of the protection of available safety equipment.

2015 years 11 months ago

Motorcycle injuries become more severe due to no protective helmets I would surmise that insurance rates for motorcycles would rise.
Is there any data showing the difference in insurance rates between helmet and no helmet required states?


guest 1441965
2015 years 11 months ago

If they do not have insurance then they will go to the hospital and rack up 100’s of thousands of dollars in intensive care which they will not be able to pay for. We will all pay the cost in increased hospital bills.

So many people do not understand that the uninsured cost all of us money, which is why hospital stays are so much more expensive here.

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