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NC panel OKs optional motorcycle helmet for adults

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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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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