On Tuesday, July 14, Missouri Governor Mike Parson signed House Bill 1963 into law. This legislation dealt with various transportation related-bills, including Senate Bill 590, proposed by Republican State Senator Eric Burliso,n which lifts the requirement that everyone operating a motorcycle or motortricycle must wear a helmet. The bill signed by the governor also has an age requirement of 26 years to ride without a helmet and the rider has to meet certain health insurance standards.
In 2019, a similar proposal was approved by the General Assembly as a part of a larger legislative package, but was ultimately vetoed by the governor. According to communication from Burlison’s office, the senator “was thrilled” to see helmet legislation signed into law.
“This is an issue I have been working on for several years, and I am humbled and proud to see it finally become a reality for so many of the motorcycle riders in our state,” Burlison said.
“In my opinion, wearing a helmet should be a personal choice. I have heard from countless experienced motorcycle riders that they prefer not to wear a helmet, and they believe it should be up to the rider as to whether or not they wear a helmet.”
Over the past several years, Burlison believe Missouri’s helmet requirement may have had a “negative effect on our state’s bottom line. Several of our neighboring states do not require individuals to wear a helmet, and since Missouri did, I believe it may have caused bikers to avoid driving through Missouri entirely. By lifting this requirement, like our neighboring states, I believe we are putting our state on an equal playing field with its neighbors when it comes to attracting motorcycle riders to the Show-Me State.”
While Burlison is pleased to see this policy change and anticipates a positive effect on tourism, he ultimately believes lifting the helmet requirement is about protecting personal liberties.
“As an elected official, I will always be committed to protecting the freedoms enjoyed by every Missourian. From my perspective, the action taken by the governor in signing this bill into law sends a strong message that our state values personal freedoms and the responsibility that comes with it,” said Burlison. See more at www.senate.mo.gov.