Tennessee bill would make helmets optional for adult motorcyclists

Publish Date: 
Feb 26, 2013

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A bill circulating in Tennessee House and Senate committees would let riders older than 21 take to the roads without helmets.

A group of health care providers, AAA and other groups are opposing the bill dubbed the “Motorcyclist Liberty Restoration Act.” They say relaxing the law will lead to more injuries and deaths and burden taxpayers.

The House Transportation Committee heard testimony on the bill Feb. 25, while House and Senate transportation subcommittees plan to take up the issue Feb. 27. Rep. Kelly Keisling, R-Byrdstown, is the primary House sponsor. State Sen. Mark Green, R-Clarksville, is backing the Senate version.

Last year, there were 139 motorcycle fatalities on Tennessee roadways, according to the Department of Safety. In eight of those deaths, the rider was not wearing a helmet. In one death, it was not known whether a helmet was used, according to the Nashville Tennessean.

Posted by Holly Wagner