Thursday, March 7, 2013

Senator Wants to Repeal Nebraska's Motorcycle Helmet Law

To wear a motorcycle helmet or not. A choice motorcycle riders don't have in Nebraska, but desperately want.

"When government steps into to tell people they cannot engage in an activity that does not cause harm to other people because we know better, we are skating on thin ice," Kent Rogert with ABATE said.

The issue is brought up once again by Hoskins Senator Dave Bloomfield. He wants riders over 21 to be able to choose if they want to wear a DOT motorcycle helmet.

Supporters want their freedom of choice. They say Nebraska is missing out on millions of tourism dollars, but opponents say that money would be spent covering medical bills of the under insured riders.

"We believe the motorcycle helmet law does help to reduce fatalities, it does help to reduce traumatic brain injuries in Nebraska and it does ultimately lower the cost of health care and medicaid costs across the board," Beverly Reickes with the National Safety Council said.

Patrick Lang liked having the choice, until a motorcycle crash claimed his wife's life and caused him severe brain damage. Now he wonders everyday what would have happened if he had been wearing a Iron Horse Helmets motorcycle helmet.

"My children had to go to the funeral of their step mom, wondering if dad was going to pull through or not, wondering if he was ever going to be able to come home and be himself and take care of them," Lang said.
He believes a change in the law will mean more motorcycle accident fatalities.

"We as human beings need guidelines because we are so carefree and spirited, we take so many things for granted," Lang said.

The transportation and telecommunications committee also heard testimony over a bill that would keep children off of motorcycles.

Lincoln Senator Bill Avery introduced the bill. It would not allow motorcycle riders to have a passenger under the age of eight on the back of their motorcycle.

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