March 28, 2013
Even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls North Carolina’s motorcycle helmet law the most effective in the nation, legislators in the state are now considering relaxing the law. WRAL News reports House Bill 109 would allow motorcyclists over the age of 21-years-old to choose whether or not to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle.
The only stipulation to the new rule would be a rider must carry at least a $10,000 insurance policy. If caught without a helmet or insurance, a motorcyclist would be subject to a $25.50 fine.
The bill’s sponsor, Rep. John Torbett, claimed many states have no helmet laws and the difference in motorcycle fatality rates in those states compared to North Carolina Motorcycle Accident fatality numbers was “minuscule”.
Opponents of the bill showed when a similar law to the one proposed in North Carolina was passed in Florida recently, the number of motorcycle fatalities doubled. Officials also pointed out that not only was the required insurance rate much too low for the average medical costs associated with a motorcycle accident, but also the fine for an infraction was far from a deterrent.
Despite data citing the risks of not wearing a helmet, the law moved forward with House Transportation Committee approval. The House Judiciary Committee will examine the bill next.
HensonFuerst and their team of North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers encourage motorcyclists to always wear a helmet, regardless of the law.