OPPOSE LB 378: Repealing Nebraska’s Motorcycle Helmet Law Would be a Deadly and Costly Mistake

    • February 8, 2019
    150 150 Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety

    Background: Nearly each year efforts are mounted to repeal Nebraska’s all-rider motorcycle helmet law and this year is no exception.  Legislature Bill (LB) 378 is pending and, if enacted, will repeal the state’s all-rider helmet law.  Thanks to your past advocacy, we have been able to retain Nebraska’s all-rider helmet requirement and we are seeking your help again.

    Details: On Tuesday, February 12, at 1:30 p.m., LB 378 is scheduled to be heard in the Nebraska Legislature Transportation and Telecommunications Committee.  The bill is sponsored by Sen. Ben Hansen (District 16) and co-sponsored by Sens. Adam Morfeld (District 46) and Lou Ann Linehan (District 39).

    The Ask: Please contact Transportation and Telecommunications Committee Members, the Speaker of the Legislature, your Senator and any Senators with whom you have a good relationship and urge them to OPPOSE LB 378.  If you have had a personal experience with a motorcycle crash or treated riders injured in a crash, please include this information.

    Contact Information:

    Transportation and Telecommunications Committee Members:

    Curt Friesen, Chairperson (District 34): 402-471-2630; cfriesen@leg.ne.gov

    Suzanne Geist (District 25): 402-471-2731; sgeist@leg.ne.gov

    Joni Albrecht (District 17): 402-471-2716; jalbrecht@leg.ne.gov

    Bruce Bostelman (District 23):  402-471-2719; bbostelman@leg.ne.gov

    Mike Hilgers (District 21): 402-471-2673; mhilgers@leg.ne.gov

    Dan Hughes (District 44): 402-471-2805; dhughes@leg.ne.gov

    Wendy Deboer (District 10):  402-471-2718; wdeboer@leg.ne.gov

    Machaela Cavanaugh (District 6) 402-471-2714; mcavanaugh@leg.ne.gov

    Speaker of the Legislature:

    Jim Scheer (District 19): 402.471.2929; jscheer@leg.ne.gov

    Contact information for the full Unicameral Legislature is here.

    Talking Points:

    Dangers:

    • 27 motorcyclists died on Nebraska roads in 2017 according to the Nebraska Office of Highway Safety.
    • In 2017, the number of motorcyclists killed on Nebraska roads spiked 35% over 2016.
    • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycles are the most hazardous form of motor vehicle transportation.
    • Unhelmeted motorcyclists are three times more likely to suffer traumatic brain injuries than helmeted riders in a crash.
    • A recent study in the American Journal of Surgery reported that after Michigan repealed its all-rider helmet law in 2012, the percentage of non-helmeted crash scene fatalities quadrupled. Further, after the repeal, trauma patients who were hospitalized with a head injury rose 14%.

    Costs:

    • In Nebraska, hospital costs for injured motorcyclists dropped 38% in total acute medical charges after the helmet law was implemented.
    • Unhelmeted riders involved in crashes are less likely to have insurance and more likely to have higher hospital costs than helmeted riders in similar crashes.
    • Motorcycle crashes in Nebraska, including the resulting deaths and injuries, were projected to cost over $65 million dollars in 2017 alone.
    • Following Michigan’s 2012 helmet repeal, a March 2018 report concluded that if helmets had been worn by all the crash-involved motorcyclists in 2015, the total societal costs would have been reduced by between $185 to $201 million in 2015 alone.

    Public Support for All-Rider Helmet Law:

    • A May 2018 survey of 900 Nebraskans found overwhelming support for retaining the helmet law. The survey conducted by Research Associates found a super majority,75% indicated the Nebraska law requiring motorcycle helmets should be continued”.
    • Support in Nebraska is echoed across the Nation. By an overwhelming majority (more than 82 percent), Americans favor state laws requiring all motorcyclists to wear helmets.
    • Nebraska’s critical all-rider motorcycle helmet law has been preventing deaths and injuries and saving taxpayer dollars for nearly 31 years.

    Nebraska’s all-rider motorcycle helmet law is saving lives, preventing life-long brain injuries, and containing associated crash costs.  It should not be repealed.

    VOTE NO – OPPOSE LB 378

    Download this action alert here.