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.
Transportation and Telecommunications Committee Members:
Curt Friesen, Chairperson (District 34): 402-471-2630; firstname.lastname@example.org
Suzanne Geist (District 25): 402-471-2731; email@example.com
Joni Albrecht (District 17): 402-471-2716; firstname.lastname@example.org
Bruce Bostelman (District 23): 402-471-2719; email@example.com
Mike Hilgers (District 21): 402-471-2673; firstname.lastname@example.org
Dan Hughes (District 44): 402-471-2805; email@example.com
Wendy Deboer (District 10): 402-471-2718; firstname.lastname@example.org
Machaela Cavanaugh (District 6) 402-471-2714; email@example.com
Speaker of the Legislature:
Jim Scheer (District 19): 402.471.2929; firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact information for the full Unicameral Legislature is here.
- 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- A recent study in the American Journal of Surgery reported that after Michigan repealed its all-rider helmet law in 2012, the percentage of non-helmeted crash scene fatalities quadrupled.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%.
- 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