OPPOSE SB 147: Repealing Missouri’s All-Rider Motorcycle Helmet Law Would be a Deadly and Costly Mistake

  • May 16, 2019
150 150 Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety

We’ve received an update that a clerical error in the bill language of SB 147 is necessitating that the bill return to Conference Committee.  The helmet repeal bill will then need to pass both the Senate and the House before advancing to Governor Mike Parsons (R). There is a small window to stall or stop the bill as the Legislature is set to adjourn tonight.

Please ask your local groups and associates to call and email their Senator as soon as possible to oppose MO SB 147.

Here is the link to contact information for Missouri Senators.  Below are talking points on the issue.

Please let us know if you have any questions and thank you for your help.

Retain Missouri’s all-rider helmet law – OPPOSE SB 147:


  • Traffic crashes, fatalities and injuries are a serious and deadly issue in Missouri.  930 people were killed in 2017 including 121 motorcyclists.  Clearly, this is a significant problem that deserves effective solutions, not the dismantling of a lifesaving and cost-curbing law.
  • According to NHTSA, motorcycles are the most hazardous form of motor vehicle transportation.[i]
  • Unhelmeted motorcyclists are three times more likely to suffer traumatic brain injuries than helmeted riders in a crash.[ii]
  • A recent study in the American Journal of Surgery reported that after Michigan repealed its all-rider helmet law in 2012, the percentage of non-helmeted crash scene fatalities quadrupled.[iii]   Further, after the repeal, trauma patients who were hospitalized with a head injury rose 14%.[iv]


  • Motorcycle helmet use protected the lives of 66 riders in Missouri and saved over $673 million in comprehensive costs resulting from motorcycle crashes in 2016 alone.[v]
  • 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.[vi]
  • 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.[vii]
  • In states with an all-rider helmet law, economic cost savings to society from helmet use were $725 per registered motorcycle, compared with $198 per registered motorcycle in states without such a law (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)).

Public Support for All-Rider Helmet Laws:

  • “Minors only” helmet laws are ineffective, unenforceable and unpopular.  Serious traumatic brain injury among youth was 38 percent higher in states with age-specific laws compared to states with all-rider helmet laws.[viii]
  • By an overwhelming majority (more than 82 percent), Americans favor state laws requiring all motorcyclists to wear helmets.[ix]
  • Missouri’s critical all-rider motorcycle helmet law has been preventing deaths and injuries and saving taxpayer dollars for over 51 years.[x]

Missouri’s all-rider motorcycle helmet law is saving lives, preventing life-long brain and bodily injuries, and containing associated crash costs.  It should not be repealed.  Oppose SB 147

[i]       The Economic and Societal Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes, 2010 (Revised), NHTSA, May 2015 (Revised), DOT HS 812 013, available at http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/812013.pdf
[ii]      Liu BC, Ivers R, Norton R, Boufous S, Blows S, Lo SK, Helmets for preventing injury in motorcycle riders (Review), The Cochrane Library, Issue 1, 2009. Available online at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD004333.pub3/abstract (Accessed Nov. 11, 2013).
[iii]      Repeal of the Michigan helmet law: the evolving clinical impact, Striker, Rebecca H. et al., The American Journal of Surgery, Volume 211, Issue 3, 529 – 533
[iv]      Carter PM, Buckley L, Flannagan CA, et al. The Impact of Michigan’s Partial Repeal of the Universal Motorcycle Helmet Law on Helmet Use, Fatalities, and Head Injuries. Am J Public Health. 2016;107(1):166-172..
[v]     Traffic Safety Facts Research Note, Estimating Lives and Costs Saved by Motorcycle Helmets With Updated Economic Cost Information, May NHTSA, DOT HS 812 518.
[vi]      Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Motorcycle Safety – How to Save Lives and Save Money. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/pdf/mc2012/motorcyclesafetybook.pdf.
[vii]     Kostyniuk, Lidia P., Ph.D., P.E., Estimate of Reduction in Deaths, Injuries, and Societal Costs in 2015 Michigan Motorcycle Crashes with Helmet Use, March 2018, University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.
[viii]   Weiss, H, Agimi Y, Steiner C, Youth Motorcycle-Related Brain Injury by State Helmet Law Type: United States 2005-2007, Pediatrics, Vol. 126, No. 6 (2010).
[ix]    AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 2017 Traffic Safety Culture Index, March 2018.  Available at: https://bit.ly/2GesYcS
[x]      Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA), Motorcycles. Available at: https://www.ghsa.org/state-laws/issues/motorcyclists.