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New Missouri Motorcycle Helmet Law

New Motorcycle Helmet Law

Did you know that Missouri has eased its motorcycle helmet law?

The new helmet law, which took effect on August 28, 2020, now only requires those under the age of 26, or older than 26 if driving with a permit, to wear a helmet when riding in or driving a motorcycle.

Qualified operators who are 26 or older don’t have to wear a helmet if covered by health insurance, and law enforcement cannot pull over riders to check if they are following helmet laws.

Most states have some type of helmet law, but they do differ. If you are planning to drive from one state to another, you should make sure you know the motorcycle helmet laws in each state.


Why Wear a Helmet?

We all know that riding a motorcycle can be dangerous. According to the NHTSA:

  • In 2018, there were nine times as many unhelmeted fatalities in states without a universal helmet law compared to states with one.
  • In 2017, the use of motorcycle helmets saved an estimated 1,872 lives. An additional 749 could have been saved in 2017 if all motorcyclists had worn helmets.

Helmets are estimated to be 37% effective in preventing fatal injuries. More than 80% of all reported motorcycle crashes result in injury or death.

Advocates for helmet laws say in other states where helmet requirements have been lifted, hospitalizations for motorcyclists with head trauma increased.


House Bill 1963

House bill 1963 was sponsored by Rep. Travis Fitzwater and states:

“Currently, every person operating or riding a motorcycle or motortricycle is required to wear protective headgear (Sections 302.020 and 302.026). This bill provides that persons under the age of 26 who are operating or riding as a passenger on a motorcycle or motortricycle shall wear a helmet when the vehicle is in motion. Similarly, a person who is 26 or older, is operating a motorcycle or motortricycle, and who has been issued an instruction permit shall wear a helmet when the vehicle is in motion. No political subdivision of the state shall impose a protective headgear requirement on the operator or passenger of a motorcycle or motortricycle. No person shall be stopped, inspected, or detained solely to determine compliance with these provisions (Section 302.020.2). The bill also provides that qualified operators who are 26 or older may operate a motorcycle or motortricycle without a helmet if he or she is covered by a health insurance policy or other form of insurance which will provide the person with medical benefits for injuries incurred as a result of a motorcycle or motortricycle accident. Proof of such coverage shall be provided on request of law enforcement by showing a copy of the qualified operator’s insurance card. No person shall be stopped, inspected, or detained solely to determine compliance with these provisions (Section 302.026).”


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