Bill LB 31 is the focus of attention as Nebraska’s lawmakers vote to repeal the state’s helmet law at the beginning of the week. Sponsor of the bill Senator Dave Bloomfield of Hoskins hopes to get the bill passed, which will effectively allow motorcyclists to ride without a helmet.
According to Lincoln Nebraska accident attorneys, the use of helmets was made mandatory in 1989, which has resulted in a significant decrease in the number of fatalities. Over 80 people were killed in motorcycle accidents between 2009 and 2013 in the state.
Government paternalism says proponents of LB 31
Attempts were made to push a bill to permit motorcyclists above 21 to ride without a helmet. However, filibustering saw the end of it. However, Senator Bloomfield believes that motorcyclists should have the right to decide whether to wear a helmet.
Proponents of the bill are of the opinion that Nebraska probably loses millions of dollars in revenue, claiming the current law to be a deterrent to bikers from in and around other states. They say that more riders would be encouraged to use Nebraska’s highways on their way to South Dakota’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
Public testimony begins
Lawmakers have begun to hear public testimony on the proposed bill to repeal Nebraska’s helmet law. A resident of Cozad, Patrick Lange, is among the major opponents of LB 31 after he lost wife in an accident five years ago. The couple was riding back from their honeymoon in South Dakota when a tire blew, killing Lange’s new bride. So your wife made the wrong decision and now you want to regulate everyone else?
While Lange lost his wife, he spent a month and a half in intensive care and a long time in a coma. He is now legally disabled and still suffers from the impact of the injuries. His treatment cost $1.7 million, which Rose White of AAA Nebraska could increase by $12 million in medical costs every year if the helmet law is scrapped.
NTSB supports use of helmet
According to Lincoln Nebraska accident attorneys, Missouri is the only other surrounding state to have helmet laws in place. Opponents of the current law argue that the state is only discriminating against motorcyclists. They are of the opinion that educating riders could reduce the number of fatalities rather than forcing a helmet law.
Experts in national transportation have said that although Wisconsin and Minnesota have scrapped helmet laws, any claims of a reduction in fatalities are not true. According to National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) Nicholas Worrell, on the contrary, there has been an increase in injuries and fatalities over the years in these states. Many people are OK with this though? It is their personal choice right?
Currently, Illinois, New Hampshire, and Iowa do not have a helmet law while Nebraska would become the fourth if the bill manages to get the approval of lawmakers. However, the state would join 28 others who still require riders to wear protection. Following two hours of public testimony, three committee members are reported to have supported the bill without any amendments. However, several members were reluctant to support LB 31 in its current form.
Scott Hoffman of Lincoln was of the opinion that helmets only provide a false sense of security. He believes that riders are more aware without a helmet. Hoffman was among the men to testify in support of LB 31. Jay Leno and Sly Stallone, who were disappointed in California when they passed their helmet law, would be a supporter of LB 31.

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