The Louisiana motorcycle helmet law was almost repealed after a measure to remove the legislation narrowly failed last month. The helmet law repealed required 53 votes to pass, but it received 49 votes in favor and 46 against.
According to one state representative in favor of the measure, the proposal was a bill to promote personal choice. He said that motorcyclists under the age of 21 still needed to wear helmets and complete a special training course under the measure. However, older motorcyclists would be permitted to go helmet free.
Another representative against the measure said that it did not concern him whether motorcyclists decided to go helmet free or not, what mattered was the fact that the bill did not mention insurance policies. The man said that taking away the mandatory helmet law would ultimately cost the state a great deal. Lawmakers against the measure agreed that insurance rates could go up statewide as a result of more motorcyclists being on the road helmet free, and motorcyclists without insurance with worse injuries could end up in state care facilities and cost the state money. Opponents also said that motorcycle-related deaths would go up.
Motorcycle helmets are the single most important piece of safety equipment that any motorcyclist can use. Indeed, riding a motorcycle is dangerous enough with a helmet but failing to put on a helmet elevates the risks exponentially. It can also affect a motorcyclist’s ability to seek financial restitution following a crash that was not his or her fault. If defense council can show that a plaintiff’s injuries were worsened due to his or her failure to wear a helmet, then a number of damages a plaintiff can seek could be discounted by that fact.