Insurance News

NAMIC Applauds Governor for Nixing Helmet Legislation

Posted on: July 13, 2009

The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) applauds Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon for vetoing Senate Bill 202, legislation that would have repealed the state?s 42-year-old helmet law for motorcycle riders.

?This bill would have had negative, unintended consequences for insurance consumers and motorcyclists and their passengers,? said Mark Johnston, NAMIC?s state affairs manager for the Midwest, ?and we are grateful to Governor Nixon for having the insight and wisdom to veto this legislation.?

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reported in January 2008 that head injuries are the leading cause of death in motorcycle accidents. A motorcyclist without a helmet is 40 percent more likely to suffer a fatal head injury than a helmeted motorcyclist in a crash.

According to Johnston, if a rider collided with another vehicle severely injuring him or herself, the fact that serious injuries could have been prevented by the wearing of a helmet would not be a factor in determining fault, even though it could have been the most important factor in causing the injuries.

?The bill specifically provided that the insurer could not assign fault based upon the sole fact that the motorcyclist was operating the motorcycle ?in an otherwise legal manner,? which would have included riding without a helmet,” Johnston said. “This would have unfairly shifted the consequence for riding without a helmet to other motorists.?

© Copyright 2007, National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC).

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