Citing Health Concerns, Assembly Defeats Bill to Ease Restrictions in State’s Motorcycle Helmet Law
The Assembly yesterday defeated a bill (AB 2700) that would have allowed individuals ages 21 and older to ride a motorcycle without a helmet, provided that they purchase a $1 million health insurance policy, the Los Angeles Times reports. A 1991 state law requires motorcyclists to wear a helmet, and opponents have moved to repeal the law seven times. In the vote yesterday, the bill received 34 votes, seven fewer than the 41 required for passage. Supporters of the legislation said that the 1991 law "represents an unwarranted government intrusion" on the right of motorcyclists to ride without a helmet. However, opponents of the bill, which included public health and insurance groups, said that helmets "save lives and reduce medical costs often footed by the public" (Bustillo, Los Angeles Times, 5/14). The bill, sponsored by Assembly member Dennis Mountjoy (R-Monrovia), would have cost the state an additional $1.93 million per year, including $575,000 for emergency services, according to the California Highway Patrol (Thompson, AP/Contra Costa Times, 5/14).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.