Optional helmet bill fails in North Carolina House committee

May 2, 2019 GMT

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — House members have voted down another effort to make helmets optional for people 21 and over riding on motorcycles in North Carolina, with concerns and costs of head injuries winning out over arguments of choice.

The House Health Committee on Thursday defeated by voice vote the measure, which would have altered the state’s current mandatory helmet requirement. More than 30 states already allow optional helmet use of some kind. The bill had narrowly passed another committee last week.

Bill supporters led by Republican Rep. John Torbett point to data showing states with optional helmet laws don’t result in more motorcycle fatalities or significantly higher auto insurance rates. But opponents said there’s too much head-trauma risk, related societal damage and costs to insurers and taxpayers in treatment and rehabilitation.