He said motorcyclists should have the right to make the decision themselves.
Annapolis, MD – A bill to make helmets no longer mandatory for motorcyclists over 21 was introduced to the 2020 Maryland General Assembly to be heard.
Senate Bill 237 is sponsored by Sen. Michael Hough (R) who said the bill will exempt motorcyclists and their passengers from wearing a helmet if the operator is 21 or older, has at least two years of riding experience and has completed an approved safety course.
“This is probably the third year in a row I’ve [introduced the bill],” Hough said. “This legislation has been down here for probably about 20 years, but actually I feel confident this year that we’ll move it further along.”
Current Maryland law regarding helmets was established in 1992 and requires all riders and passengers to wear the protective headgear.
Hough said motorcyclists should have the right to make the decision themselves.
“Is it the role of the government to protect you from yourself? I don’t believe it is,” Hough said. “I believe people should have the freedom to make the decisions that they want to make.”
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Helmet use is about 37 percent effective in preventing motorcyclist deaths and about 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries.
Currently, 19 states and the District of Columbia mandate helmet use by all riders.
By Timothy Young