NC bill would make helmets optional for motorcyclists

NC Bill would make helmets optional for motorcyclists

RALEIGH - A proposed bill could make wearing helmets optional for motorcyclists in North Carolina.

House Bill 109 would do away with the mandatory helmet law for motorcycle riders ages 21 and up, issued in 1968.

Some motorcyclists said they feel the decision to wear a helmet should be up to the rider.

"It's a personal preference," said Scott Hess, a long-time motorcyclist.

"We're adults," said Jerry Staton, another rider. "You know what can happen, so I say leave it up to the individual."

But according to Highway Patrol Trooper  M.A. Riggs, who responds to wrecks in Craven County, there's no telling how much a helmet would help in each case. He said any kind of safety is preferred.

"[Motorcyclists] don't have that extra protection that you would in a car," Trooper Riggs said.

The new bill is pending approval by the House. If it passes, North Carolina would join 27 other states with partial helmet laws.

According to the Highway Patrol, three motorcyclists were killed and 15 were injured in Craven County in 2012.

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