Motorcyclists in Nebraska will still have to wear helmets. Supporters of the bill did not receive enough votes to break a filibuster that was started by Senator Steve Lathrop of Omaha. Senator Lathrop stated while many mandates were added to the bill, he maintained that people would still be hurt.
“Mandating insurance, by putting a sunset clause in it, by making people under21 still have to wear a helmet, it doesn’t change the fact in my view that if you repeal the helmet law, we will see fatalities from these accidents go, we will see brain injuries from these accidents go up. People should appreciate that only 60-percent of these people have a regular health plan that covers this additional care.”
With the legislature being allowed to make laws regarding people’s choices, Senator Lathrop was asked when the state would step in and other health related issues that people have control over, such as smoking tobacco products and eating the wrong foods that lead to obesity. Senator Lathrop responded by saying the two topics are like apples and oranges.
“People get brain injuries from falling off the ladder. Today, we are dealing with the helmet law and it isn’t about dismiss the thin into the wedge and now we are going, this legislature is going to be outlawing foods with trans-fats. That is not the issue. I don’t see this body, including me; outlawing activities that people want to do that brings risks to themselves. This is different because the public is going to pay for the costs of all these brain injuries and the deaths that will surely follow repeal.”
Senator Lathrop says there were 500 motorcycle accidents in Nebraska last year and does not expect that number to go down. He did say that seldom it is the motorcyclists fault.