Bill would let bikers leave the helmet at home

A Georgia lawmaker wants to let adult motorcyclists leave the helmet at home.

Rep. Tom Kirby, R-Loganville, has filed House Bill 797, which exempt anyone over the age of 18 from the state’s helmet laws.

Georgia has had a universal helmet law for decades. There have been regular efforts to repeal the law or to limit or eliminate penalties. Then-Gov. Roy Barnes vetoed one version in 2001.

Expect public safety advocates and the health care industry to oppose the bill. David Tatum, vice president of public affairs for Children’s Hospital of Atlanta, said the state would see dramatic increases in Medicaid expenses should the bill pass.

Tatum noted that South Carolina has no helmet law and that hospitals in Georgia border cities regularly see trauma cases involving motorcycle accidents in South Carolina.

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