If Rep. Don Hahnfeldt (R) has his way, every motorcyclist in Florida will be wearing a helmet in the near future.
The freshmen legislator introduced HB 6009 which does away with the law passed in 2000 which allows motorcyclists who are at least 21 years of age and carry at least $10,000 worth of medical benefits insurance to ride without a helmet.
Because of Bike Week, Biketoberfest, and twice annual Thunderbeach motorcycle rallies, the state is visited by over 1 million out-of-state riders who enjoy the feeling of riding without a helmet, perhaps being the only opportunity some have because of more restrictive laws in their respective states.
The bill will face stiff opposition from ABATE of Florida and other motorcycle rights advocates. While proponents of the law argue that helmets are proven to save lives, those who support the right to choose say that out of all the motorcycle fatalities which occured in 2014, at least 50% were wearing helmets which did not make any difference in the outcome.
The bill is not expected to gain much traction during this session.