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Bill to get rid of mandatory helmets for motorcyclists passes Louisiana House

Louisiana State Capitol in April 2022.
Kezia Setyawan
Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge in April 2022.

Motorcyclists in Louisiana could soon legally ride without helmets after House lawmakers passed a bill to get rid of the state’s requirement. To ride without a helmet, the person must have health insurance and be at least 21 years old.

Rep. Rodney Schamerhorn, a Republican from Vernon Parish, authored the bill. He acknowledged the safety concerns many people have raised, but said Louisianans should be able to choose whether they want to wear helmets, without interference from the government.

Louisiana is one of 18 states that currently require helmets for all motorcyclists and passengers.

Lawmakers in the House also passed a bill that would ban drivers from smoking in the car if a child under the age of 13 is present.

Both bills head next to the Senate for consideration.

Molly Ryan is a political reporter and covers state politics from the Louisiana Capitol.