Tenn. Senate Votes to Repeal Motorcycle Helmet Requirement

The Tennessee Senate voted 18-12 to rescind the state’s mandatory motorcycle helmet law for adults.

Any licensed motorcyclist at least 21 years old could opt not to wear a helmet under the bill sponsored by Sen. Tim Burchett, R-Knoxville.

Burchett last year withdrew a similar bill from a Senate vote after it became clear the House would reject the measure. It passed this Monday without any discussion on the Senate floor.

The companion bill has yet to be scheduled for a vote in a subcommittee of the House Transportation Committee.

Officials at Vanderbilt University placed the average cost of treating a non-helmeted motorcyclist at $63,956 between 2005 and 2006.

The rate of head injuries increased by 80 percent in Florida and 77 percent in Kentucky after those state rescinded their mandatory helmet laws, according to an analysis by the General Assembly’s Fiscal Review Committee.