NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — Legislation that would let some motorcycle operators ride without a helmet is facing opposition from a AAA club.
The bill would create a four-year pilot program that would make helmet-wearing voluntary between September and May for riders of motorcycles, motorized bicycles, and motor-driven cycles who are 21 years or older. An operator or passenger who is on TennCare, the state’s Medicaid program, would still have to wear a helmet.
The Auto Club Group, the second-largest AAA club in North America which covers Tennessee and several other states, opposes the bill and is urging its members to contact lawmakers and ask them to oppose it.
The group says the legislation would increase the number of deaths and injuries on Tennessee roads.
“According to a 2021 survey conducted by AAA, 92 percent of Tennesseans support maintaining an all-rider helmet law,” said Megan Cooper, spokeswoman the Auto Club Group. “The current law has worked well in keeping motorcyclists safe on our roadways and we cannot afford to weaken it.”
The legislation is co-sponsored by Rep. Jay Reedy (R-Erin) and Sen. Kerry Roberts (R-Springfield).
The House version of the bill has been placed on the House Transportation Subcommittee calendar for Wednesday. Its companion in the Senate has been referred to the Senate Transportation and Safety Committee.