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Louisiana could repeal helmet law for bikers with liability coverage

A bill passed by the Louisiana House of Representatives would repeal the state's helmet requirement for motorcyclists who have health insurance and at least $100,000 in liability coverage.

The bill's sponsor added the liability coverage requirement to the bill after lawmakers objected that the state's health insurance costs could rise because uninsured motorcyclists who crash without helmets could sustain serious injuries.

Michigan is also considering several bills that would repeal requirements for motorcycle riders to wear a helmet at all times. One proposal would allow motorcyclists to go without a helmet in exchange for paying a fee.

Safety advocates and those concerned about rising health care costs have opposed the legislation in both states, saying riders without helmets are far more likely to be involved in fatal crashes or accidents that cause brain injuries.

Studies have shown that motorcycle helmets significantly reduce head injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, helmets helped save $13.2 billion between 1984 and 1999. If all bikers had worn helmets during those years, another $11.1 billion could have been saved.

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