Reporting Chris Simon
ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – The mother of the motorcyclist who was killed in a crash this week is calling on legislators to feel her pain and try again to enact a mandatory helmet law in the state of Minnesota.
For years, 22-year-old Brittany Larson ignored her mother’s pleas to put on a helmet before getting on her bike. This week, Larson was thrown from her motorcycle on Interstate 694 in Ramsey before getting struck by a passing SUV.
Her mother, Inge Black, believes her daughter would still be alive if she had been wearing a helmet. Todd Riba, legislative director of the American Bikers for Awareness, says that’s not necessarily so.
“You also have to understand (and you can fact check this all day long) that helmets on the market today are stressed tested to a maximum of 15 miles per hour,” says Riba.
Even proponents of helmet legislation like representatives Diane Loeffler and Phyllis Kahn admit the political will is not there for a helmet law and say right now there would be at best a compromise measure, making insurance premiums higher for those refusing to wear helmets.
“I mean it is the most stupid thing that anyone can do, ride a motorcycle without a helmet,” said Kahn. “We will reintroduce this bill next session in January.”
The compromise bill would allow riders to forgo putting on a helmet, but then would require them to carry a special insurance policy that would cover the additional costs associated with head injuries and trauma suffered by not wearing a helmet.
Riba calls the compromise bill discriminatory.