Legislation that would make wearing a helmet while operating a motor driven cycle optional in the state of Louisiana has failed to pass in the House of Representatives. The idea behind the legislation was that choosing to wear a helmet should be the choice of the rider and not the mandate of the government. Arguments on both sides of the issue were quite passionate during the debate.

Kenny Havard a Representative who serves the Jackson Louisiana area made his point this way.

Give the bike riders a choice. Let them make their personal decision. I don’t ride motor bikes, but if I want to ride one and I want to ride it without a helmet and I take that chance to have my head cracked open on the concrete, that’s my choice.

Meanwhile on the opposite side of the debate was New Iberia Representative Terry Landry.

We know that there’s nothing 100% fool proof to keep you from getting killed in an accident, but God knows you got a little better chance if you’re wearing a helmet.

While many Representatives spoke on the safety aspect of the legislation, Oil City Representative Jim Morris voiced his support of the measure in economic terms. In particular Representative Morris addressed motorcycle tourism in our state.

I actually know people that pass up the state of Louisiana, motorcycle riders that actually pass our state up and go around it, so they don’t have to wear a helmet, cause they don’t want to carry it.

The Louisiana Radio Network featured the comments of these legislators in a story that was published on April 20, 2016.

The vote on the measure failed by a very narrow margin. It was 49 in support of the legislation and 46 opposed. That was four shy of the margin needed for the bill to pass. Many legislative observers believe that there will be another vote on this issue before the legislative session comes to an end.