LINCOLN–(KFOR June 1)–A bill that would repeal Nebraska’s motorcycle helmet mandate for people 21-years-old and older was passed by state lawmakers on Wednesday.

LB 138 was passed on a 41-0 vote and it would allow licensed riders to forego a helmet once they have completed a safety course to have the basic motorcycle certification. Once the bill is signed by Governor Jim Pillen, those of age to ride without a helmet can start doing so on Jan. 1, 2024.

AAA Nebraska is part of a coalition that opposed the repeal of the helmet requirement. That coalition includes safety organizations and medical professionals. Brian Ortner said they are disheartened by the vote because it impacts traffic safety and ultimately will cost lives.

“We don’t have numbers yet to show what the impact it’s gonna have, but if you look at states who have recently passed laws to repeal their helmet bill, the numbers have gone up,” the AAA Nebraska public affairs specialist said. “Most specifically Missouri, probably our closest neighbor, back in 2020 repealed their helmet law, when we look at the time frame before 2020 and after 2020, the unhelmeted motorcyclists’ deaths increased nearly 800 percent.”

Ortner said AAA will continue to focus on safety education.