Effort to repeal Nebraska's motorcycle helmet law in for a long ride - Omaha.com
Published Thursday, February 6, 2014 at 12:30 pm / Updated at 2:49 am
Effort to repeal Nebraska's motorcycle helmet law in for a long ride

LINCOLN — The latest effort to repeal Nebraska's motorcycle helmet law looks like it will take lawmakers on an eight-hour ride.

Supporters of the helmet law announced Thursday they would filibuster the repeal bill. After eight hours of debate, repeal supporters can call for a vote to cut off discussions.

Sen. Dave Bloomfield of Hoskins, sponsor of the repeal bill, said he probably has the 25 votes to pass the measure. He was unsure, however, if he has the 33 votes needed to end the filibuster.

Lawmakers spent about two hours debating Legislative Bill 393 before they adjourned for afternoon hearings. They will resume floor debate Friday morning and have to hit the eight-­hour mark before Bloomfield can request the vote to cease debate.

Bloomfield said his bill is about giving Nebraska's 92,000 motorcyclists the freedom to choose whether they want to wear a helmet or not. All states surrounding Nebraska, with the exception of Missouri, do not compel riders to wear helmets.

“The Declaration of Independence says life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” he said. “Not conformity, control and a safe cocoon.”

Opponents argued repealing the law will lead to more deaths, more serious brain trauma and more medical costs that taxpayers may have to bear through the state and federal government's Medicaid program.

“Maybe what we ought to do is rename this bill the head injury or the organ donor bill,” said Sen. Bill Avery of Lincoln.

A 2013 survey cited by the Nebraska Office of Highway Safety reported 81 percent of Nebraskans want to keep the helmet law, while 18 percent support its repeal.

Repeal proposals have come before the full Legislature four times since the helmet requirement was adopted in 1989. None has succeeded.

More Legislature coverage, resources

• Map: Find your senator
More Legislature coverage

Contact the writer: Joe Duggan

joe.duggan@owh.com    |  

Joe works in the Lincoln bureau, where he helps cover state government, the Legislature, state Supreme Court and southeast Nebraska.

Omaha crash victim, 19, had touched many lives
Firefighters take on 'fully engulfed barn fire'
Council Bluffs school board approves new district headquarters
Officials announce effort to lure more veterans to Nebraska
SB 132nd Street lane closed
Shane Osborn grabs several endorsements
New public employee pay data: Douglas, Lancaster, Sarpy Counties, plus utilities
Database: How much did Medicare pay your doctor?
Kelly: Started at a dining room table, Home Instead thriving at 20 with $1B in annual revenue
Man's body found near North 36th, Seward Streets
Omaha area may get 1 inch of rain tonight
Gov. Heineman vetoes bill to ease restrictions on nurse practitioners
Nebraska banking and finance director to retire
Waitress who served alcohol to teen before fatal crash gets jail time, probation
Owners of exotic dance bar deny prostitution allegations
More Nebraskans are electing to vote early
A day after Ricketts endorsement, Ted Cruz backs Sasse for Senate
TD Ameritrade says profit up 35 percent in second quarter
Some city streets remain closed
Nebraska's U.S. Senate candidates stick to familiar topics at Omaha forum
19-year-old killed in one-vehicle crash at 72nd & Shirley
8% of alcohol sellers checked in Omaha area last week sold booze to minors
OPS bus, SUV collide; no students onboard at the time
Lori Jenkins, charged as accessory in 4 murders, waives speedy trial
Iowa State servers hacked, nearly 30,000 SSNs at risk
< >
Breaking Brad: Inside the mind of a 99-year-old real estate agent
I saw an article about a 99-year-old real estate agent who's still working. “This house is extra special. It has indoor toilets!”
Kelly: Started at a dining room table, Home Instead thriving at 20 with $1B in annual revenue
The idea that Paul Hogan had studied and then hatched at his mother's table was that older people, rather than moving in with relatives or to an assisted-living center, would much prefer to stay home instead.
Breaking Brad: Into the claw machine! Florida kid follows Lincoln kid's lead
In Fort Lauderdale, Fla., a child climbed inside a claw machine. Hey, Florida kid: Nobody likes a copycat.
Breaking Brad: Even Chuck Hassebrook's throwing mud!
The Nebraska campaigns have turned so ugly, Democrat Chuck Hassebrook lobbed unfounded accusations at an imaginary opponent.
Breaking Brad: Kraft wiener recall is business opportunity for TD Ameritrade Park
Instead of returning the wieners, TD Ameritrade Park is calling them "cheese dogs" and charging double.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
Tokyo Sushi
$5 for $10 or $10 for $20 toward All-You-Can-Eat Sushi Purchase
Buy Now
< >
Omaha World-Herald Contests
Enter for a chance to win great prizes.
OWH Store: Buy photos, books and articles
Buy photos, books and articles
Travel Snaps Photo
Going on Vacation? Take the Omaha World-Herald with you and you could the next Travel Snaps winner.
Click here to donate to Goodfellows
The 2011 Goodfellows fund drive provided holiday meals to nearly 5,000 families and their children, and raised more than $500,000 to help families in crisis year round.
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for Omaha.com's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »