- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 19, 2014

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - The Vermont Senate has rejected an effort to repeal the state law requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets.

Backers of the change say it’s a matter of civil liberties to allow riders to go without helmets. And Sen. Joe Benning, a Republican from Caledonia County and motorcycle rider, cited better peripheral vision and hearing in saying he feels safer without a helmet.

But other senators pointed to statistics showing fatalities are lower in states with helmet laws than without. They also said making the change through a floor amendment would violate good legislative process, since the Senate Transportation Committee had considered the change and rejected it.

In the end, the Senate rejected the amendment to a bill on miscellaneous changes to motor vehicle laws by a vote of 20 to 8.

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