- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 5, 2016

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri lawmakers are advancing a bill to exempt motorcyclists who are 21 and older from wearing a helmet.

House members gave the measure initial approval Tuesday.

Riders 21 and older wouldn’t have to wear a helmet if they’ve had their motorcycle license at least two years or if they complete a safety course. They’d also need to meet insurance requirements.

Sponsor Rep. Eric Burlison, of Springfield, says it’s a matter of personal freedom and it’s not the government’s role to interfere.

The bill drew bipartisan opposition from those who argue it could mean taxpayers foot costs of injuries from non-helmet-wearing riders who need state assistance.

The measure needs another vote to pass the House. A similar measure has passed the House in previous years but has stalled in the Senate.

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