ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A Senate debate came in the wake of a new government report that finds motorcycle deaths nationwide are down, including in Missouri.

However, deaths are on the rise in 13 states, especially Illinois.

For the first nine months of last year, 62 motorcyclists died in fatal crashes across Missouridown 31 percent from the previous year. Part of the reason was related to weather.

Jim Hedlund with the Governor’s Highway Safety Administration says in 2013 weather returned back to normal levelscooler and wetter than in 2012. He says that undoubtedly cut down on motorcycling, and was probably the main reason for the reduction of fatalities.

Hedlund says that helmet laws also play a major part in reduced deaths. In Illinois, where there is not a helmet law, fatalities went up 7 percent last year.

“The single most important thing a motorcyclist can do, is to wear his helmet or her helmet,” Hedlund says. “They are very effective in preventing fatalities and serious injuries in a crash.”

Missouri lawmakers are currently studying a bill to allow anyone over 21 to opt out of riding with a helmet.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)



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