HCS HB 141, 32, 68, 184, 400, 448, 526, 571, 578, 593, 799 & 802
-- LICENSE PLATES; MOTORCYCLE HELMETS; DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE
COMMITTEE ACTION: Voted "do pass" by the Committee on Motor
Vehicle and Traffic Regulations by a vote of 11 to 2.
This substitute makes it clear that speciality plates may be
obtained for commercial motor vehicles, other than apportioned
motor vehicles, licensed for a gross weight not in excess of
18,000 pounds (certain pick-up trucks) as well as noncommercial
vehicles. The language relating to the various plates and fees
are made consistent. The substitute also makes it clear that
such plates will not be subject to the fee charged for
The substitute makes the following new plates available: Civil
Air Patrol; Lions Club; Missouri Federation of Square and Round
Dance Clubs; Professional Sports Team; Ducks Unlimited; Missouri
Drug Abuse Resistance Education; Elks Lodge; Conservation
Heritage Foundation; Botanical Gardens; Emergency Medical
Technician; Respect Life; and a plate depicting aspects of
conservation of the air, water, land, or wildlife resources.
Persons under 21 years of age operating or riding as a passenger
on any motorcycle or motortricycle must wear protective
headgear. Currently all motorcyclists are required to wear
The substitute allows the Department of Revenue to issue 30 day
temporary permits to applicants for personalized plates.
Currently, regular plates are issued until the stamped
personalized plate is available.
The substitute also contains language that will simplify
Department of Revenue procedures, including changing affidavit
requirements to statements, monthly reports of auto and boat
dealers, the department's authority to stagger or extend the
expiration date of a dealer's license, and language clarifying
the procedure for use of old pre-existing license plates issued
consistent with the vehicle's manufactured year.
FISCAL NOTE: Not available at time of printing.
PROPONENTS: Supporters say that this bill makes personalized
and speciality plates consistent in issuance and the fee charged
and simplifies and clarifies several vehicle and dealer
registration procedures. Supporters also say the motorcycle
provisions of the bill will return freedom of choice to
Missouri's adult motorcyclists. There are no additional risk
when riding a motorcycle without a helmet, than there are riding
with one. Some injuries can be prevented by a helmet, but other
just as serious injuries can be caused by the helmet. Every
year the number of motorcycle accidents and the number of deaths
due to motorcycle accidents have gone down. Motorcyclists
account for less than 1% of all traffic accidents in the state.
Supporters further say mandated helmet laws do not prevent
Testifying for the bills were Representatives Rizzo, Dougherty,
Ransdall, Lograsso, McLuckie, and Howerton; St. Louis Cardinals
(HB 141); Freedom of Road Riders (HB 184); Bob Neal, Chief of
Police, Claycomo Police Department; Ducks Unlimited (HB 526);
and Department of Natural Resources (HB 400).
OPPONENTS: Those who oppose the bill say that helmet use is the
single most important factor governing survival in motorcycle
crashes. Opponents say a recent report indicates that
Missouri's helmet law prevented an estimated 202 motorcycle
fatalities between the years 1984 and 1996. Helmet laws that
govern only minors are difficult to enforce. Opponents further
say that Missouri's motorcycle helmet law was good public policy
when it was enacted 32 years ago, and it is still good public
Testifying against the bill were Missouri Safety Council; and
Robert Triplett, Legislative Analyst