Helmet bill dead

HILO — Three bills introduced earlier this year to improve road safety have quietly died without discussion after failing to pass committee.

House Bill 1749 was introduced Jan. 16 and would require any operator or passenger of a motorcycle or bicycle to wear a helmet. However, after being referred to the House committees on Transportation and Judiciary on Jan. 22, the bill has made no additional progress.


Two other bills, Senate Bills 2229 and 2621, met a similar fate. If passed, they would have prohibited passengers from riding in the bed of a pickup truck, save for certain extenuating circumstances, and authorized counties to impose stricter limitations on passengers in pickup truck beds.

Both Senate bills were introduced Jan. 19 and have since been in limbo upon referral to Senate committees.

Bill 2229 could not proceed past the Senate committees on Transportation and Energy, Judiciary and Ways and Means. Bill 2621, meanwhile, has stalled at the Transportation and Energy Committee, the Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs Committee and the Judiciary Committee.

Having failed to proceed before Hawaii’s crossover deadline on March 8, the bills are now considered dead. While the content of the bills could be attached to other existing bills, such an action may be a tough sell, considering the controversial nature of the bills.


Helmet bills like House Bill 1749 are often deeply divisive, with many motorcyclist groups fiercely opposing mandatory helmet laws on grounds that they represent government interference with little actual impact on rider safety.

Chair of the Transportation and Energy Committee Sen. Lorraine Inouye (D-Hilo, Hamakua, Kohala, Waimea, Waikoloa and Kona), who co-sponsored the pickup truck bills, said when they were introduced that similar measures are introduced frequently in the state Legislature but are always contentious, often opposed by rural farming communities.

  1. areapolice March 13, 2018 5:41 am

    What’s wrong with you Lorraine? You sponsor and co-sponsor some really stupid bills. You should use any bill you sponsor for toilet paper, you’d be better off. And so would our Island.

  2. Big ideas March 13, 2018 5:43 am

    Got to keep up that steady supply if donor bodies…affter all.

    1. NevahHappen March 13, 2018 11:07 am

      From the looks of many Harley riders, there are not many usable organs left.

      Besides, it is a “lifestyle” thing, you would not understand their objections to helmets.

      1. shirl March 14, 2018 6:06 am

        Why would macho guys want to look like a sissy with a Helmet.
        They don’t look too macho in a body cast from neck down though.

      2. Big ideas March 14, 2018 10:17 am

        BS – I had an FLSTC for years…don’t assume. No problem with a Bell full coverage helmet.

        May helmetless riders need a stupid tax on their life and health policies.

        1. NevahHappen March 14, 2018 4:13 pm

          I typed MANY, certainly includes the “lifestyle” HD riders. They are the driving force behind no helmets, and the idiotic “loud pipes save lives” that allows them to continue the assault on peace and quiet.

  3. antifaHI March 13, 2018 7:36 am

    Forbid really stupid stuff first: Don’t use GARDEN CHAIRS in the back of pickup trucks.

  4. Bond March 13, 2018 1:14 pm

    most serious Riders wear helmets and dont have to be told There not children

  5. paul March 13, 2018 5:11 pm

    very simple…personel choice..NOT GOV business,especially in Hawaii with the problems they have…focus on more important issues…..like crime…..

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