Iowa’s motorcycle riders are a greying bunch, according to license records from the state, but age may be making them more cautious, and could wind up saving their life. Scott Falb of the Iowa Department of Transporation says there’s no state law forcing motorcyclists to wear helmets, but some are. Falb estimates up to 20 percent of the people riding motorcycles in Iowa wear their helmets. “There’s one factor that could be pushing helmet use up, and that is the aging of motorcyclists,” he says. A study of highway statistics finds states that repealed motorcycle helmet laws promptly saw their motorcycle death rates skyrocket. Falb says Iowa had a helmet law, but not for long. The law was in effect from September 1st, 1975, through June 30th of 1976. “It corresponded to a period when the federal government was giving states money if they passed a helmet law,” Falb says. That money ran out on June 30, 1976 and Iowa lawmakers repealed the helmet law.
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