Motorcycle helmet bill fails in Arizona House committee

PHOENIX (AP) - A bill requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets or pay a fee has failed to get past an Arizona House committee.

Democratic Rep. Randall Friese proposed that violators could be fined $500, with $300 going into a fund to pay expenses for motorcycle head injury patients. The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure voted unanimously against the measure Wednesday.

Friese is a Tucson trauma surgeon who says he didn't expect House Bill 2046 to advance in the Republican-controlled Legislature. A similar bill he sponsored last year never got a hearing.

Opponents argued that training and education are more important than mandating safety equipment. Supporters said requiring helmets will save lives and prevent traumatic brain injuries.

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