Vermont Lt. Gov. Breaks Tie to Lighten No-Helmet Penalty for Bikers

May 4, 2016

Vermont Lt. Gov. Phil Scott, a Republican candidate for governor, has cast an unusual tie-breaking vote in favor of lightening the penalty for riding a motorcycle without a helmet.

A bill on the Senate floor last Friday preserved the fine for the infraction, but did away with points on a driver’s license. An accumulation of points can lead to further fines, license suspension and increased insurance rates.

Sen. Joe Benning, a Caledonia County Republican, said riding without a helmet was similar to not wearing a seat belt, which also carries no points.

Sen. Virginia Lyons, a Chittenden County Democrat, moved to strike the change from the bill and leave the points in place.

The Senate split 14-14 on a roll call and Scott broke the tie to eliminate the points.

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