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View Full Version : Helmet law most likely will be nixed.



Bob
04-04-2011, 07:28 PM
Helmet rules likely to be nixed
GOP control aids 2 bills that scale back 42-year-old law
Steve Pardo / The Detroit News
Motorcyclists who oppose Michigan's helmet law are cautiously optimistic that they'll win the right to ride without protective headgear this year.
Two bills pending in the Michigan Legislature would drastically scale back the state's 42-year-old helmet law, which has withstood numerous attempts to repeal it. Then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm vetoed repeal bills in 2006 and 2008.
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But with Republicans in control of the Legislature and the governor's office, proponents believe this could be the year the state lets riders feel the wind in their hair.
"The fact this could make it through both chambers and make its way to the governor's desk is fine by me, irrespective of whose name is on it," said Rep. Richard LeBlanc, D-Westland, who has introduced a bill to let cyclists forgo a helmet under certain conditions.
"It's a personal liberty thing," added LeBlanc, a motorcyclist for 40 years.
LeBlanc's proposal, House Bill 2008, would allow riders 21 or older to go helmetless if they carry at least $20,000 in personal injury insurance to cover medical costs in case of an accident.
Senate Bill 291, co-sponsored by five Democrats and 12 Republicans, is even simpler: Helmets wouldn't be required for riders 21 and older who have passed a motorcycle safety course or carried a motorcycle endorsement on their license for the previous two years.
Sen. John Gleason, D-Flushing, doesn't ride himself, but said he was convinced to support change after talking to motorcycle enthusiasts.
"What I've been told is they can see and hear better (without) a helmet," Gleason said. "Most of the accidents that occur are cars hitting bikes, and it gives them a better defense."
But health and safety advocates warn that lifting the helmet rule would mean more serious injuries and deaths from crashes. Opponents include emergency room doctors, insurance companies and groups such as the Scottville-based Skilled Motorcycle Association Responsible, Trained and Educated Riders Inc.
They cite studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which estimates that hundreds of riders' lives would be saved each year if all motorcyclists wore helmets.
"It's just radically unbelievable that we would be even considering repealing the helmet law," said Dan Petterson, CEO of SMARTER. "No. 1, more motorcyclists will die. No. 2, more motorcyclists will be severely injured. No. 3, it will cost all of us according to the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning $129 million a year in medical costs."
Data from NHTSA present a mixed picture on the effectiveness of mandatory helmet laws, at least when it comes to fatalities. Michigan is one of 20 states that require helmet use.
According to the federal agency, Michigan had 121 motorcycle crash deaths in 2008, the latest year for which statistics are available. Indiana, which requires helmet use only for those 17 and under, reported 119 deaths despite having 40,000 fewer registered motorcyclists.
However, Illinois, which has no helmet law at all, had the same number of deaths as Michigan despite having 90,000 more motorcyclists.
Instead of requiring helmets, safety training and education are better ways to reduce crashes and fatalities, said Vince Consiglio, who has taught motorcycle safety courses for more than 30 years.
"Accidents are prevented by what a rider does the fact they have training and that they're better prepared can prevent accidents from happening in the first place," he said.
Among those passing the weekend course was Rob Heltsley, a 23-year-old Eastpointe resident. After his first experience on a motorcycle, he's hooked and wants to buy a bike.
He also wants to decide himself whether to use a helmet.
"Honestly, if you're not wearing a helmet, you're only putting your life in danger," he said. "Being a fan of freedom of choice, I would prefer not to be told to wear a helmet."
Mike Dabbs, president of the Brain Injury Association of Michigan, said there's more than freedom at stake.
"I understand that argument and I normally would be for it, but the fact is the person who makes that choice affects you and me and every other taxpayer in the state," he said. "Their 'choice' has an effect on my pocketbook and quite frankly, that's not a 'choice' I want."
spardo@detnews.com
(313) 222-2112
spardo@detnews.com
(313) 222-2112


From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20110404/POLITICS02/104040334/Helmet-rules-likely-to-be-nixed#ixzz1IbGVTTZN

Gas Man
04-04-2011, 09:17 PM
Whatever... I'll still wear.

junkyardjon
04-04-2011, 11:04 PM
yeah um.... don't matter to me, i'll still wear mine.
and some of those quotes are just too funny and stupid

kwats
04-05-2011, 06:28 AM
I was personally involved with the Indiana helmet law repeal back in the 70's as a lobbyist for Abate. Today's rhetoric is no different than it was then, we hear the same arguments. Today's helmets are much better before, but I still think education could reduce bike injuries/deaths more than anything. The trouble I see is this: we can educate every biker about the dangers of the road and how to handle most situations, but it would be impossible to get the swarms of SUV's and Minivans to ever pay attention to or even recognize every bike they encounter on the road. Study after study has proven that when a driver says "I didn't see him" that they aren't lying. They didn't see him because they weren't looking. It happens daily, and with the distraction problem we have lately, I'm afraid it's only going to get worse.
One thing I learned after dealing with legislators is the fact that they tend to react to the latest crisis of any subject rather than look at the whole subject. You can have months of no bike deaths and all it takes is one idiot on a 200 hp bike to crash violently with lots of gore to make them react with even more controls. Of course election fund donors have more influence on legislators than anyone who votes. That's a fact.....
I still believe we should have the choice to wear a helmet or not, but some of the proposed amendments to a repeal are just a joke. While most riders will follow the letter of the law, there will always be a few who fight it. There is no way the police can stop every bike to make sure the rider is compliant, we can't even get them to rid the roads of real dangers.
I saw a dude on a crotch rocket last fall in Indiana (no helmets), a girl on the back in a bikini, and the dude was texting. WTF? We have no defense for idiots like that...

But...let those who ride, decide. I will still wear mine.

Psychodad1961
04-05-2011, 06:40 AM
Sorry, riding with no helmet feels like driving with no seatbelt. I just don't feel secure. Law or not, I will wear one (most of the time) :)

Thruxtonbill
04-05-2011, 07:01 AM
Does not matter to me. still wearing it.

Mudpuppy
04-05-2011, 09:40 AM
me too, I wear one no matter what..

Chain
04-05-2011, 11:35 AM
Its all about preference, I too would wear one MOST THE TIME, but, If I don't feel like it, when I'm just going for a quick test and tune, I don't... My noggin... I have been all over to many rallies and talked to many folks and they will NOT come to Michigan if they don't want to drag a helmet along. Like someone from Ohio wants to make a trip around Lake Michigan.... I've also talked to several that wear regardless and make the trip. To each there own.

mishima
04-06-2011, 12:38 AM
I just started out and I'd rather ride with one on regardless of the law...

Nobody
04-06-2011, 03:49 AM
Around the cities here I'll wear one, too many oblivious cage twits. Hell I get almost run over at least once a week walk to/from work by idiots gunning it through left turns or turning in a parking lot. I could have grabbed the phone from the passenger of a neon last week they were so close. If any of my friends start talking/asking about bikes, I hand them the reg form for the safety class at schoolcraft and say "Take the class, its more than worth it." I wonder if anyone has check the rate of cycle crashes against the rise in cars being loaded with tv's and other junk?

horrorbusiness
04-06-2011, 09:21 AM
Its all about preference, I too would wear one MOST THE TIME, but, If I don't feel like it, when I'm just going for a quick test and tune, I don't... My noggin... I have been all over to many rallies and talked to many folks and they will NOT come to Michigan if they don't want to drag a helmet along. Like someone from Ohio wants to make a trip around Lake Michigan.... I've also talked to several that wear regardless and make the trip. To each there own.
They say the helmet law costs the state billion dollars in lost tourism money from bikes who won't come because of the law.

Gas Man
04-06-2011, 03:43 PM
I just started out and I'd rather ride with one on regardless of the law...


Around the cities here I'll wear one, too many oblivious cage twits. Hell I get almost run over at least once a week walk to/from work by idiots gunning it through left turns or turning in a parking lot. I could have grabbed the phone from the passenger of a neon last week they were so close. If any of my friends start talking/asking about bikes, I hand them the reg form for the safety class at schoolcraft and say "Take the class, its more than worth it." I wonder if anyone has check the rate of cycle crashes against the rise in cars being loaded with tv's and other junk?

I had a young teenage girl talking on her cell phone, didnt look, changed lanes right 20' in front of me as I was passing her on telegraph. She pulled out of a michigan left turn around loop thing, I was driving in the normal lane. She went from a dead stop and I was doing about 50+. Locked up the brakes on the nightster but kept it in control. She never ever seen me, not even after the fact. Not even when I passed her after the fact... nothing.

Oh yeah I'll be wearing.

jaytourist
04-07-2011, 04:12 AM
you're right folks, not wearing for helmet is like going to hell. we should always have precautionary measures on riding bikes for our safety. :) (http://www.breastenlargementpittsburgh.com/breast-plastic-surgeries/breast-enlargement-pittsburgh-pa)

HELLBILLY
04-10-2011, 07:02 PM
Damn I guess im the minority here, I would not wear a helmet 99% of the time.

alhall88
04-11-2011, 03:47 AM
Damn I guess im the minority here, I would not wear a helmet 99% of the time.

No your not I'm right with ya