Is Repealing the Helmet Law Such a Good Idea?

August 17, 2011

Health Promotion

Helmets saves lives

The Helmet Law in Michigan currently reads like this:

All persons riding a motorcycle, and any person less than 19 years of age operating a moped on a public thoroughfare, are required
to wear a crash helmet on his or her head. The Michigan Department of State
Police has been given the legislative responsibility to approve crash helmets
and to promulgate rules to implement this law.

The state Senate Transportation Committee passed a
repeal that should soon go before the full Senate, while a bill is pending in
the House of Representatives. Consiglio, the state director, said there are
enough votes in both chambers to change the helmet law to allow motorists to
decide for themselves whether or not to wear a helmet.

Said motorist Scott Denny, director of ABATE’s
Region 8, “I think it’s more of a personal freedom, whether they want to
wear a helmet or not.”  Denny says
he vacations in states that do not have helmet laws, and said there are a lot
of others like him. He and Consiglio said Michigan is losing significant tourism
dollars from motorcyclists who avoid the state. Denny’s motto is “Let
those who ride decide.”

Opponents say a repeal would increase deaths and
serious injuries, and cost taxpayers in medical bills and increased insurance
premiums. The following is direct from the Center of Disease Control’s website

Preventing serious injuries and deaths from
motorcycle crashes is a major and growing public health concern.

Consider that:

•Motorcycle crashes killed 5,290 people in 2008.

•The number of motorcycle-related deaths increased
every year between 1997 and 2008.

•Motorcycle crash-related injuries and deaths
totaled $12 billion in one year, in medical care costs and productivity losses.

Helmets are estimated to prevent 37% of fatal
motorcycle injuries for motorcycle riders (operators) and 41% of fatal injuries
for motorcycle passengers.

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2 Comments on “Is Repealing the Helmet Law Such a Good Idea?”

  1. Kevin Says:

    This is a great topic for discussion. Thanks for bringing it up.

    Should they decide for themselves? Maybe. However, I do not believe the rest of should have to pay their medical expenses when they are involved in an accident, especially if they are not wearing a helmet.

    Many times I have been driving throuh Mich. when a motorcyclist will fly past me driving at least 100 mph. At those speeds they will inevitabely end up in an accident, or at least cause an accident to someone else. All I can say is I hope they are wearing a good helmet.


    • Bettina NP Says:

      Thank you Kevin,
      As you know by my article I believe that the Helmet Law should be repealed. As a health care worker I’ve seen too many cases where I believe a helmet would have reduced the extent of injury immensely.



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