AAA Michigan Opposes Helmet Law Repeal

A recent poll conducted by AAA Michigan revealed that 81 percent of the state's residents believe the current mandatory helmet law should be maintained, opposing the recently introduced legislation that says riders should not be required to wear a helmet.

Some 600 voters completed the poll, adding to the previous respondents that have taken the surveys conducted over many years. In this year's member survey, 90 percent favored keeping the helmet law while only 10 percent opposed it.

According to the AAA, an Office of Highway Safety Planning analysis found that a repeal of the law would result in at least 30 additional motorcycle fatalities each year, along with 127 more incapacitating injuries and $129 million in additional economic costs to citizens.

House Bill 4008 would allow individuals who are 21 years of age or older to ride without a helmet if they have a $20,000 medical policy in place. Senate Bill 291 would allow individuals 21 years of age or older to ride without a helmet if they have had their motorcycle endorsement for two or more years, or passed a motorcycle safety course.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that in the three years after Florida's repeal of its mandatory helmet law there was an 81 percent increase in fatalities. Another study found that fatalities grew by more than 50 percent in Kentucky and 100 percent in Louisiana after those states struck down mandatory helmet laws.

"We strongly oppose both bills,"
said Jack Peet, AAA Michigan Traffic Safety Manager. "$20,000 in medical coverage would barely touch the amount of medical costs resulting from these types of motorcycle accidents. These proposals will result in increased motorcycle fatalities and injuries and higher costs for all motorists."
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