NTSB have added Motorcycle Helmet Laws to 'Most Wanted' List, Urging Congress to Enact Overdue Traffic Safety Recommendations

State Laws Governing Seat Belt Enforcement, Teen Licensing, Drunk Driving And Motorcycle Helmet Use on National Priority Safety Agenda

WASHINGTON, DC – November 16, 2010 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Following today’s announcement by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) adding all rider motorcycle helmet laws to its 2010 Most Wanted List of Safety Improvements directed at states, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety calls on Congress to enact federal legislation that will result in all states adopting minimum standards for teen driving laws, primary enforcement seat belt use laws, all-rider motorcycle helmet use laws and ignition interlock laws for first time offenders.

“We commend NTSB for this important addition to their Most Wanted List which includes other basic lifesaving traffic safety laws that will protect every family in every state.  Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for all Americans ages 3 to 33 and cost our nation more than $230 billion annually,” said Jackie Gillan, Vice President, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.  “We call on Congress to accelerate state adoption by passing legislation similar to past laws that resulted in every state enacting a Minimum 21 Drinking Age, tougher drunk driving laws like .08% BAC and zero tolerance BAC laws to combat underage drinking and driving.  It is time that Congress passes the bi-partisan Safe Teen and Novice Driver Uniform Protection Act (STANDUP), H.R. 1895 and S. 3269, as well as compels every state to have a primary enforcement seat belt law, an all rider motorcycle helmet law and an ignition interlock law for first time offenders.”

Too many states lack essential highway safety laws that were enacted decades ago.  The first primary enforcement seat belt law was passed in the 1980s and all rider motorcycle helmet laws in the 1960s.  Last year, more state legislatures considered laws to repeal all-rider motorcycle helmet laws than to enact them.

“Nearly 34,000 Americans were killed in 2009 in motor vehicle crashes. We cannot allow state capitals to continue to dither and delay safety laws while the death and injury toll grows every year,” Gillan continued.  “The economic and emotional cost to families is completely unacceptable especially when we have proven, cost-effective solutions.”

Today, nineteen states still need primary enforcement seat belt laws, even though more than half (53 percent) of passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2009 were not wearing a seat belt.

In 2009, 5,623 people were killed in crashes involving a teen driver.  Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for all teens yet states are slow to act despite decades of research showing the lifesaving results of strong teen driving laws.  This year only eight states passed legislation to close dangerous gaps and improve their graduated driver license (GDL) program.

NTSB’s recommendation for all states to enact all-rider motorcycle helmet laws is timely, particularly because 4,462 motorcyclists died in crashes in 2009.  That is double the number of fatalities in 1998.  Helmets saved the lives of 1,483 motorcyclists in 2009, and could have saved another 732 if all motorcyclists in crashes were wearing helmets.  Thirty states still need an all-rider helmet law.

In 2009, 10,839 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes.  States need to get tough on drunk drivers.  Studies show that an average drunk driver has driven drunk 87 times before their first arrest.  Every state needs to enact an ignition interlock law for first time offenders to keep drunks from getting behind the wheel of a car.

“On average, nearly 650 people die on our highways every week, which is equivalent to six major airplane crashes.  When NTSB makes recommendations on aviation safety there is action and accountability.  With the need for critical highway safety laws we have neither.  It is time to change that with congressional leadership,” stated Jackie Gillan.

SOURCE: Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety



  1. It is sad to think that adding more laws to save ourselves. How many more laws can we write? There’s laws for everything now. I oppose any federal money being used to attempt to usurp state laws. Most motorcycle accidents occur when the drivers of cars violate the right of way of riders, if you want to save lives have driver education classes that teach about bikes on the road. We as the riding public, pay our taxes, get special licenses, have insurance and in some states have to attend classes to ride. When are we going to regulated enough, when they are finally banded? I demand my freedom to ride…

  2. A long time ago the United States had a war (The War of Northern Aggression) over things just like this (States Rights). The feds are once again trying to usurp States Rights in the name of a nanny state. How sad! The tactics they use are blatant extortion and blackmail. We will withhold your Federal Dollars if you don’t do what we say! Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against helmets and their use. I just don’t need a nanny state to tell me that I HAVE to wear one! I have one Mother and don’t have any need for another one. I quit following her lead some 40+ years ago and I’m still here. Even after a really bad motorcycle wreck in 1984.

  3. I am tired of being told what to do, I am 54 and have survived not wearing a helmet. This is getting out of hand, I don’t need a babysitter. A friend of mine was in a motorcycle accident, he died of massive chest injuries, I was there when the doctor told us what he died from, but on his death certificate it said head injuries, they need to get better info. Educating the public about motorcycles is the answer, not making more laws. I pay my taxes and I feel I have the right to choose how I am going to live

  4. Lets cut the crap.Our nation is being overtaken by people wrongfully entering our country,(the peoples hard earned money) being taken from corrupt/greedy goverment polititions,& lied to because the goverment screwed up againYou’ve taken away everything from retirement,health care,our jobs,etc,etc,& the list goes on.You can’t even take care of a National disaster,but you say you care about my safety cause your afraid I may cost you money.WELL LISTEN UP MR.FEDERAL GOVERMENT,AIN’T NONE OF THIS MONEY YOUR SPENDING YOURS ! ITS OURS YOU REMEMBER? WE THE PEOPLE PUT IT THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE !!! WE PAY YOUR PAYCHECK !!! OR DID YOU FORGET???? Don’t worry about me & my helmet,(OK!!!!!) you just take care of that fancy house you live in,& that nice car you drive,cause (WE THE PEOPLE ARE PAYING FOR IT)

  5. Why don’t we just write a set of laws that govern what we are supposed to do from the time we get up until we go to bed. Let me re-phrase that, until after we go to sleep. The government already wants to regulate what we do in bed until we go to sleep! The Feds passed imigration laws that they refuse to uphold, and mileage requirements for passenger cars that have been so conveniently overlooked and on and on. The Feds are not at all concerned with upholding their own laws or even the Constitution for that matter and now you want them to enact more laws for the everyday citizen. Why don’t you Socialists mind your own damn business or do you just need something to write about to keep your job intact. Why don’t you complain to the Feds that the illegal drug trade in our Southwestern states has made it dangerous for the dirtbike riders and by God they should do something about that!!Sign me disgusted with the whole process.

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