Helmet Law Repeal Will Result in More Traffic Fatalities and Costs, AAA Reports

DEARBORN, MI – June 29, 2011 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – AAA Michigan strongly opposes legislation approved by the Michigan Senate late yesterday (June 28) which –if approved by the House — would repeal Michigan’s nearly four-decade old mandatory motorcycle helmet law.

Senate Bill 291 — approved by a vote of 24 to 14 — allows individuals 21 years of age or older to ride without a helmet if they have a medical policy of $100,000 in place.  A sunset provision was also placed in the bill which would automatically repeal the helmet law four years after the effective date of the bill – unless the legislature acts again.

The bill also requires the Department of State to perform a study of accidents, injuries and fatalities during those four years – if the bill becomes law.

AAA Michigan opposes any change to the current mandatory motorcycle helmet law – repealing the current  law will result in more motorcycle fatalities and injuries and higher costs for all motorists.

A spring poll of some 600 likely Michigan voters by Marketing Research Group (MRG), Inc. of Lansing shows that 81 percent of the state’s residents believe the current helmet law should be maintained.  Only sixteen percent said Michigan motorcycle riders should not be required to wear a helmet.

Surveys of AAA Michigan members over many years also confirm overwhelming support.  This year, 90 percent favored the current helmet law.

However, challengers of the state’s mandatory helmet law annually try to get it repealed without regard for the common good or the will of the public.  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.

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.

Motorcycle crashes account for a disproportionate share of money paid out of the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA), a fund supported by a surcharge on every auto insurance policy in the state.  While motorcyclists represent two percent of the assessment paid into the MCCA, they account for five percent of money paid. They represent 7.3 percent of all claims reported to the MCCA.

AAA Michigan urges legislators to keep Michigan’s mandatory motorcycle helmet law, and encourages Michigan Governor Rick Snyder to veto the bill if it reaches his desk.   To contact Gov. Snyder, send an email to Rick.Snyder@michigan.gov. To contact your local legislator, go to: www.legislature.mi.gov.

SOURCE: AAA Michigan

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3 Comments

  1. Is this site run by AAA or the insurance companies? Of the people they surveyed, how many were riders? Fatalities went up in Florida; what an arbitrary statistic. Does the Triple A also recommended lowering the maximum national speed limit to three miles per hour? Wouldn’t that save lives? What an utterly biased article, and on a “powersports” site at that!

  2. The $100,000 policy will take care of the severly injured rider for – oh about a week in a hospital. Then we, the taxpayers, spend a few million more for the rest of the riders life in nursing care facilties. I know of 3 younger adults with permanent head injuries in our local care facility because of a motorcycle accidents. Motorcyclists please wear a helmet!

  3. Listen it’s not about statistics…regardless, PEOPLE should be smart enough to protect themselves…if we have seat belt laws why not helmet laws? If you know seat belts save lives..then how do helmets not? I ride a sports bike..I never ride without protection even if its’ a 100degrees out…it sucks NO doubt, but I enough not having scrambled eggs for brains!! Honestly, I think insurance companies then should have the option to reject a claim if you are found in an accident with NO helmet?? STUPID is as stupid does…insurance is to protect you, but it wasn’t ddesigned to protect you from your own stupid self LOL…. AT least that way my rates will remain lower because I’ll be one of those who will be wearing head protection.

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