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April 28, 2012-
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Today’s issue is the new motorcycle helmet law.
Today’s issue is the new motorcycle law that allows riders the choice to ride with or without a helmet. The support of the bill actually comes from, in-part, both parties. Those in favor of the bill feel that riders should have a choice and that the helmet law has no impact on fatalities. More riders will come in from out of state and there will also be an increase in tourism. For the people against, they feel the fatality rate will rise, and there will be an increased insurance rate as well.
Laws shouldn’t be passed to protect from your own stupidity, only from other peoples stupidity. To counteract the insurance, if you ride without a helmet you need extra medical insurance.
Guest State Senator Phil Pavlov
The majority of the legislature has been in favor of this law for quite some time but the previous governor had vetoed the bill twice. Pavlov felt that riders should have a choice of a helmet or not. Michigan is the only state in the Great Lakes that had a mandatory helmet law too, which stifled tourism for the state because many riders just went around the state. Many of the riders he heard from said that most injuries were lower body injuries because your body is so open on a motorcycle.
The extra insurance of $20,000 is seen by Pavlov as is affordable my motorcycle riders. The initial amount was to be $100,000, which is saw as too expensive to riders. There will be no sticker to show that they have the insurance, the riders know the implications if they get caught in an accident without the proper insurance.
Jim Rhoades-Member of ABATE
Rhoades has been riding since 1966 and been working on getting the mandatory helmet law repealed since 1976. He saw the same support Pavlov saw in legislature for the bill. Motorcycles are a small number compared to cars on the road and have no impact on insurance. There’s the catarosphic lifetime coverage every motorist and motorcycle rider in Michigan pay into but a motorcyclist only receives if hit by a car.
Michigan is the 3rd highest in motorcyle fatalities even though there has been a helmet law. Helmets doesn’t prevent the actual accidents, and that’s what causes more fatalities. There needs to be more education on drivers watching out for motorcycles.
Many motorcycle events in the surrounding states are a huge draw, there are many out of state riders that come to them. In Michigan usually these same type of events do not draw from outside the state because of the law. A friend of Rhoades saw a 30 percent increase in business when he moved his business into Wisconsin.
The insurance part of the law is unenforcable though. The police cannot pull over riders to check for insurance. Even if they did, the proof of insurance does not show the policy of the insurance. Only three other states have insurance requirements.
Even with the law enacted, 40 to 50 percent of motorcycle riders will still wear a helmet.