May 30, 2006

Michigan lawmakers poised to repeal motorcycle helmet law

Dearborn, Michigan – An informal AAA poll of state lawmakers suggests that Michigan’s House of Representatives has the number of votes needed to repeal the state’s 37-year-old mandatory motorcycle helmet law. The auto association estimates that this would result in an additional 22 fatalities, 132 more incapacitating injuries, 610 other injuries and US$140 million in added economic costs each year.

Sponsored by Senator Alan Cropsey, the repeal would remove the mandatory helmet requirement for all riders and passengers 21 years of age and older, but does not require motorcycle riders to carry personal injury protection insurance coverage. In 2005, there were 3,605 crashes in Michigan involving motorcycles; 122 riders were killed and 2,721 were injured. Nationwide, U.S. motorcycle deaths continue to rise, with more than 4,000 people killed on motorcycles in 2004, an eight per cent increase from 2003. A 2004 study determined that 44 per cent of riders involved in a crash are not legally licensed to operate a motorcycle.

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