Gov. Snyder Signs Law Making Motorcycle Helmets Optional in Michigan
Do you think bikers should be required to wear a helmet?
Michigan will become the 31st state to give motorcyclists the option of wearing a helmet since Gov. Rick Snyder signed the legislation, his office announced today.
Motorcyclists who are 21 or older can ride without a helmet if they have at least an additional $20,000 in medical insurance and passed a motorcycle safety course or had their motorcycle endorsement for at least two years.
Opponents of state mandates feel use should be a personal choice. They say helmets can limit peripheral vision, muffle traffic awareness sounds and create additional injury risk because of their weight.
Arguments in favor of crash helmets cite safety studies, lower public medical costs, eye protection if face shields are used and reduced fatigue by improving aerodynamics.
The Brain Injury Association of Michigan, a nonprofit organization located in Brighton, defines one of the most common causes of brain injury being from car crashes.
Tom Constand, a spokesperson for the Brain Injury Association of Michigan, said the helmet repeal law is a tragedy.
"It's unconscionable," Constand said. "Despite the overwhelming data from five other states who repealed their motorcycle helmet laws only to see death, injuries and costs to their taxpayers rise as a result, that we are going ahead and repealing our law."
"From a brain injury position, there are nearly 100,000 people in the state of Michigan living with disabilities as a result of a traumatic brain injury," he said. "This will add to that population. So from our perspective, we're preparing for more people to be a part of our society, our fraternity, that I'm sure didn't want to be part of."
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