Governor Signs Helmet Repeal Bill

Governor Rick Snyder has signed legislation to repeal Michigan's 40-year-old helmet law despite his previous comments about addressing repeal in the context of No-Fault reforms and the need for assurances that the public wouldn't be saddled with big medical bills when helmetless riders are injured. The Governor's willingness to pass this legislation probably speaks as much to the Administration's lack of confidence that No-Fault reforms would pass, as much as anything else. MAIA, along with other industry partners, had opposed repeal and encouraged members to contact the Governor and ask him not to sign the helmet repeal without No-Fault insurance reform.

Motorcyclists will now be able to choose whether to wear a helmet if they are at least 21 years old; carry additional insurance; have passed a motorcycle safety course; or have had their motorcycle endorsement for a minimum of two years. Motorcycle passengers must be 21 or older and carry additional insurance to ride helmetless. Enforcement concerns based on these criteria were one area that opponents had raised in defense of the current law.

Michigan's 40-year-old helmet law has saved lives and motorcycle riders from serious head injuries. The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning estimates that repeal of the helmet law will result in 30 additional fatalities each year, with 127 more incapacitating injuries, and $129 million in additional economic costs to Michigan citizens. The consequences of a person's decision not to wear a helmet is borne by all of society through higher insurance premiums, lost productivity and increased health care costs.

Posted 2:28 PM

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