Michigan allows bikers to go helmetless

April 14, 2012 at 5:55 PM

LANSING, Mich., April 14 (UPI) -- Many motorcyclists in Michigan can now ride their bikes without helmets, a new law says.

Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation Friday that repeals the requirement for riders who are over 21, carry at least $20,000 in medical insurance on their vehicle policy and have either passed a safety course or had a motorcycle endorsement for two years, The Detroit News reported. Helmets have been required for all riders for almost 50 years.

"This is a great day," Len Noe of Superior Township said as he prepared to ride his Harley-Davidson. "People who don't ride don't get it. For me it's the closest thing to freedom that I've ever felt."

Healthcare providers and insurance companies lobbied against the law, arguing it will lead to more deaths and serious injuries and higher insurance rates. Jeremy MacDonald of the Professional Insurance Agents of Michigan said police officers will not be able to enforce the law because bikers who meet all the requirements are not required to have any kind of special plate or sticker.

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