Michigan voters oppose helmet law repeal

March 29, 2011 at 12:26 PM
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DEARBORN, Mich., March 29 (UPI) -- Eighty-one percent of likely voters in Michigan say the 4-decade-old mandatory motorcycle helmet law should remain, a survey by AAA Michigan indicates.

The survey of 600 likely voters, conducted by Marketing Research Group Inc., found only 16 percent said Michigan motorcycle riders should not be required to wear a helmet.

Jack Peet, AAA Michigan traffic safety manager, says despite overwhelming support for the mandatory helmet law, each year challengers try to get it repealed.

Michigan House Bill 4008 would allow individuals age 21 or older to ride without a helmet if they have a $20,000 medical policy in place, while Senate Bill 291 would allow those age 21 or older to ride without a helmet if they have had their motorcycle endorsement for two or more years, or passed a motorcycle safety course, Peet says.

"We strongly oppose both bills," Peet says in a statement. "Twenty-thousand dollars in medical coverage would barely touch the amount of medical costs resulting from these types of motorcycle accidents. These proposals will result in increased motorcycle fatalities and injuries, and higher costs for all motorists."

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that in the three years following Florida's repeal of its mandatory helmet law there was an 81 percent increase in fatalities.

No margin of error was provided.

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