Michigan repeals helmet law

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By

gallagher

Yesterday, only 19 states had totally mandatory helmet laws. Today that number is 18. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder just signed into law a bill making helmet use optional in that state — with strings attached. Informally known as “Darwin’s Law,” the bill allows riders to choose whether or not to wear a helmet if they’re at least 21 years old, carry an additional $20,000 in medical insurance and have either held a license for at least two years or completed a safety course. You can practically hear the sound of watermelons exploding from here.

The new law comes after years of campaigning by local ABATE (American Bikers Aiming Toward Education) groups. Former governor Jennifer Granholm twice vetoed similar measures. Their chief argument appeared to be the ever-tantalizing prospect of tourism dollars. The thinking being that pirates flock to states where mandatory helmet use doesn’t impact their ability to wear jaunty eye patches or make it inconvenient to carry a shoulder-mounted parrot. Why motorcyclists would want to visit Michigan — a state as flat and corner-free as a dinner plate — escapes us.

That $20,000 in additional insurance is intended to offset the additional expense of dealing with injuries that helmet-free riding brings. In Nevada, a state also considering the repeal of its helmet law, again to chase tourism dollars, it’s estimated that the average cost of treating a helmeted motorcyclist is $96,700. Helmet-free crashees cost, on average, $112,500. One Nevada hospital had to write-off $45 million in unpaid treatment costs for motorcyclists in a single year.

What impact will the repeal have on fatalities? In 1999, when Florida still required helmets, 164 motorcyclists were killed. In 2000, when the helmet law was repealed, that number climbed to 241. That number increased to 532 by 2008. There’s no data on the numbers of non-fatal injuries in that state.

According to the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, the repeal will result in at least 30 additional motorcycle fatalities per year, 127 more “incapacitating injuries” and $129 million in added economic costs to the state.

This old ad for Buell motorcycles makes the case for helmet use far more eloquently than we can.

Michigan State Police issued a memo to all officers formalizing enforcement guidelines:

- The law does not require a motorcycle operator to carry or present proof he or she has a motorcycle endorsement for at least two years or has successfully passed the motorcycle safety course.

- The law does not require a motorcycle operator or passenger to carry proof of the $20,000 security required to operate or ride a motorcycle without a helmet.

- Officers may not stop a motorcyclist for not wearing a helmet based on the possibility the operator or passenger may be in violation of the helmet law.

- Operators and passengers who violate the new law are responsible for a civil infraction.

ABATE argues that helmets have very little to do with motorcycle safety, instead stating that the key to safe riding, “lies in rider education, car driver awareness and license endorsement.”

Sources: Freep, Detroit News, Yahoo!

  • ~RUSH~

    Let the cleansing of the gene pool in Michigan begin…

    • Squid_Squidly

      Most of the people who this law appeals to have probably reproduced already. So essentially the evolutionary aspect of this law is of little significance, and it just ensures that more children in Michigan grow up with one less parent. :(

      And anyway, I think being a dummy about helmets is more cultural than anything else.

    • nick2ny

      When I’m not wearing a helmet, I don’t like cracking 30 mph on my windscreenless Honda Cub. The wind is too much and the danger is palpable.

      When I don a helmet and earplugs and step astride my 900 cc sportsbike I feel safe and the noise level is about the same as a car with the passenger window open an inch or two. In terms of comfortable speed thus dressed, the sky is the limit.

      • nick2ny

        Have any of you detractors ever ridden without a helmet? Look at this ad. It’s great.

        You meet the nicest people on a Honda

        • Campisi

          I did yesterday, taking a friend’s Daelim up the street to see how good a deal they got on it (it’d been wrecked, forks were bent). By fifteen kilometers per hour the wind rushing around my glasses and into my eyes had become uncomfortable. Goggles capable of fitting over my glasses would have solved that, but if you’re putting head gear on anyway, why not a proper helmet?

          • nick2ny

            My taxes would be cheaper if you had to wear an aerostitch and have twenty lights on your bike and jackets and had a far more protective helmet than the one your wearing, but without a visor so you couldn’t go to fast and actually put yourself in danger.

        • rvfrules

          Ah the good old days, before the arrival of ATGATT nazis…

  • http://www.muthalovin.com the_doctor

    Hooray! More organ’s for the rest of us! Well, actually, that should be part of the no-helmet deal: you have to check the donor box.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Mmmm, tasty organs.

      • http://www.TroyRank.com Troy R

        om nom nom

      • http://worldof2.com/ jpenney

        Just need some fava beans and a nice chianti.

        • contender

          Can’t we assume the brains will be damaged by this? And likely not of the highest quality to begin with?

      • matt

        Yes but are these the kind of high quality organs that we all demand for our transplants? I’d expect that some of these would not make for the best kidney or liver transplant candidates. Fat, drinkers, stereotypical pirate diseases like scurvey and rickets etc.

        • http://www.muthalovin.com the_doctor

          Indeed, but some are better than none.

    • David Dawson

      That would be more than appropriate I think.

  • The other Joe

    Flat and corner free? That’s perfect for Harleys!

  • Phil

    Northern Michigan has some surprisingly decent roads for sport riding. Even more if you’re doing the dual-sport thing and head up to the UP.

    There are a lot of flat, boring, straight roads but not everywhere can be socal.

    • Slothrop

      The northwestern part of the lower peninsula is a wonderful place to ride.

      • http://vtbmwmov.org Eben

        Route 22 around Leelenau is fantastic, although perpetually covered in some kind of lubricant. Pretty much anything inland is mind-numbingly boring, though.

        • Phil

          Yeah, 22 is nice and scenic. I have family out there, my Dad and I did a loop of the lake on bikes last year.

          I think I liked M119 the best, lots of blind corners but that’s nothing taking a nice late-apex street line didn’t fix.

          I think the best road hazard was on a few corners a cherry truck dumped cherries all over the proper apex. Keeps you on your toes, makes the marbles at the track look pedestrian.

  • Gene

    Florida’s got a similar helmet/insurance law. At least it lets me instantly tell who to wave to, and who to avoid a conversation with.

    What I still have never understood are the sportbikes going down the road with $700 Arai helmets securely strapped to the tailpiece.

    And “Florida’s so flat, you can stand on a dime and see both coasts.”

    • sargent

      A friend of mine referred to those helmets strapped on the back seat as “the world’s most expensive frame sliders”.

  • JVictor75

    My stance on helmet laws has made me somewhat unpopular in the social circles I inhabit, but I don’t give a shit.

    As I’ve said here many times, don’t expect me to pony up time, money, or other resources campaigning to raise money to help you recover from an accident if you aren’t wearing at minimum a DOT approved helmet. I don’t care if it’s a retarded looking half-helmet, just make sure it’s DOT approved (or Snell, or ECE, whatever. Just not a stupid ass “novelty” helmet, please.)

    If you WERE wearing your shit I’ll be there with bells on. But if you weren’t wearing your gear, tough shit, so sorry.

    Another thing: Anyone who DOES decide that going without a helmet might be an oh-so-wonderful way of doing things might, just might, want to speak at length with their respective insurance provider about that.

    Just because state law says you don’t have to wear one doesn’t mean that your insurance policy has the same “flexibility”. Check the fine print.

    • Kevin

      We all pay for the uninsured. And the unhelmeted. It’s not like anybody has a choice in the matter.

  • http://www.racetrackstyle.com Racetrack Style

    ABATE – American Bikers’ Aimless Time & Effort

    • James

      Applying Brains Along The Expressway

    • Slothrop

      Allowing Brainless Assholes To Expire

  • http://cynic13th.livejournal.com/ cynic

    I’ll always ride with a helmet. I don’t understand the motivation is for revoking a helmet law. Are Politicians that desperate for the Pirate vote?

    • Kevin

      Because this is ‘Maricuh, land of the free and home of the brave, where government keeps it goddamned hands off my Medicare if it knows what’s good for it.

    • http://twitter.com/metabomber Jesse

      FREEDOM, MAN. YOU CAN’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO.

      Even if it is a really damn good idea to wear a helmet, that 32 states require it is enough to piss some people off.

    • Ax

      A rider can be pro-helmet and still be totally against the government making that — or any other — personal choice for him.

      • TuffGong

        That would make them an idiot….

        • Archer

          No, actually, it would make them “consistent and not hypocritical”. Freedom is not an a la carte concept.

          • James

            They are not mutually exclusive propositions. Consistent, non hypocritical idiocy is still idiocy.

          • nick2ny

            I am pro-helmet and anti-helmet laws.

            • Jeremy Milligan

              As am I. I wear a helmet but always lobby against helmet laws. I also support gay marriage, but I’m not gay. And I support legalized marijuana but I don’t smoke, etc. etc. Just because something is safer doesn’t mean we have to make it a law. If so, we’d be better off just outlawing motorcycles altogether.

  • Kevin
  • Kirk

    As a paramedic in Michigan, my job just got a hell of a lot harder.

    • Kyle

      just do the autobahn thing and send the coroner instead

      • Frosty_spl

        they sell big metal snow shovels at home depot.

        • dux [87 CBR600, 95 XR600R]

          Lolerz, nice visual!

  • pplassm

    The endless debate resumes………

  • http://respectthetrade.tumblr.com/ KR Tong

    And they say Detroit lacks vision and leadership

    • douglas

      not sure about leadership in de-toilet but the asshats are in lansing.

    • BigRooster

      Detroit is not the capital of Michigan.

      • http://respectthetrade.tumblr.com/ KR Tong

        I didnt say “detroit” because I thought it was the capital of Michigan. I said it because it’s one of the most neglected cities in America/The Western world and the government responsible for it are busy degrading safety laws.

        But thanks for your post anyway. I got a kick out of it.

  • contender

    There needs to be a group to lobby for lane splitting. This is a waste.

    • Roman

      Yes please.

    • Gregory

      I lane-split here in Oregon, in the Portland metro area. Generally, only on clogged (as “clogged” as they get here) Interstates, but every now and then I squeeze up to the front at a red light, too.

      I always get at least one– but only one– frustrated person stuck in a fat SUV who honks at me. They’re angry and unhappy with their commute. I forgive them. Most people just wave me by/ don’t care.

      Halogen high beams in their side mirrors gets ‘em out of the way.

      -klrforever

  • ike6116

    “Let those who ride decide”

    groan

    • Sean Smith

      +1

  • http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=305107 stickfigure

    Good riddens.

    Look, I heartily approve of making fun of the pirates and shaming people into smarter behavior. But really, these laws – and the attitude behind them – are retarded.

    Sure, it’s outside my risk tolerance to go riding the highways without a helmet. But what about reparking my bike across the street? A 15-mph drive across a 3-block town with no car traffic?

    Before you reflexively scream ALWAYS, put your risk in greater context. Do you wear a full-face helmet when you ride your pedal-bike at 35+mph in city traffic? How do you think that spandex is going to hold up in a crash?

    And if you want to save lives or save health insurance dollars, don’t forget to consider the effectiveness of banning motorcycles over 25hp…

    Let people make their own decisions.

    • nick2ny

      +1000! I have a 70cc Honda Cub, and forgetting my helmet up four flights of stairs when I’m on my way 2 blocks to pick up my dry cleaning, when I bump into someone I know but can’t give them a ride across town in slow, heavy traffic, again while helmetless cyclists roar past… When people come visit and would love a ride on a motorcycle but I don’t happen to have helmets XS-XL to fit them with…

      Let me make my own decisions people! I’m happy to carry extra insurance.

    • pplassm

      Thank you! You expressed my view better than I could.

      Every time I want to test a mod to my mopeds, I have to go get a helmet so the busy-body down the street won’t call the cops (again).

  • Penguin

    I think the amazing thing is that they have changed the law whilst their own study says it will kill 30+ people. How can this be right? How can this be an acceptable thing for anyone in their right mind to do?

    Bloody assisted suicide, this is insane.

    • http://respectthetrade.tumblr.com/ KR Tong

      I just like how all it took for someone to convince Michigan legislators to repeal a fucking helmet law is to claim it’ll somehow help tourism. I think I could pass a state ordinate against indoor toilets by the same logic.

    • Campisi

      Tourism dollars are more valuable than their lives, clearly. Transparency in government doesn’t mean the government is going to start caring about the little guy.

      • BigRooster

        How about the little guy starts worrying about the little guy and wears a helmet because it makes sense, not because someone told him he had to.

        Not wearing a helmet is a retarded decision but we don’t need the government legislating all of our stupid personal decisions.

        • Campisi

          Wearing a helmet is good sense whether or not it’s legally mandated. Those who clearly have little to no sense need a more immediate and less costly repercussion for their stupid decision than a crash in order to learn their lesson, a ticket being just that.

        • nick2ny

          +1000. If you’re going to meddle, how about complimentary breathalyzers in every bar so people can make an educated decisions about their level of inebriation…

          Everyone’s fear of speeding tickets creates these horrible rolling organisms clumped up on the highway with vast swaths of clear roads in between.

          How about no helmet laws, but increased drivers training?

          Instead, we get cars with the internet, airbags, barely any training, roads so straight you barely need to pay attention, and then we have to strap a helmet on every motorcyclist because the drivers are totally oblivious.

  • Holden and Annette

    Florida requires riders under 21 to wear helmets. License plates for bikes registered to under-21 riders are colored. (Can’t remember the color because I don’t see many of those plates.)

    If Michigan lawmakers were serious about requiring inexperienced riders to wear helmets, they would make those riders buy plates that denote their inexperience.

    But of course, by not giving police the tools to enforce the law, they’re just winking and nodding.

    • MacGuyTPA

      The FL plates are blank white with all red characters and it even says “Under 21″

      • stephen

        yep

  • Matt

    I’m squarely in the “take the risks you can afford” camp. Fact is, the same logic that’s used to require wearing a helmet could be used to require driving a car.

    I think the answer is to require insurance commensurate with risk. I don’t know if the math works out in the case of the michigan law, but if it does I’m for it.

    • protomech

      This. We all take our risks.

      Riding without a helmet is kind of like smoking a cigarette.. it’s an arguably pointless elective activity with substantial increased health risk.

      If you choose to do it, then neither I nor the government should stand in your way. But don’t ask me to pay for your increased cost of healthcare.

      • http://rider49er.blogspot.com Mark D [EX500]

        Sadly, there is simply no way around NOT paying for their increased cost of health care. The thing about insurance, whether public (like the rest of the civilized world) or private (a good portion of here), is that its based on a risk pool; we’re all in this together, no man is an island, etc etc.

        I did read somewhere though that usually it’s cheaper to simply die in a medium speed crash due to no helmet, then crash in a crappy salad-bowl helmet, wearing Walmart jeans and a made-in-China leather-daddy vest, and have to deal with paralysis and brain damage for 30+ years.

        • http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=305107 stickfigure

          This has to be balanced against the social “benefit” of reduced social security payouts. In the case of smoking, the cost of treatment seems to be pretty much balanced out by social security savings. Which is to say, there isn’t a clear financial gain/loss on either side.

          Chances are, people dying in helmetless crashes are a net plus to the treasury. There isn’t a lot of expensive long-term treatment required, and (like lung cancer) the pirate-harley demographic skews towards older retirees.

  • FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF

    Nice image. Gallagher or Gallagher II?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Whatever google gave me. I’m not what you would call a fan.

      • nick2ny

        Did you know gallagher made a pedal powered blimp? Even his airship is shaped like a melon.

    • Gene

      There’s Gallagher clones running around loose? Dear god help us.

      • ike6116

        Gallagher sold his act to his brother who went on the road and did the same thing as Gallagher II.

        This is all ancient history.

  • jason

    Fucking idiots. That’s all.

  • Cockroach

    These efforts at repeal do nothing for motorcyclists other than convince the general public that the motorcycle is not a tool for serious transportation use. It reinforces the notion that having a motorcycle is a luxury item, the equivalent of a jet ski that goes over pavement. And if anything, clowns like ABATE should serve as an example of why serious motorcyclists should care about the state of motorcyclist activism. Oh what’s that, you’ll organize a freedom ride against helmets (EXCUSE ME, helmet laws), but not to decriminalize lane splitting? Fuck off.

    • Matt

      This is why I’m not a member of the AMA. (I hadn’t even heard of ABATE until today… the following logic probably applies to them too, but I’d need to do a little research to know for sure.)

      I’d like my bike to be a more effective tool for transportation. That means lane splitting and elimination of the ridiculous requirement that I display a printed parking meter receipt on my dashboard while parked on the street.

      AMA wants bikes to be more fun toys. Wind in your hair. Riding in nature preserves. That’s fine too, but it’s not my priority. So they can collect their money from people who share their priorities.

      • Campisi

        Same here. I dropped the AMA (many years ago) when it became clear that they’re more interested in Sturgis cruisers than the American motorcyclists that use motorcycles daily. I have nothing against those who choose to ride off into the sunset of retirement on their Harley or Harley clone, but those of us riding for more than just a weekend pastime could sure as hell use some representation too.

        If I can choose not to wear a helmet, I should be able to choose to use the space between cages.

        • pplassm

          Here is the official AMA policy on voluntary helmet use. Read it.

          http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Rights/PositionStatements/VoluntaryHelmetUse.aspx

          • Campisi

            Claim: Mandatory helmet laws are the most effective way to reduce motorcyclist injuries and fatalities.

            Response: The most effective way to reduce motorcyclist injuries and fatalities is to prevent crashes from occurring in the first place. Helmets and helmet laws do not prevent crashes.

            Conclusion: Mandatory helmet laws do nothing to prevent crashes that injure or kill motorcyclists.

            Nobody is saying that helmets prevent crashes. Helmets drastically reduce the chances of severe head injury in the case of a crash. This is the only claim on that page that directly relates to helmets (instead of legal arguments and cherry-picked medical statistics from two decades ago), and their conclusion doesn’t even address the claim preceding it. Helmets do nothing to increase the chances of an accident, either, so the logical leap immediately from helmets to “preventing crashes” (a valid but vague and difficult aim) becomes even less substantial.

    • Sean Smith

      “…a motorcycle is a luxury item, the equivalent of a jet ski that goes over pavement.”

      Pretty much what harley is selling these days.

      • HammSammich

        …except a jetski corners better on pavement than a Harley…

    • TuffGong

      You have touched on a subject that is the source of some of the most heated debates in the Motorcycle Industry(Bike and Accessory Manufacturers).The dominant faction wants no part of the “necessity/transportation” label. They resist any mention of it. They are firmly in the “nobody needs a motorcycle.They buy and ride because they are fun”. I have been involved in the business for close to twenty years and I can assure you,if you want to get an argument started,this is the subject to do it. The last three years are the first I have ever seen even a mention of fuel economy emitting from manufacturers literature and most assuredly from a dealers mouth.

      • Matt

        I bought my motorcycle 100% for fun. I actually still ride the bus to work, because it’s so much faster than gearing up and getting the bike out of the parking garage 3 blocks down the street and riding it 2 miles to my office. So as far as I’m concerned, the “fun” challenge has been solved! Now I just want some practicality as gravy, thats all :-)

  • T Diver
    • nick2ny

      Nobody is arguing that riding with a helmet is safer, and the people at the rally understood and accepted the associated risks.

      He’s not an idiot because he didn’t want to wear a helmet and got in a crash and died, any more than someone dying in the safest S-Class (Princess Di come to mind?) is an idiot.

      • James

        No. He really is (was) an idiot for eschewing good, common sense, risking his life, losing his life, and leaving his family without a husband and father for lowest common denominator pride.

        Di, et al were idiots for driving recklessly.

        • nick2ny

          Some people would say that riding a motorcycle makes you an idiot for eschewing good, common sense, risking and possibly losing your life…

          It’s a spectrum. I like riding around the block on my Cub helmetless and pretending I’m in Thailand. That’s against the law here, even though I don’t crack 30 when I’m doing it.

  • dux [87 CBR600, 95 XR600R]

    It’s a pretty brave move these days to do anything in spite of the nanny state-ism that has taken over much of the world.
    Now start working on some important issues!

    • TuffGong

      I don’t think you would know a “nanny state” if it bit you on the ass. Our food and drug supply,as well as worker safety ,labor laws etc. are in the toilet,relatively speaking,as the last 20 years have increasingly seen the fox guarding the henhouse. Still nowhere near the pre-Govt. Agency days of patent medicines and formaldehyde milk,but if they could,they would.

  • Keith

    I just don’t f@#%ing get the no helmet thing.
    Canada wide is a “helmet on” country. No province over rides that law. Hasn’t helped insurance rates to be more reasonable though.
    Still plowing us in the a$$ for premiums in Ontario.
    On the bright side, we get to park bikes on the street for free here in Toronto :)

  • BigRooster

    Why does the motorcycle lobby waste so much time and energy on helmets when things like lane splitting would really help open up the market and functionality of motorcycles?

    • Kirill

      Because the lobby is dominated by pirates that take “live free or die” literally. Instead of shunning groups like the AMA, people like us should instead join en masse and work to change their policies from within.

      • http://twitter.com/metabomber Jesse

        And. Live Free And Die. Death has yet to be proven as optional.

        • Kirill

          You’ll have to take that one up with the state of New Hampshire, not me.

    • nick2ny

      +1!

  • DRMH

    “American Bikers Aiming Toward Education”–seemed like an oxymoron the first time I heard of this group, their site is littered with inconsistencies and oxymorons, they’re geared mostly to the harley and cruiser crowd, how they get such legislative pull is beyond me. Shouldn’t be surprising however considering there’s no real large organization lobbying with a counterpoint given there’s no real financial gains in common sense….

    That being said, law or not, those who don’t want to wear a helmet will still find ways around it,,,either by not wearing it, wearing it half-assed around their heads, or wearing novelty toys. this quasi-law is only helpful to those of us that wear helmet IF (and when) those others get into an accident…how much of a dent it’ll make in our common medical costs is probably negligible. Those who wear a proper headpiece are more likely to wear one regardless of legislation or not…

    Laws do have an effect given the statistics above, but there’s a lot more to it than just people being “idiots”, trust me I’d love to sit here and just fall back on that argument…but think about it this way, how many of you on this board follow the recommended diet for your body type, eat healthy, avoid junk foods, exercise,,etc..probably less than 20% of you..even though you know full well how garbage foods affect your system, you’ll still gladly skirt those suggestions and ride over to your local fast food joint..80% of the country is overweight, would that make 80% of you here “idiots” too?

    Vanity and convenience will override your common senses almost every time, the only thing that gets people on the right path is education and appeal…not by beating it over their heads, but things like word of mouth and a group mentality (peer pressure) ,,example hot girls + helmets= ALL guys will wear a helmet, women are the only reason guys ever do anything lol!,,it’s just the way it is, human nature…

    great looking products also sell themselves :)

    –J

    • BigRooster

      Great post. This actually speaks to why a squid will wear a full face Arai whilst wearing shorts and a t-shirt.

  • oldblue

    Ah, America.
    I imagine pretty soon seat belt laws will start to be rolled back, too. The stupidity continues to spread steadily.

    • dirtridingBil

      Yeah, just scrap off all safety equipments alltogether, no helmets, no seat belt, no airbags, no technology.. just us human, the metal & the wind – freeedom! F*ck yeah!! Let us all ride neked so our brain & the universe can reach nirvanah!

  • Ratlanta

    “What impact will the repeal have on fatalities? In 1999, when Florida still required helmets, 164 motorcyclists were killed. In 2000, when the helmet law was repealed, that number climbed to 241. That number increased to 532 by 2008. There’s no data on the numbers of non-fatal injuries in that state.”

    This paragraph would carry more weight if you factored in the increase as a percentage of registered riders.

    • BigRooster

      The statistic is meaningless without knowing the % of fatalities that involved helmeted riders vs the number sans helmet. We assume all fatalities were of riders without helmet but we can not be sure. Also, how many of the fatalities involved head injury vs say internal bleeding or some other complication?

  • Ratlanta

    As a counter to all the self righteous rabble rabbling in favor of helmets, a lot more lives would be saved if they outlawed motorcycles.

    • nick2ny

      This will happen in the US eventually.

    • Justin

      …might as well outlaw cars, breathing, walking, etc. Can we outlaw cancer too? Just asking…

      • nick2ny

        The only way to survive is to stop. Breathing is a great point. Way more that 90% of people die on days when they’ve been breaking for most of the day.

        • dux [87 CBR600, 95 XR600R]

          Damn it, he’s right! 100% of people who die were breathing before hand. We need to start a non-profit organization to raise money about non-breathing awareness. Maybe sponsor a 5k run or something, that always seems to help.

          • pplassm

            Not to mention that evil di-hydrogen monoxide!

    • Ross

      Seatbelts are mandated for cars as are airbags, and cars have yet to be outlawed. It would be safer if everyone took buses or trains driven by professionals, however.

      • pplassm

        Professionals? BWAHAHAHA!

  • Justin

    I support this because I like the option to choose, but not wearing a full face helmet is very stupid.

  • randry

    Hell, in Iowa I believe you can still legally ride without glasses on, much less a helmet.

    • Ax

      This is true.

      • nick2ny

        In New York, you have to have your helmet’s visor down at all times when you’re on a motorcycle, AFAIK.

  • slowtire

    Is it bedtime yet?

  • Will

    WELL BEFORE I WAS RULING OUT THAT VACATION IN THE SCENIC STATE OF MICHIGAN BUT NOW THAT I DON’T HAVE TO WEAR A HELMET WHEN I GET HEALTH INSURANCE THE VACATION IS BACK ON

    Of all causes to take up, “people shouldn’t have to wear helmets under some context” is such a fucking waste of time.

    • Ax

      Yeah, the freedom to make our own choices in life instead of having them made for us by the government is such a fucking waste of time.

      • Kirill

        You’re one of those anti-seatbelt people too aren’t you. Ah radical libertarianism…

        • Ax

          My motorcycle doesn’t have a seat belt.

  • Neill

    http://abcnews.go.com/m/story?id=13993417

    A New York man died Sunday while participating in a ride with 550 other motorcyclists to protest the state’s mandatory helmet law.

    Police said Philip A. Contos, 55, hit his brakes and his motorcycle fishtailed. Contos was sent over the handlebars of his 1983 Harley Davidson and hit his head on the pavement.

    He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

    “The medical expert we discussed the case with who pronounced him deceased stated that he would’ve no doubt survived the accident had he been wearing a helmet,”

  • Paul B

    I’m pro-choice…….