Absolute Michigan's Michigan Blog
Thursday, June 22, 2006

Motorcycle madness!

ABATE (American Bikers Aiming Toward Education) of Michigan "is a freedom of choice organization. Believing that the rider is best able to decide the type of motorcycle to ride, and the type and extent of safety gear worn. [Their] primary objective is to monitor motorcycle related legislation and encourage all members to become politically involved."

Well, it looks like they've succeeded with one of their objectives. Jack Lessenberry writes: "Both houses have happily voted to repeal the helmet law, and unless Gov. Jennifer Granholm vetoes it, you are going to pay.

How so? We'll get to that. But first - many bikers seem to be happily greeting the helmet repeal, much in the same way a herd of lemmings is excited to discover a steep cliff. For there is absolutely no doubt that if the governor doesn’t veto this bill, more people will die.

That's a story told by the statistics from every state that has dropped its helmet laws. When pressed, motorcyclists admit this is true. Nevertheless, they say they should have a right to take this risk."

Read or listen to Essay: Ahead of the Game - 6/21/06. Also read or listen to the companion Interview: Lydia Kostyniuk - 6/21/06 by Jack Lessenberry's Essays and Interviews

The Michigan State Police website sites these facts:

  • Head injury is the leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes. (U.S. Department of Transportation/National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, State Legislative Fact Sheet, 1999)

  • Per vehicle mile, motorcyclists are about 26 times as likely as passenger car occupants to die in a traffic crash and about 5 times as likely to be injured. (NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts, 2002
and the list goes on!

Here are the current requirements for a motorcyle endorsement. I think that, regardless of the helmet law status, riders should ALSO be required to watch a video of motorcycle crashes AND listen to victims talk about their head and neck injuries resulting from helmetless riding. Then they can decide how to ride.

What do you think?

# posted by Tami @ 10:19 AM
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