motorcycle helmet law http://michiganradio.org en Michigan motorcycle deaths in 2013 held steady compared to 7% national decline http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-motorcycle-deaths-2013-held-steady-compared-7-national-decline <p>The number of motorcycle deaths in Michigan in 2013 was almost the same as the year before. During the same period, motorcycle fatalities nationwide dropped 7%.</p><p>These are the preliminary findings of a report issued Tuesday by the Governors Highway Safety Association.</p><p>Dr.&nbsp; James Hedlund, a former senior official with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, authored the report.</p> Tue, 06 May 2014 10:12:00 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 17483 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan motorcycle deaths in 2013 held steady compared to 7% national decline 'Reinstate mandatory motorcycle helmet law' say medical and insurance groups http://michiganradio.org/post/reinstate-mandatory-motorcycle-helmet-law-say-medical-and-insurance-groups <p>LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Members of Michigan's insurance and medical industries as well as some rider groups are calling on lawmakers and Gov. Rick Snyder to reinstate the state's mandatory motorcycle helmet law.</p><p>The group met at the Capitol Wednesday. They say modifying the law to allow people over the age of 21 to ride helmetless is costing the state lives.</p><p>A recent study by a University of Michigan researcher says 26 fewer people would have died last year if all riders wore helmets.</p> Wed, 10 Apr 2013 18:55:37 +0000 The Associated Press 12076 at http://michiganradio.org 'Reinstate mandatory motorcycle helmet law' say medical and insurance groups Commentary: Dying without helmets http://michiganradio.org/post/commentary-dying-without-helmets <p></p><p>From the time he began running for office, Governor Rick Snyder has said that he was in favor of common sense solutions to improve life in our state -- and that he intended to use “relentless positive action” to make them happen.</p><p>He hasn’t been afraid to push for drastic changes. He got the legislature to change the business tax and enact a new tax on pensions. He signed right to work into law last December, and got lawmakers to approve a new Rapid Transit Authority.</p><p>Some people approve of some or all of this; others are bitterly opposed. But the fact is that we don’t know exactly what effect any of these moves will have. It is too soon to tell.</p><p>But the governor signed another bill into law last year, and we do now have solid evidence about its effects.&nbsp; It has turned out to be a disaster that has cost human lives and suffering.</p><p>The governor’s decision is also costing money. In fact, the law he signed is going to cost us all, if not in blood, in cold, hard cash, added to the medical bills of everyone with health insurance.</p><p>We are talking about the<a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/gov-snyder-repeals-michigans-mandatory-motorcycle-helmet-law"> bill </a>repealing the motorcycle helmet law last April. The early numbers are in, and there were 20 more motorcycle fatalities last year than the year before, and not wearing helmets was clearly the reason.</p><p> Mon, 01 Apr 2013 12:01:24 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 11951 at http://michiganradio.org Commentary: Dying without helmets Motorcyclists who drank and drove in 2012 more likely to ride helmetless, die in crashes http://michiganradio.org/post/motorcyclists-who-drank-and-drove-2012-more-likely-ride-helmetless-die-crashes <p>New data shows people who drink and drive motorcycles in Michigan were much less likely to wear helmets after the <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/gov-snyder-repeals-michigans-mandatory-motorcycle-helmet-law">state repealed its mandatory helmet law.</a></p><p>Carol Flannagan, Research Director of the Center for the Management of Information for Safe and Sustainable Transportation within the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute. <a href="http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/michigan/files/201303/Traffic%20Safety%20Summit%20Motorcycle%20Analysis.ppt">She presented her findings</a> to the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning this week.</p><p>“The story that I see in the data has to do with the combination of risky behaviors that are kind of all traveling together in the data or going together in some sense,” Flannagan said.</p><p>Particularly at risk are those motorcyclists who drink and drive. “Once they are in a crash their probability of dying is much higher,” she said. Sat, 30 Mar 2013 02:04:28 +0000 Lindsey Smith 11940 at http://michiganradio.org Motorcyclists who drank and drove in 2012 more likely to ride helmetless, die in crashes Motorcyclists' rights group defends repeal of Michigan helmet law http://michiganradio.org/post/motorcyclists-rights-group-defends-repeal-michigan-helmet-law <p>The group that led the charge to repeal Michigan’s motorcycle helmet requirement says the state has not suffered a rash of biker deaths in the past six months.</p><p>That is how long it has been since the law was changed.</p><p>American Bikers Aiming Toward Education (ABATE) point to state data between January and the end of August.</p><p>But state officials say it is really too early to tell what the effect has been.</p><p>Anne Readett of the state’s Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) said the data is provisional and incomplete.</p><p>“We, in our office, are not going to speculate one way or the other until we know that we have final data to look at,” she said.</p><p>The OHSP did release up-to-date numbers showing biker deaths slightly up since last year. The department also said there has been a 14 percent increase in incapacitating injuries.</p><p>Readett said they won’t be able to reach any good conclusions until at least spring, when they analyze the entire year. Wed, 03 Oct 2012 22:00:27 +0000 Jake Neher 9352 at http://michiganradio.org Motorcyclists' rights group defends repeal of Michigan helmet law The old motorcycle helmet laws saved Michigan money, says new CDC study http://michiganradio.org/post/old-motorcycle-helmet-laws-saved-michigan-money-says-new-cdc-study <p>A new<a href="http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6123a1.htm?s_cid=mm6123a1_w"> federal study</a> says universal motorcycle helmet laws increase helmet use and can lead to cost savings.</p><p>Motorcyclists that died in crashes between 2008 and 2010 in states with partial helmet laws were 5-times less likely to be wearing a helmet compared to riders in states with universal helmet laws.&nbsp;</p><p>Rebecca Naumann is an epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control, and is the lead author of the study.&nbsp; She says the old helmet law in Michigan was a cost-saver.</p> Fri, 15 Jun 2012 16:53:16 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 7907 at http://michiganradio.org The old motorcycle helmet laws saved Michigan money, says new CDC study Michigan motorcyclists wait for the governor to decide on major change to state helmet law http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-motorcyclists-wait-governor-decide-major-change-state-helmet-law <p>Time is running out for Governor Snyder to decide if he&rsquo;ll sign a major change to Michigan&rsquo;s motorcycle helmet law.</p><p>The governor has until Monday to decide if he will OK the change which would allow riders over 21 to ride without a helmet for the first time since the 1970&rsquo;s.</p><p>Rusty Bongard is the spokesman for ABATE, a group of Michigan bikers who have&nbsp; been lobbying for the helmet law&rsquo;s repeal.&nbsp; &nbsp;He says they&rsquo;re not just waiting to see if the governor will sign the helmet bill into law.</p> Thu, 12 Apr 2012 20:16:39 +0000 Steve Carmody 7028 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan motorcyclists wait for the governor to decide on major change to state helmet law State Senate set to vote on Michigan motorcycle helmet law. http://michiganradio.org/post/state-senate-set-vote-michigan-motorcycle-helmet-law <p>The Michigan Senate is expected to vote tomorrow on a measure to repeal the state&rsquo;s motorcycle helmet law &ndash; and send it to Governor Rick Snyder&rsquo;s desk.<br /><br /> The measure was stalled because Governor Snyder wants the helmet law to be part of a larger discussion on finding savings in Michigan&rsquo;s no-fault insurance system.<br /><br /> State Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville said he wants to get the law on the books in time for the new motorcycle riding season.<br /><br /> &ldquo;It doesn&rsquo;t seem fair that a group of people who just want the freedom to choose whether to have a helmet or not are being held back because a couple other groups aren&rsquo;t getting along or coming around to a compromise,&rdquo; Richardville said.<br /><br /> Governor Snyder has not said what he would do if a helmet law repeal reaches his desk.</p><p>Supporters of the helmet law say it saves lives and prevents expensive-to-treat head injuries. Tue, 27 Mar 2012 20:41:13 +0000 Rick Pluta 6809 at http://michiganradio.org State Senate set to vote on Michigan motorcycle helmet law. Political Roundup: The State of the Legislature http://michiganradio.org/post/political-roundup-state-legislature <p>This session of the legislature is winding down and we want to take a look at what we can expect between now and the end of the year.</p><p>Susan Demas, political analyst at Michigan Information and Research Service, says we'll probably see changes to workers compensation, a push to do the no-fault insurance reforms, election reform and maybe we'll see the debate over a new Detroit River bridge come up once again.</p><p>Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and senior policy fellow at Public Sector Consultants, says Gov. Snyder has been "pretty silent" about some high profile issues, such as the repeal of the motorcycle helmet law. Thu, 03 Nov 2011 20:23:30 +0000 Jennifer White 4827 at http://michiganradio.org Political Roundup: The State of the Legislature House approves helmet law repeal; future of bill uncertain http://michiganradio.org/post/house-approves-helmet-law-repeal-future-bill-uncertain <p>The state House has approved a measure to repeal Michigan&rsquo;s motorcycle helmet&nbsp;requirement for riders who are at least 21 and have two years experience.</p><p>Opponents of the helmet law have been trying to get rid of it since it was adopted in 1976.</p><p>State Representative Paul Opsemmer supports the repeal. He said Michigan has a&nbsp;stricter helmet law than any neighboring state and that has had an effect on&nbsp;tourism.</p> Wed, 02 Nov 2011 21:49:08 +0000 Rick Pluta 4821 at http://michiganradio.org House approves helmet law repeal; future of bill uncertain Proposal would allow motorcyclists to ride without a helmet in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/proposal-would-allow-motorcyclists-ride-without-helmet-michigan <p>A state House committee has approved a measure that would allow motorcyclists 21 years and older with at least two years of experience to ride without a helmet.</p><p>This is the newest compromise that opponents of the helmet law hope will win the support of Governor Rick Snyder.</p><p>The measure to repeal the four-decade-old helmet law now goes to the floor of the state House for a vote.</p><p>Republican state Representative Peter Petallia (R-Presque Isle)is the sponsor.</p><p>He says Michigan is the only state in the Midwest that does not allow motorcycle riders to remove their helmets.</p><p><em>&ldquo;If Michigan did not have a helmet law, so you think we would enact a helmet law? My answer would be &lsquo;no&#39;,&quot;</em> said Petallia.</p><p>Governor Snyder has said he will not support a helmet law repeal without assurances the costs of medical care for injured riders won&rsquo;t be passed along to taxpayers or insurance rate payers.</p><p>The Petallia bill requires riders who want to doff their helmets to carry an additional $20,000 in medical coverage.</p><p>Opponents of the repeal say that would not cover a week of intensive care. Wed, 26 Oct 2011 21:39:01 +0000 Rick Pluta 4709 at http://michiganradio.org Proposal would allow motorcyclists to ride without a helmet in Michigan Poll says Michiganders oppose changes to motorcycle helmet law http://michiganradio.org/post/poll-says-michiganders-oppose-changes-motorcycle-helmet-law <p>Some legislators in Lansing are working on <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/riders-and-legislators-work-repeal-michigans-motorcycle-helmet-law">changing Michigan&#39;s motorcycle helmet law</a>, but a recent poll of likely Michigan voters indicates a majority of people oppose the changes.</p><p>From the <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20110715/NEWS06/110715021/Poll-Most-oppose-changing-Michigan-helmet-law">Detroit Free Press</a>:</p><blockquote><p>The poll from EPIC-MRA released today says 68% of those surveyed oppose proposed legislative changes that would allow some to ride without helmets. Thirty-one percent favored the legislation and 1% was undecided.</p><p>The telephone poll of 600 respondents was conducted July 9-11 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.</p></blockquote><p><br />Motorcycle advocates who are working to repeal Michigan&#39;s helmet law <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/motorcycle-riders-rally-capitol-helmet-law-repeal">have held rallies in Lansing</a>.</p><p>A similar protest against New York&#39;s helmet law had a ironic tragedy. A helmet-less rider died in Onondaga, NY when he lost control of his motorcycle during the rally.</p><p>From <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/US/york-rider-dies-protesting-motorcycle-helmet-law/story?id=13993417">ABC News</a>:</p><blockquote><p>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.</p><p>He was pronounced dead at the hospital.</p><p>&quot;The medical expert we discussed the case with who pronounced him deceased stated that he would&#39;ve no doubt survived the accident had he been wearing a helmet,&quot; state Trooper Jack Keller told <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/US/york-rider-dies-protesting-motorcycle-helmet-law/www.wsyr9.com" target="external">ABC News 9 in</a> Syracuse.</p></blockquote><p>Some riders in the rally told ABC that it was a tragedy, but it wouldn&#39;t change their minds about riding without a helmet. Fri, 15 Jul 2011 15:43:45 +0000 Mark Brush 3333 at http://michiganradio.org Poll says Michiganders oppose changes to motorcycle helmet law Governor says helmetless riders should carry extra coverage http://michiganradio.org/post/governor-says-helmetless-riders-should-carry-extra-coverage <p>The state Senate has approved a measure that would repeal Michigan&rsquo;s helmet requirement for motorcycle riders who agree to carry extra insurance coverage. But, the Senate bill was a compromise that pleased almost no one.</p><p>The Senate bill would require riders who doff their helmets to carry an extra $100 thousand in personal injury coverage. That was not enough to win the support of insurance companies and highway safety advocates. Opponents of the helmet law - such as Jim Rhodes - say the coverage would too expensive for most people and is almost the same as not repealing the requirement at all.</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;It pretty much stops it in its tracks.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>Governor Snyder sent word that he&rsquo;s not interested in a helmet law repeal that does not require helmetless riders to carry more coverage, but he&rsquo;s willing to negotiate over the Legislature&rsquo;s summer break.</p><p>But he appears to agree with estimates that suggest without the additional coverage for helmetless riders, the public could be saddled with more than $100 million in medical costs. Wed, 29 Jun 2011 10:31:32 +0000 Rick Pluta 3063 at http://michiganradio.org Federal officials and insurance groups against helmet law repeal http://michiganradio.org/post/federal-officials-and-insurance-groups-against-helmet-law-repeal <p>Federal officials are trying to talk Michigan political leaders out of repealing the state&#39;s motorcycle helmet law. Members of the National Transportation Safety Board are in Lansing today to meet with Governor Snyder&#39;s administration.</p><p>Insurance groups are also getting involved. Laurie Conarton is with the Insurance Institute of Michigan. She says more people will be injured or die if the law is repealed:</p><blockquote><p>&quot;After Florida repealed their helmet law, there were 81% more fatalities and 80% more closed head injuries.&quot;</p> Fri, 24 Jun 2011 19:19:19 +0000 Tracy Samilton 3016 at http://michiganradio.org Federal officials and insurance groups against helmet law repeal Motorcycle riders rally at the Capitol for helmet law repeal http://michiganradio.org/post/motorcycle-riders-rally-capitol-helmet-law-repeal <p>A few hundred opponents of Michigan&rsquo;s mandatory motorcycle helmet law rallied today at the state Capitol.</p><p>They support a state Senate bill that would allow riders 21 years and older to choose to ride without a helmet. They would have to have at least two years of riding experience, or have passed a motorcycle safety course.</p><p>Governor Rick Snyder says he&#39;s open to granting the wish of riders who want the helmet requirement repealed, but he also says he needs some assurances that the public won&rsquo;t be saddled with big medical bills when helmetless riders are injured.</p><blockquote><p>&quot;And I&rsquo;ve had an open discussion with them and I said one of the concerns that I want to look at is the cost to all of our citizens in the state, and understanding those and making sure we are doing it in a fair way,&quot; Snyder said.</p></blockquote><p>Helmet law foes believe they have the votes in the Legislature to get a helmet law repeal passed.</p><p>Laura Brand-Bauer says she typically wears a helmet, but wants the option to ride without it.</p><blockquote><p>&quot;You know, I&#39;ve ridden without a helmet on occasion in Ohio and Indiana and wouldn&rsquo;t mind being able to do that when I felt like it,&quot; said Brand-Bauer. &quot;I do believe that people should have a choice.&quot;</p></blockquote><p>Insurance companies and traffic safety advocates say the helmet law is working and should remain as it is. Opponents of the law say training and experience are more important than wearing a helmet to avoid deaths and injuries. Wed, 08 Jun 2011 21:15:36 +0000 Rick Pluta 2814 at http://michiganradio.org Motorcycle riders rally at the Capitol for helmet law repeal Motorcycle Helmets http://michiganradio.org/post/motorcycle-helmets <p>http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/michigan/local-michigan-972457.mp3</p><p>Thirty years ago, I lived next door to a family with a twenty-something son, whose main pleasure in life seemed to be riding his motorcycle, at all hours and, mostly, without a helmet.</p><p>One summer night he was speeding and the police started chasing him. He panicked and fled, eventually hitting a tree at a high rate of speed. At the funeral home, his parents said he might have survived had he been wearing a helmet.</p> Wed, 08 Jun 2011 17:26:43 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 2803 at http://michiganradio.org Motorcycle Helmets In this morning's news... http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-122 <p><strong>Heat and sun cook up pollution today, close schools</strong></p><p>Temperatures across the southern part of the state are expected to be in the mid to upper 90s today.</p><p>In addition to heat related stress, the hot weather can also lead to more pollution.</p><p>The weather has led the <a href="http://www.deqmiair.org/actionday.cfm">Michigan Department of Environmental Quality</a> to post &quot;ozone action days&quot; for several cities in the southern part of the state including Ann Arbor, Benton Harbor, Detroit, Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids and Ludington.</p><p>Smokestack and tailpipe emissions and vapors from gas and chemicals can be turned into ozone pollution on days like today. People are urged to drive less, refrain from using gas-powered lawn equipment, and refuel cars and equipment at a later time.</p><p>Ozone pollution can cause chest pain, coughing, throat irritation, and congestion, and it can worsen bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma.</p><p>The <a href="http://detnews.com/article/20110608/METRO/106080390/1361/">Detroit News</a> reports that several schools in Detroit will be closed because of a lack of air conditioning in those buildings.</p><p><strong>Grayling Wildfires contained</strong></p><p>Wildfires burned near Grayling yesterday. Now state officials say the blaze has been contained. From the <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20110608/NEWS06/110608005/Crews-contain-Grayling-wildfire-forced-evacuations?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|p">Associated Press</a>:</p><blockquote><p>A state spokeswoman says fire crews have fully contained a blaze that burned 750 to 800 acres of northern Michigan woodlands, destroyed or damaged a number of buildings and forced the evacuation of 100 homes.</p><p>Mary Dettloff is a spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. She tells The Associated Press Wednesday morning that the fire was 100 percent contained by midnight Tuesday and people who had been evacuated were permitted to return home.</p></blockquote><p><strong>Riders go to Lansing to support repeal of helmet law</strong></p><p>Michigan is one of twenty states with a motorcycle helmet law.</p><p>Advocates of repealing the law have been successful in the past at getting the legislature to pass repeals of the helmet law, but they ran into vetoes from former Governor Jennifer Granholm.</p><p>Now they&#39;re hoping Governor Snyder will be on their side.</p><p>Motorcycle riders are expected to hold a rally in Lansing today supporting a helmet law repeal.</p><p><a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/riders-and-legislators-work-repeal-michigans-motorcycle-helmet-law">MPRN&#39;s Rick Pluta</a> spoke with a helmet law repeal advocate who said Michigan is losing out on a lot of tourism opportunities as riders avoid Michigan:&nbsp;</p><blockquote><p>&quot;Every state surrounding Michigan allows adult choice and people do not come from those states to Michigan simply because we have a mandatory helmet law,&quot; said Jim Rhoades.</p></blockquote><p>Supporters of the helmet law say it cuts down on medical costs that are often passed onto others. The <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20110608/NEWS06/106080384/1001/news">Detroit Free Press</a> reports :</p><blockquote><p>Many medical and insurance organizations are lobbying to keep the current law, which they say reduces serious injuries and deaths in motorcycle accidents. Medical costs for riders injured without helmets are four times costlier than for those injured while wearing helmets, says the National Transportation Safety Board.</p></blockquote><p>Governor Snyder has not taken a side on this issue, but the Free Press reports Snyder &quot;has said he would support the change if other motorists didn&#39;t pay more as a result.&quot; Wed, 08 Jun 2011 12:47:56 +0000 Mark Brush 2799 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news... Riders and legislators work to repeal Michigan's motorcycle helmet law http://michiganradio.org/post/riders-and-legislators-work-repeal-michigans-motorcycle-helmet-law <p>Michigan&rsquo;s motorcycle helmet law is once again in the sights of advocates who say riders should be allowed to operate a bike without head protection.</p><p><a href="http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2011-2012/billanalysis/Senate/pdf/2011-SFA-0291-F.pdf">Legislation approved today</a> by the state Senate Transportation Committee would allow licensed operators to forgo a helmet if they are 21 years old and have had a motorcycle endorsement for two years; or they have passed a motorcycle safety course.</p> Tue, 07 Jun 2011 20:38:39 +0000 Rick Pluta 2792 at http://michiganradio.org Riders and legislators work to repeal Michigan's motorcycle helmet law