Posted by: David Kiley on June 7, 2006
Just when confidence in elected officials is falling. And just when people think governing has become the shallowest enterprise since Amway. We now have Michigan legislators draining a little more water out of the pool.
Michigan lawmakers today (June 7) repealed the state’s 37-year-old mandatory motorcycle helmet law. Now, only a veto by Governor Jennifer Granholm, who is running for re-election in a tough contest against former Amway president Dick DeVos, can stop this awful piece of legislation.
According to AAA Michigan, the bill, sponsored by Sen. Alan L. Cropsey (R-DeWitt), would remove the mandatory helmet requirement for all riders and passengers 21 years of age or older, but does not require motorcycle riders to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance coverage. In 2005, there were 3,605 motorcycle-involved crashes in Michigan in which 122 riders were killed and 2,721 injured.
Under the bill, a rider at least 21 years old who has completed a motorcycle safety course and has been operating a bike for at least two years wouldn’t have to wear a helmet.
Thankfully, we here in Michigan expect Granholm to do the right thing, and veto a dumb bill.
I guess what baffles me is the months and months of hard work these legislators have put into this bill. Is this really progress? Is there nothing better for these people to do?
I admit, I do not ride. But there is something about motorcycles I like. However, one thing I have never been able to figure out is this: If my car made as much noise as the typical motorcycle, people would say my car was broken. And in many states, it wouldn’t pass inspection. Yet, motorcycles are given a pass on noise pollution.
Let’s see here. A repeal of the helmet law will undoubtedly cause more serious injuries and deaths (I wonder how many motorcycle riders in Michigan who would avail themselves of the right not to wear a helmet even have comprehensive health insurance?)Who benefits from a repeal of this law? A bunch of people championing their right to be a wombat. A bill that would force a whole new generation of mufflers on motorcycles, on the other hand? Such a bill would benefit everyone. But we’ll probably never see that. That’s okay…there ARE more important things for lawmakers to worry about. At least I hope so.