ABATE of Michigan
Fighting for the rights of all motorcyclists since 1976
Why Modify Michigan's Mandatory Helmet Law for Adult Choice?
ABATE's position supporting ADULT CHOICE for Michigan's mandatory motorcycle helmet law DOES NOT seek to eliminate the use of motorcycle helmets. Although ABATE questions the MANDATORY nature of a law that forces the usage of self-protection equipment with questionable benefits, it is the use of DOCTORED statistics, the misrepresentation of facts, and outright lies used by the safety-crats to support their position which is especially bothersome.
It is easy to see that the incidence of injuries is directly related to the incidence of accidents. The fact of the matter, though, is that the incidence of accidents and, thus, the incidence of injuries along with the fatality rate, (fatalities per 100 accidents), has been steadily DECREASING since the mid-80's, even with THIRTY-ONE (31) states allowing choice. This is CONTRARY to what people are led to believe by these same so-called safety experts according to the NHTSA. This can be easily verified.
The real question is "What can reasonably be done to curb the motorcycle accident rate even further"? Helmets do not prevent accidents, they haven't reduced fatalities, nor do they do they make for a SAFER motorcycle rider. Helmets MAY reduce some types of injuries OR they may INTENSIFY the severity of injuries. The crash helmet's effectiveness is totally dependent upon the particular circumstances of the accident over which a helmet has no control.
An experienced, educated motorcycle rider knows that their ability to ride their motorcycle in a safe and alert manner will do more to determine the probability of their involvement in an accident than all the ?safety? equipment that they could possibly carry. Therefore, the solution to reduce the motorcycle accident rate and more importantly, the fatality rate, is to initiate comprehensive education and awareness programs for BOTH the motorcycle rider and the car driver, PERIOD!
The reason for the nationwide furor against MANDATORY motorcycle helmet laws, however, arises not so much from a concern for public safety, but as a concern for an individual's right to self-determination. The success of our CONSTITUTIONALLY LIMITED REPUBLICAN form of government is in many ways dependent upon the ability of our citizens to develop into mature, responsible individuals. And, the very essence of maturity exists in the process of self-determination. For a government to pass regulations designed to protect individuals from themselves, it assumes that it is necessary to do so. How is it possible for a government to make such an assumption and still have It's people believe that they govern themselves?
The information in this paper is provided to counter the misrepresentations of the pro helmet law crowd with clear, rational, objective responses to their emotional rhetoric. With thirty-one states allowing adult choice for riders 21 years and older, the info provided PROVES that neither fatality rates nor accident rates increase with adult choice. There is not one state in the Union that has increased it's insurance rates with the modification of their mandatory helmet law to allow adult choice. Conversely, there is not one state that has DECREASED their insurance rates with the passing of a mandatory helmet law. Case closed!
Finally, from Motorcycles Fatal Accident Reporting System (FARS), as far back as 1977 comes the statement, "there is no significant difference in the fatality rates of states requiring and not requiring the wearing of a motorcycle helmet."
The truth will make Michigan FREE!
Jim Rhoades Legislative Director
ABATE of Michigan
ABATE of Michigan Inc.
P.O. Box 99
Constantine, Mi. 49042
Phone: 269 435-2058