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Another One Bites the Dust: Michigan Repeals Helmet Law

By April 13, 2012

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Michigan repeals helmet law

Michigan became the 31st state to repeal its helmet law today, and the announcement was met with predictable cheers from the anti-lid set, as well as the usual counterargument that organ donor recipients finally have something to get excited about.

Governor Rick Snyder signed the Republican-sponsored bill into law yesterday following several years of debate, which included two vetoes by former Governor Jennifer Granholm. "While many motorcyclists will continue to wear helmets," he said in a news release, "those who choose not to deserve the latitude to make their own informed judgments."

The law comes with several caveats. Riders must be at least 21 years old and carry $20,000 of first party medical benefits coverage before ditching their lids. They are also required to have passed a motorcycle safety course or have had their motorcycle endorsement for at least two years; all but the last two stipulations also apply for passengers.

Do you like the way helmet laws are going, or is this a step in the wrong direction? Comment below, and click here to see an updated list of helmet laws by state.

Source: Detroit News


Photo © Getty Images

April 13, 2012 at 1:08 pm
(1) Dabber says:

I wear a helmet always, but that wasn’t always the case in my youth, and bouncing off a telephone pole changed the way I fell about things.
I have mixed feelings for helmet laws. On one hand we have one more law taking our freedom to choose our own destiny, on the other we have a law that might save lives. I’m all for less Government involvement in our lives. But not everyone would be as lucky as me and live to tell of how I ran into a telephone pole and lived. So I’m torn on the issue. Do I think people should wear helmets? Yes, but I wouldn’t force my views on anyone.

April 13, 2012 at 1:13 pm
(2) Scott Richards says:

Definitely a step in the WRONG direction. Having choices is great, but it matters little when you are dead!

April 13, 2012 at 1:47 pm
(3) Skull says:

Anything faster than my lawn mower and I am wearing a helmet!

April 13, 2012 at 1:55 pm
(4) Bob says:

Who has the right to decide what the next guy does with his life. If he wants to die, let him. Too many people worried about the next guy and not themselves. This doesn’t say helmets are illegal, you can still wear one if you want, but stay out of everyone else’s business.

April 13, 2012 at 1:57 pm
(5) Bob says:

That was directed at Scott by the way.

April 13, 2012 at 2:08 pm
(6) todd says:

Many states do not require a helmet. Riders should not be forced to ride with a helmet. End of story. Yes, there are risks, but there are also risks with flying and taking shower. Get over it.

April 13, 2012 at 2:11 pm
(7) Pete says:

Directed at Bob.

I, dumbass (insert name of dumbass), have chosen not to wear a helmet. Therefore, I hereby sign this release affirming that I waive all my rights to medical attention and insurance benefits. Please note, a DNR notice is in effect.
Sub-moronic dumbass

That way, all the idiots with IQ’s 2 points below a tomato, can paint the roads red & grey..assuming there is actually any grey matter – without everyone else having to pay for it.

April 13, 2012 at 2:37 pm
(8) Dabber says:

Can we all not be so dramatic and angry… Sheesh!

April 13, 2012 at 3:02 pm
(9) scubaman says:

I am very much FOR Helmets as I once saw a rider go down. The first thing that hit the pavement was his helmet. He stood up and walked away from a wrecked bike. Food for thought……….

April 13, 2012 at 3:06 pm
(10) Brian says:

NOBODY supports helmets in automobiles even though the vast majority of traumatic brain injuries occur in auto crashes. Strange eh?

April 13, 2012 at 3:11 pm
(11) ken says:

I ride, I lived in no helmet states and I found myself wearing a helmet about half the time. I believe it should be choice, and no one should be able to force me to wear or not wear a helmet. There is alot of ways you can die. I survived 20 years in the military and it should be my FREEDOM to do what I want.

April 13, 2012 at 3:26 pm
(12) Karl says:

I’ve been riding motorcycles all my life. I believe that you should have a choice; if you are financially responsible.

I’ll continue wearing a helmet until all the cars are outlawed. Drivers in cars are the major cause of head injuries in motorcycle crashes.

April 13, 2012 at 4:04 pm
(13) axedaddyc says:

I’ve just got back into riding after 30 years. When I was younger I wore a helmet in Michigan because I was required to. When I moved out west I didn’t because I had a choice. Now being older I’m not sure what I will do but It’s nice to have a choice.

April 13, 2012 at 9:28 pm
(14) Raat says:

Lets make a deal….if I cause my own death while riding a motorcycle, I’ll die…if its your fault you go to prison for the rest of your life…

April 13, 2012 at 9:36 pm
(15) Charlie says:

Thank you Jesus for giving me Life. Thank you Service Men and Women for giving me the freedom to choose and live in a free country. Thank you to the people that want me to be JUST LIKE THEM for staying the hell out of MY business.

April 14, 2012 at 1:18 am
(16) john says:

I”m glad that I live in a free country where I still HAVE the freedom of choice. Right?

April 14, 2012 at 12:01 pm
(17) Scottie says:

People should be able to do as they please as long as they are not a burden to society. That said, $20,000 will cover about 2 days in the hospital, not a life long head injury.

I have helmets motorcycling, the bicycling and skiing. I wear them

April 14, 2012 at 8:40 pm
(18) LCDyle says:

On to the next law that makes as much sense as this one……. No more SCUBA diving in the Great Lakes without using regulators.

April 15, 2012 at 10:16 am
(19) Garry says:

The truth is that helmet laws don’t really matter. I live in a state that requires them and the statute says they must be “Approved”. Those that want to wear a helmet do, and those that don’t wear a novelty.

Hopefully, nobody will learn that they didn’t make the best decision when it comes to their choice of riding apparel, but experience is a good teacher. Some learn from their own experiences and some learn from others.

April 15, 2012 at 10:52 am
(20) Stretch says:

Dear Pete, I found your nose…it was in my business…..

April 15, 2012 at 1:37 pm
(21) John Koskela says:

They say it is an issue of personal responsibility. You choose whether to were a helmet and take the responsibility of the consequences. Unfortunately, this is a moronic, simplistic view about personal biker responsibility. You ! The biker without the helmet ! You get into a crash and mess up your head, that increases my cost of biker insurance ! Take responsibility a bit more intelligently, and look out for the rest of us bikers who do not want to pay increase insurance costs because you are too dumb to wear a helmet !

April 15, 2012 at 3:06 pm
(22) Pete says:

John…as much as the smarter ones among us agree, you’re wasting your time. The only saving grace is, in and of itself at least, riding without a helmet won’t kill anyone else other than dumbass….
Someone here wants to me mind my own business. However – as you correctly pointed out, when it jacks Ins. costs, and medical costs up, and feeds the large, rabid, anti motorcycle crowd, it is every responsible motorcyclists business.
We get’s lots of bad PR as it is from the uneducated…why go looking for more? Even the uneducated can see helmets make sense.

April 17, 2012 at 12:37 pm
(23) Mike Akevano says:

Proponents of no helmet laws say this is a matter of freedom of choice. However, when someone else’s decision raises the cost of living for everyone else then I think the majority have a say in that decision. Helmetless riders raise the cost of vehicle and health insurance because of the increase in head injuries.

April 17, 2012 at 1:16 pm
(24) poplifedc says:

I’ve been riding for over 10 years. Back int he day when Pennsylvania repealed their helmet law, I set out to experience the “freedom”. I ride a V-Rod without a shield so I may be a bit biased. Anything above 30 mph and my ears were flapping like dumbo. My eyes teared up even though I had sunglasses that also sealed against my face.

After my 30 ride, I couldn’t help but thing why is this a good thing. On my way back to Maryland, on 95 south with the helmet on, a rock from nowhere hit the top of my helmet so hard it mad my head slightly go back. Not to mention bugs and other debris that gets kicked up.

The dent on the helmet was enough that I had to replace it. If that was my forehead it could have knocked me out.

Shortly after that I had my first very minor accident on another bike. First to hit the ground was my head. Glad I had my helmet on cause the street is not made of foam.

Still, I respect those how want to be “free”. I’ll just keep my lid on.

April 17, 2012 at 2:36 pm
(25) Gene Weir says:

Not wearing a helmet is like going into battle and refusing to wear a helmet and getting your head shot off.

April 17, 2012 at 6:36 pm
(26) David says:

The riders with brains will continue to properly protect them. The rest will be supported by taxpayers as they lay in a hospital bed.

April 17, 2012 at 6:39 pm
(27) Bill says:

I live in Michigan. This will make it easier for riders from no helmet states to ride into Michigan. Must have been a pita for them before to have to don a beanie to ride in our state. I have always worn a helmet even in no helmet states, and will continue to do so.
Snydley’s next bill to shove through (with the help of his cronies) will be to give vegetibles the right to vote in the next election. Should be a few more by then….

April 18, 2012 at 10:41 am
(28) Peter says:

Isn’t Michigan a depressed State right now, because of the auto industry? Maybe that’s the govenor’s way of easing the entitlements with natural attrition….. :-)

April 18, 2012 at 11:45 am
(29) LTR4Ever says:

There is a reason 31 states did away with helemt laws, because they suck. I don’t see anyone posting stats show insurance being higher in the states with no helmet laws.

April 18, 2012 at 11:48 am
(30) Dejan says:

Well, it’s good to have a choice, but this should be acceptable to a 35mph, nice short cruise, for more than that we call it open helmet. Great thing, looks cool, protects well from sun, rain, wind. Visor is a great option, too. I wouldn’t like to be the one who will be remembered by my kids as a person who loved life, loved to ride and knocked his head. I remember when I slid in wet weather condition, traveling at 30km/h, first thing I felt was clank on my helmet…..Good Reason to have that there instead of my nose or skull….So love life, enjoy riding and remember the ones that you love life for…….Good Luck from Australia….

April 18, 2012 at 11:51 am
(31) Andy says:

Absolutely, everybody has the right to use a helmet or not to use a helmet. God forbid I should tell somebody what to do. But I have a question for those who don’t. ARE YOU OUT OF YOU’RE DAMN MIND.

April 18, 2012 at 1:45 pm
(32) DonnaR says:

1. Read motorcycle accident statistic and related head injury on helmet v. non helment before you comment.

2. you enjoy your freedoms? me too!

3. Last time I checked my motorcycle insurance co did not ask if I wear a helmet or not- so doesnt affect my insurance

4. Don’t assume the state/gov will take care of someone in the hospital- health insurance/ motorcycle medical applies!

Please stop assuming things you do not know about before commenting!

April 18, 2012 at 2:23 pm
(33) Cystokid says:

This is a story of advocacy nothing more, nothing less. If enough folks didn’t like seatbelts we wouldn’t have laws requiring them.

April 18, 2012 at 8:14 pm
(34) Rider says:

Well, I have done both. In my younger days Virginia did not have a helmet law. Had a motorcycle and no money for a helmet. Wore cut-offs and a tank top. Had no idea I would go down. Well, it was on a on the road off the road Honda. Also went down years later (3 Years) on my KZ 400 Kaw. Had on jeansand a USAF Field jacket and a Helmet–rolled across a driveway not hurt.—Yes I wear a helmet now–If you don`t want to wear a helmet–PAY HIGHER HEALTH AND INSURENCE. I wonder if Odumber health plan will take care of you.–ride on

April 18, 2012 at 10:02 pm
(35) Soapberryusa says:

I agree with Pete. Dumbasses galore. There is no end to the pervasive machismo in our society and with the concomitant low IQ’s, which has always been pretty much true for the bell curve of motorcyclists. It figures a backward thinking repuke Republican signed the bill.

April 19, 2012 at 8:48 am
(36) bob says:

i ride, i wear a helmet – my choice.
you ride, you choose. good choice, bad choice, your choice.

April 20, 2012 at 8:27 am
(37) Rick C. says:

What i fail to understand is why am i not required to wear a helmet, but yet i HAVE TO wear a seat belt… Can someone explain that to me?

April 20, 2012 at 10:58 am
(38) Pete says:

It might have something to do with the brainless wonders making the laws…..

April 20, 2012 at 11:05 am
(39) Kate says:

I guess I don’t see how wearing a helmet is any different than wearing a seatbelt and the laws should be the same. People aren’t bright enough to protect themselves, so a law is created that forces them to – enough said. And how are they going to enforce the medical care portion of that law? Cops don’t ask that stuff if you get pulled over. You don’t have to prove it to buy a bike.

April 20, 2012 at 3:21 pm
(40) Stephen Dent says:

It think the way the law stands now is good. People can choose to risk their own melon, but they have to at least have the insurance to do it. Way to go michigan!

April 21, 2012 at 8:45 am
(41) Rider says:

If i had no helmet I couldn’t though about the dangers and what will happen. who need to find problems, there’s no good thing better than buying a car that more safe than motorcycles. keep on your lives Riders and don’t run without helmet. Particularly, helmet was created to protect people who ride a bike on their head and from crashing and other dangers. in my country, I’ve never seen a motorcycle rider who ride a motorcycle without helmet. in my country the law cares about the people and not accept and ready for an accident.

Be Safe and Ride well as good as you can.

April 22, 2012 at 1:03 am
(42) Edward Stotts says:

My Dad has had two accidents on a Honda 250 CC Reflex Scooter & his helmet saved his life. Since the scooter has been fixed, I own it & always wear a helmet.

April 22, 2012 at 4:45 pm
(43) Breeze says:

It’s not if helmets are safer. It’s about FREEDOM! Do you think the Government cares about you? It’s the Insurance companies that just want any excuse to raise your rates. If helmets work so good, why are people still getting killed in States with helmet laws?

April 24, 2012 at 1:47 am
(44) Scottie says:

Just another thought…

Another thing I like to do is rock climb. You can rope climb or free climb.

Rope climb and the % of deaths is near 0%.

Free climb and fall above 40 feet, almost 100% death.

Assisted care can push toward $100,000/year. If you have $10,000,000 worth of insurance, smash into what ever wall you wish, but stay miles away from me.

May 1, 2012 at 10:35 am
(45) Nick says:

So in my car i have to wear a seatbelt, but i can ride a bike and not wear a helmet. good idea. i live in wisconsin and it’s the same way. if a biker doesn’t have to wear a helmet, why should i wear the seatbelt? I will anyway, and when i bike i wear a helmet for protection, but i guess if those idiots want to end up dying, let the dumbasses do it.

May 1, 2012 at 10:59 am
(46) Cole says:

I’m a rider and believe in Freedom of Choice. That’s all our Country needs are more useless laws. Thanks Governor for making all of us Americans a little more free today.

May 1, 2012 at 5:34 pm
(47) john jucius says:

I wear a helmet but because I want to to protect myself but there should be choice. People that don’t bike do not realize why a biker prefers not to wear a helmet so stay away from that discussion. You have to have a seatbelt in an auto but not on a bike, do you want to get rid of motorcycles because someone might get hurt. Hey let’s quit keeping score at soccer ball games while we are at it.

May 21, 2012 at 11:21 pm
(48) Jim kelly says:

No one should be allowed to ride a motorcycle helmet or not period. Their much too dangerous even with a helmet. Buy a safe car or take the bus!! The government knows whats best for you. When you leave your house you should be required to wear a helmet and a safety vest.

Safe at home Jim

May 23, 2012 at 4:14 pm
(49) Rusty says:

No helmet no ride, yes the government needs to make this decission for you. The people who die are fine… no ongoing cost, bar dig a hole chuck them in. It’s the ones that end up with a head injury and need help for the rest of their lives, would you wish that on your families or society just because you wanted the wind rushing through you hair??? Really??? Don’t be so selfish

And Jim Kelly, yeah mate live life to the max on the couch, and be safe buddy :)

May 23, 2012 at 10:42 pm
(50) Phil Draper says:

I have been riding for 63 years, when I started I had never heard of a helmet. I have had a few accidents only one where a helmet may have helped. I had a wrecker service for years, I picked up many motorcycle accidents and I can’t remember one where a helmet saved a life.
I had a police officer tell me later that a guy was killed because he had no helmet, I knew better because I had the helmet with the guy’s teeth in it and also knew that when lady turned left into him the handlebars pierced his chest into his heart. I’m not against anyone wearing a helmet, I just don’t want to wear one. I had an accident last week when a dump truck pulled out in front of me, he was in both lanes and I hit him, neather one of us had helmets on. $2000 dollars damage to the bike, a little road rash on both of us BUT NO HEAD DAMAGE. We don’t so many personal laws. Head protection great but don’t want head protected, my choice. RIDE SAFE Common sense in the best protection.

May 24, 2012 at 8:27 am
(51) Andy T says:

I live in the UK where helmets are required by law. I have been riding fo over a decade now and would not dream of riding without a helmet in a similar way that i would not dream of driving a car without a seat belt. Ys it is your life on the line but if you hit another vehicle and die or a re seriously injured as a result you should take into acount the civil rights of the person you hit. they will be traumatized by the fact that they were involved with your death or paralization and they wern’t given an option!!! Helmets may not save everyone but they help.

May 25, 2012 at 1:09 am
(52) gregor says:

the revised law seems reasonable. I’m happy to see people are allowing others to be responsible in decisions in their own lives.

May 27, 2012 at 3:25 pm
(53) Altin says:

I bought a M5X Carbon from Colin after snieeg it at the Excel show a couple of years ago. It is not the cheapest carbon helmet on the market, but the quality is streets ahead of other carbon fibre helmets. It still gets comments whenever I take it off and put it down, not quiet, but ok with earplugs. An Arai weighs a claimed 1400gms, where this is supposedly 1000gms. It is much lighter, but the real advantage of this helmet is it is cool, exclusive and makes your mates jealous.

June 3, 2012 at 1:42 am
(54) Pete Daggett says:

Darwin 101:
Protecting idiots runs counter to the preservation of the species…

June 7, 2012 at 4:04 pm
(55) neil says:

Common sense is wearing more protective gear than just a helmet.

November 27, 2012 at 5:36 am
(56) Chelucy Iddon says:

“On this issue, the evidence is clear, motorcycle helmets save lives and reduce serious injury,” Granholm said when she vetoed against the bill being passed. It seems that the Governor is going to stand her ground despite jeopardizing her career as a Governor in Michigan.

March 20, 2013 at 4:35 pm
(57) Robert says:

The good thing is that these things are self-correcting. Over time, the surviving riders will be more intelligent and wear helmets.

March 22, 2013 at 10:18 am
(58) Keolanui says:

I love all of the back and forth banter but for everyone talking bad about people wearing a helmet is just as bad as people in cages talking about us riding a motorcycle. It’s just being another form of a hypocrite. I wear a helmet when I feel like it and don’t on other occasions. I even sell Reevu helmets that are awsome helmets with rear view mirrors in them but just as I defend my right to ride a motorcycle and drive cars old enough not to have seatbelts I respect everyones opinions. Everyone complaining about how dumb people are for not wearing a helmet should look at that fact that riding a motorcycle period is dangerous and they are acting just like the people who drive cages looking at us. Stay Classy My Friends

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