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Senate votes to repeal Michigan helmet law

10:37 PM, Mar 28, 2012   |    comments
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Grand Rapids (WZZM) - The repeal of Michigan's motorcyle helmet requirement is a step closer to becoming law.  The State Senate voted in favor of the repeal, which would allow motorcycle operators who are 21 and older to decide if they want to wear a helmet. 

Douglas Furton is temporarily in a wheelchair but still alive.  He says wearing a helmet may have helped him survive a serious motorcycle accident this week.

"The helmet has saved me from a considerable amount of hardship," says Furton.

Its a choice state lawmakers decided a rider should make, not the government.

"There are times we want to give people choices, there are other states that already give people this choice," says Republican State Senator Dave Hildenbrand.

But Doctor Stephen Bloom says the bill to repeal Michigan's helmet law could come with serious consequences both for safety and finances.

"We expect to see an increase in brain injury that occur from that and it will add a significant amount of cost to our system," says Bloom, a brain injury specialist.

The revised legislation would allow riders over 21 and with additional insurance to hit the road with a helmet or not.

"I think it'll bring a lot of motorcycle enthusiasts to Michigan.  If they want to wear one they can, if not that's fine too," says Bill Anderson, who supports the repeal.

"In Indiana for example, you can ride without a helmet, and  it brings in a lot of revenue," says Harley Parmenter with Village Motor Sports.

Two similar repeal bills were vetoed by then-Governor Jennifer Grandholm.  Governor Snyder has not committed to one side or the other yet.  However, a spokesman with his office says there will be a detailed review before a final decision is made.

 

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