A long standing rule that forced motorcycle riders in the state of Michigan to always wear a helmet when on their bikes has been brought to an end.
Today, the governor of that state signed Senate Bill 291, which gives riders who are over 21 the choice of whether or not they want to wear a helmet. If they decide that they do not want to wear a helmet while on a motorcycle, they must first meet a handful of criteria. First is the aforementioned age limit. The, they must also have more insurance than a rider with a helmet, and they must either have two years of licensed riding under their belt or pass a safety course.
30 other states have made riding with a helmet optional. The helmet requirement has been on the books in Michigan since 1967, when the United States Department of Transportation provided additional federal funds to the state on the condition that such a law was in place.
The governor has said that he hopes that all riders make an informed decision when it comes to their protection. A group called American Bikers Aiming Toward Education supports the new bill. They pointed to statisticss which they say show no correlation between optional helmet laws and rising insurance premiums.
As a personal injury attorney in Long Beach, I find it important to keep track of what other parts of our country are doing to promote safety. Whether wearing a helmet or not, I just hope as an injury lawyer that riders drive as safely as possible.