Helmet Law Passes State Senate

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Motorcyclists could ride without a helmet if they buy an annual state permit under legislation approved Thursday by a divided Michigan Senate.
Senators changed the bill to designate more revenue from permit fees to law enforcement, so it heads back to the House, which approved a similar version last week.
Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm ultimately could veto the bill, though, because she supports an existing law that requires motorcyclists to wear a helmet.
After passionate debate, the Republican-led Senate voted 23-15 to pass the bill.
"There are risks to everything we do in life," said Sen. Ray Basham, D-Taylor, arguing that motorcyclists deserve the freedom and choice to go helmetless.
Sen. Tom George, R-Kalamazoo, responded: "Helmets protect your head. Without a helmet, both injuries and fatalities will increase."
George, a doctor, tried unsuccessfully to tie the bill to a measure requiring motorcyclists to have personal injury protection insurance under Michigan's auto no-fault law.
The legislation would allow riders to pay a $100 annual state permit fee to allow them to opt out of wearing a helmet. Bikers also could pay $200 for three years.
Motorcyclists also would have to be at least 21 years old, have two years experience and complete safety training.
Riding helmetless without a permit would result in a $300 fine.
Granholm, a Democrat, vetoed legislation last year that would have let motorcyclists go without a helmet.
Twelve Republicans and 11 Democrats voted for the bill Thursday. Nine Republicans and six Democrats opposed it.

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  • by dave Location: coldwater on Jun 24, 2010 at 11:06 AM
    i would also love to pay to not wear my seat belt and to pay to not pay my taxes.
  • by David Location: Charlotte on Oct 19, 2007 at 04:25 PM
    I agree with you Paula these jerks in lansing are willing to let pepol die for the sake of a littile more mony but go with out a seat belt and see how long before you get a ticket its not right to let pepol ride a bike on the road and spil there brains all over the asfault and remember Insurance companys spread the cost to all there costumers so if this goes into afect and pepol with bikes get killed or hurt and file a claim the ins. company has to pay its not only bikers that will pay but you as a car or truck driver too will have to pay to cover the costs last time Granholm vetoed this bill I think its the only smart thing she has done hopfuly shes not so mony hungry that shes willing to put pepols lives at stake
  • by Paula Location: Mason on Oct 19, 2007 at 07:21 AM
    "There are risks to everything we do in life," said Sen. Ray Basham, D-Taylor, arguing that motorcyclists deserve the freedom and choice to go helmetless. THEN WHY DO WE HAVE TO WEAR SEATBELTS IN CARS!! IDIOTS! You can't balance the State's budget, but you can let motorcyclists go without helmets? You're all disgusting & should be recalled -- every last one of you.
  • by Kevin Location: Mid-Michigan on Oct 19, 2007 at 05:34 AM
    I wonder how much the insurance will cost them if they decide to have a "No Brain Bucket" Endorsement!!!!!!!!!! OH the lawsuits are coming and some poor slob will have to pay because the motorcycle rider had the right to ride with out a "Brain Bucket" and now they are a vegetable!!! Hope that money for the fee goes into a fund to pay for the putting back together of the skull pieces!
  • by don Location: mason on Oct 18, 2007 at 03:45 PM
    why not seat belts they should be optional.It makes just as much sense
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