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Helmet Law Repeal Will Increase Health Care, Auto Insurance Costs

Total bill: $129 million in added economic costs to Michigan citizens

DEARBORN, Mich., June 2 /PRNewswire/ --AAA Michigan opposes several bills introduced in the House of Representatives that would allow motorcyclists to ride without their helmets. House Bills 4028, 4747, and 4907, sponsored by Representative Richard LeBlanc (D-Westland), would make helmet use optional, rather than mandatory, for those operating or riding a motorcycle.

Every year, bikers ride to Lansing to promote their narrow special interest (riding without helmets) without regard for the common good. A 2005 AAA study found nearly 90 percent of AAA Michigan members opposed a repeal of the state's mandatory motorcycle helmet law, which has served Michigan well for more than 35 years.

A repeal of the motorcycle helmet law will result in at least 30 additional motorcycle fatalities each year, along with 127 more incapacitating injuries and $129 million in added economic costs to Michigan citizens. This is based on the experience of other states where similar measures have been enacted.

As evidenced by increased medical costs passed on to taxpayers, motorcycle deaths and long-term catastrophic injuries are on the rise. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2007, 5,154 motorcyclists were killed - a 7 percent increase over the 4,837 motorcyclists killed in 2006. In Michigan, 120 motorcyclists were killed in 2007.

NHTSA estimates that helmets saved 1,784 motorcyclists' lives in 2007, and that 800 more could have been saved if all motorcyclists had worn helmets.

AAA Michigan urges legislators to keep Michigan's mandatory motorcycle helmet law, and encourages residents to contact their local legislators on this important issue. To contact your local legislator, go to:

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