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Support for Motorcycle Helmet Laws

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Public Opinion Strongly Supports Helmet Use

Change.org Petitioners Express Compelling Reasons to Keep Mandatory All-Rider Helmet Law in Michigan

In December 2011, with assistance from U of M public relations specialist Ian Demsky and in collaboration with Karla Klas, BSN, RN, CCRP, Injury Prevention Education Specialist with the University of Michigan Trauma Burn Center, who is an avid motorcyclist as well, motorcyclist Dan Petterson initiated an online petition entitled "Michigan Governor: Veto Helmet-Law Repeal to Protect Heads and Michigan’s Bottom Line," posted on the Change.org website. The petition was created in response to consideration by the Michigan Legislature of Senate Bill No. 291 (SB 291), a bill that if passed would repeal the state’s all-rider, mandatory motorcycle helmet law. The petition was directed at Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, and it asked him to veto the bill should it reach his desk.

Despite overwhelming evidence that helmets save lives and prevent devastating, debilitating injuries, despite numerous prestigious medical and research organizations who expressed their opposition to repealing the helmet law, and despite the showing that the general public supports the enactment and enforcement of helmet laws, Governor Snyder, on Friday, the 13th of April, 2012, signed SB 291 into law, making it Public Act 98 of 2012.

Medical Professionals See Firsthand the Consequences Suffered by
Unhelmeted Motorcycle Riders Who Have Crashed

  • L. C. I am a physician who sees the effect of head injuries frequently. They are devastating for the patient and family (which is frequently not insured) and an increase also places an unnecessary burden on insurance funds. My father drive a motorcycle to work daily and we have always enjoyed riding. Please don't let a few unreasonable enthusiasts convince you that it is necessary to go without a helmet to enjoy motorcycles.
  • E. B. I am a nurse who has cared for the devastating injuries that motorcyclists have had when not wearing helmets. It is a terrible burden on the health care system and far more costly to the families who care for the injured patient.
  • D. B. I have cared for people who did not wear the helmet. That would have made all the difference in the world. Please DO NOT SIGN THIS BILL!!!!!
  • R. P., MD As a Trauma Surgeon, I deal with the consequences of motorcycle crashes frequently. Repealing the mandatory helmet law is a bad idea, exposing our cyclists to increased risk.
  • J. P. I am a nurse and have seen first hand in ther ER the results of head injuries in motorcyclists BEFORE we had legislation. DO NOT repeal this. Protect our public.
  • D. R. I have taken care of many helmeted motorcycle riders who have live only because of the protection afforded. Most recently, I cared for a 21 year old college student whose helmet was destroyed. He went home with his family. Without the helmet, he would have been dead or suffered a horrible head injury, resulting in long term care. I would be glad to share the photo. Save lives.
  • I. K. As a nurse who has taken care of Traumatic Brain Injury patients and worked in Emergency and Acute Trauma Care settings, I have seen what happens when you don't wear a helmet.
  • K. J. Personal experience, as well as specific healthcare-related knowledge from nursing school.
  • R. W. I am a Rehabilitation physician and take care of head injured patients. No helmets means more head injuries. This cost everyone too much.
  • M. W. I am an emergency physician and I see the devastating debilitating results when people do not wear helmets and this is often young working people who no longer function as independent adults after their accidents.
  • J. T. I have been involved in brain injury rehab for over 30 years. Protection against traumatic injury to thwe brain is essential. Helmets provide the best protection availabe at this time. Please continue the requirement that helmets be worn by motor cycle operators and passangers.
  • M. P. I am an Emergency physician and have seen the traumatic effects of those patients who had devastating head injuries when a helmet was not worn, and the protective effects when one is worn. Bottom line- those without helmets usually go to a morgue or a nursing home and those with helmets usually go home.
  • S. M. As a prehospital care professional I have seen the effects of accidents involving motorcycle riders. Helmets make a difference in life and disability. Without the law to require helmets, the riders that need the added protection a helmet provides would not have the foresight to wear one.
  • L. K. I have worked in health care for the last 30 years in trauma critical care and surgery. The lives saved by the use of helmets is significant. The repeal of helmets will add a tremendous burden to an already stressed healthcare system and the impact on families of injured motorcyclists will be significant. Don't let this repeal go into effect.
  • E. B. I am a Physical Therapist in a Neurological Rehabilitation Setting, and I treat patients who have Traumatic Brain Injuries every day as a result of either a motor vehicle or a motorcycle accident. The injuries that occur as a result of the accident are life long, and if this law passes, we are further putting the residents of Michigan at risk for death or dealing with ever lasting injuries as the result of a traumatic brain injury.
  • A. R. I am a ICU nurse who has seen the effects of motorcycle accidents and have worked with people with TBI's. My husband rides a motorcycle and I never want him to ride without a helmet. Some times we have to have laws for people to protect themselves, hence the seat belt law!!
  • G. H. In my field of work in Emergency Medicine, we experience first hand the effect of helmet use in motorcycle accidents. If unhelmeted riders make it to the ED alive, the effort of increased efforts put into managing an unhelmeted rider compared to a helmeted one are enormous.
  • E. S. M.D. As an Emergency Physician seeing how trauma effects peoples lives, it is hard for me to understand how this is even being considered. PLEASE DO NOT REPEAL THE HELMET LAW. Medical costs are already staggering.
  • E. C. I am an ER nurse, I see heads and lives saved every days by helmets
  • T. P. Unbelievable, the rationale that is posed to support the repeal. Obviously, the Senate has not spoken with the Medical/Osteopathic Professions, Neurosurgeons, Emergency Care Professionals, or Rehab Professionals who care for such injuries.
  • R. A. I support Governor Snyder to refuse to repeal or modify the Motorcycle Helmet Laws for all of the reasons presented on this petition. Examples: As a Public Health Nurse in Ann Arbor, I visited the home of a beautiful 16 year old Ann Arbor Pioneer High student, who had lost one whole leg and had a large scar on her face, from a Motor Cycle Accident . She was learning how to walk with an artificial leg. The emotional trauma to her family, especially her Dad, was great, as he had forbidden her to ride on her friend's motor cycle. Her helmet saved her from becoming paralyzed and losing her life. As the Dad of a daughter who might be tempted to take a ride without a helmet that didn't fit or was unavailable, I am sure Governor Snyder will agree with this petition. An older 40 Plus man does not agree with me. He stated that it was better for him not to wear a helmet, because he would be more apt to be killed than severely injured needing long term care. (His comment was illogical, unreasonable.) The Law for all to wear helmets does save lives, reduce head injuries, and insist that all cyclists act responsibly to assure protection for themselves and others. Roberta Asplund, Ann Arbor, MI
  • N. W. I am an ER doctor, and see the results of trauma in patients who do stupid things, or don't follow the laws we already have. Repealing this law is asinine.
  • R. K. I am an emergency room physician assistant and see patients that are seriously head injured even with a helmet on. I also take care of those that have survived their injuries and are in long term care following their brain injuries. My neighbor was seriously brain-injured even with his helmet after a motocycle crash and he is not the same person he was. This life-long long-term care is often needed by the very young and is very expensive--everything that reduces the number of people whose lives will be changed by sufferring this type of injury must be done. We need to continue using helmets. We are going to run these risks for the thrill of the wind blowing through our hair? How as a parent do I convince my kids that they need helmets when riding on their bicycles when adults don't wear them while on a motorcycles? The injuries sufferred by those wishing this extra freedom becomes the burden of us taxpayers when they are disabled and have to be paid for by us. Keep the helmets on!!!
  • Dr. S. T. As an Emergency Physician, I see almost every day the incredible importance of motorcycle helmets. Not only that, but when head-injured patients rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars in hospital costs, we all pay for it.
  • A. H. I am an EM physician, and my father and 4 brothers all ride motorcycles. I want to protect my patients and family members from traumatic brain injuries and life-long disability.
  • B. H. I work for Trauma Services at Holland Hospital Emergency Dept. Helmets DO make a significant difference in the occurrence and severity of head injuries. Inpatient Rehabilitation is often required for head injury patients, and the cost affects all of us, even if the patient has insurance. The forces of a collision or fall from a motorcycle are far beyond what a rider can control. Let us learn from the mistakes of other states, and keep the helmet law mandatory.
  • E. Z. In my medical career, I have seen the results of no helmets.
  • E. P. I am an emergency physician and know that a helmet makes all the difference in the outcome of a motorcycle crash, life v. death, intact mentally v. devastating brain injury.
  • B. R. I have seen first hand what happens to people who do not wear helmets and are in accidents.I have also worked in a state that repealed thier helmet law and found what a financial burden it was on the state and its people that they reinstated the law.I understand that people want to ride without a helmet but why should everyone else pay for that choice. Why have a seatbelt law. It is the same issue.
  • H. C. I am a public health worker, and feel that it is our job to keep the public safe at all times
  • M. A-G. As a Trauma Coordinator, I have evidence based fact to prove that helmets help to prevent unnecessary head injuries - especially in low-impact accidents.
  • J. L. As a Emergency & Trauma R.N., I don't want to see another life lost needlessly. Keep helmets on our cyclists heads. Michigan can't afford public payment of "personal choices"!
  • M. D. As an ER doctor, this will have a large cost to society in terms of brain damaged individuals involved in accidents. This will not save money as it will be taxpayers, not this individual, paying for lifelong medical care.
  • J. L. I am a nurse and I recognize that it is unsafe to ride a motor cycle without a helmet. I further recognize that $20,000 in insurance will not be sufficient to cover the cost of care for someone who is in an accident without a helmet. People don't really understand what can happen to them unless they've seen others with this type of injuy.
  • K. H. I work in a Trauma ICU and see the damage done to motor cycle riders and I believe the damage will be fatal if this law were to pass and at the expense of tax payers.
  • Dr. E. F. S. Grand daughters future Father in law died recently from an accident riding with out his helmut on. In New York. Secondly, as an Optometrist over the years I have seen many young men who had MTBI and ongoing eye and and vision problems
  • S. L. I am an Emergency Medicine physicianand have seen first hand how helmets can prevent serious head injuries ; I am also a concerned citizen and tax payer and want my tax dollars optimally used
  • M. E. I am signing this petition because I am an emergency room physician. I know the true horrors of motorcycle accidents and how much severe head injuries truly cost. I'm the person who tells you your loved one is dead or that your child is likely going to have permanent brains damage. Helmets save more than just lives. Please veto this repeal!
  • L. S., Ph.D., R.N. The suffering that occurs from head and spinal cord injury is far worse for the person, their family and cost to society in health care costs than the inconvenience of wearing a helmut. Please Governor Snyder veto this repeal.
  • D. W. I am an Emergency Physician and have seen and treated the deadly results prior to the helmet law. Helmets save lives and reduce severe head disabilities, that society usually has to take care of.
  • K. D. I have seen too many people in motorcycle accidents whose lives may have been spared if they wore a helmet. We have gun laws that say we must keep our guns in a case while travelling. Why not be just as strict with the bodies of our loved ones with a helmet law?
  • G. T. I'm a medical first responder and I feel this law would make my job at motorcycle accidents more gruesome
  • M. I. Because I have knowledge of traumatic head injuries, not to metion orther kinds, and how devastating and easily they can happen...it's ridiculous to think you should be "too Cool" and try to tempt fate with risky actions in traffic.
  • S. U. I am a physical therapist and have seen 1st hand the degree of injury that can be sustained when the head is not protected. Please do not repeal the helmet law.
  • D. H., MD As an Emergency Physician you'd think I'd want you to sign it since I could then bill insurance more for all the care I'd have to give to brain injured people. But I don't want you to sign it since I hate seeing brains out of skulls. More people will die, and worse, more people will be permanently brain injured, just so they can feel the wind in their head. Stupid. Don't sign it. Do the right thing!!!!
  • J. P. I've worked as an ER physician and seen the carnage.
  • K. G. I am signing because, as an emergency physician and a motorcycle rider, I have seen, both personally and professionally, how motorcycle helmets save lives.
  • S. H. Having worked in the rehabilitation field for 41 years as a physical therapist I have treated brain injured patients who have been injured with and without helmets on. Degree of injury overall siginificantly less when wearing helmet.
  • B. P., RN BSN ONC I’ve been aa Orthopedic RN for many years and I have seen first hand the injuries both with and without the pt having worn a helmet. Believe me the helmet saves lives and brain matter!!
  • D. O. I am signing because I work with Brain Injury and I see first hand how fragile the brain is, it needs all of the protection it can get. I also do not want my tax dollars to unecessarily pay for injuries that could have been prevented!
  • S. H. I am a neurologist and see the tragic results of traumatic brain injury every day.
  • G. M. I am an Emergency Physician and see the effects of these injuries everyday.
  • K. L. I am a physical therapist and have seen first-hand the devastation a brain injury can cause.
  • E. H-D. I am a Nurse Practitioner in the Emergency department at U of M hospital. There are far to many preventable injuries and we need to keep motorcyclists wearing helmets to prevent long term injury as this costs us far more than the $20,000 policies are providing for in the long term over a persons life with a traumatic brain injury- assuming they survive. There are certain things that people should have a choice about and being safe is not one of them. Thank you, Emily J. Heys-Dobberstein RN, MSN, FNP-BC
  • W. H., MD As an emergency physician, I have seen the horrific aftermath of head injuries from motorcycles. If survived, these folks have years of rehab ahead of them, potentially on your fellow citizens' dollar if they do not have great insurance. The state has a responsibility to protect its citizens.
  • F. J. I am a neurologist who treats traumatic brain injuries.
  • J. F. I have been an OT for 33 years... do you want to MEET the folks that thought helmets were optional? Do you want to meet the folks that are alive because of the helmut they were required to wear????
  • A. S. As a training emergency medicine physician I have seen how much worse the injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents are without helmets. They, like seatbelts, should absolutely be required.
  • J. C. As a nurse I have seen the devistating effects of those injured in motorcycle accidents, helmets do save lives. Not wearing a helmet, especially in this day of high traffic volumes, increased speeds and reckless drivers (both auto and motorcycle) puts the cyclist at unnecessary risk. Those who ride motorcycles consider the option to helmets as a personal freedom but when accidents (and deaths) occur it effects everyone involved.
  • C. P. I work with people with TBI!
  • M. D. I am an ER nurse. I have seen the results of helmetless riding.
  • Dr. G. O. As a physician and having discussed this matter with the Governor at the UM tailgate before the UM/Wisconsin game, I urge that the helmet law of 40 years be sustained.
  • J. M. This bill will bankrupt the tax payers. The cost of someone in a motorcycle accident with a major head injury will exceed $500,000 for their initial hospital stay. This does not include the cost of rehabilitiation, and the life long disability that will ensue. As an Emergency Physician I see this far too often. Those not in the medical field need to look deeper into this issue.
  • K. B. As an Emergency Physician, a repeal of the helmet law will add significant cost to health care in the immediate stages after injury, It will also burden for the chronic care of injured individuals who have survived. The psychosocial issues of the injured person and his/her families cannot be fathomed. Repeal of the helmet law is ridiculous.
  • K. S. I am signing this becasue I am a rehab nurse who sees the devastating impact on individuals and theri families that crashes cause on a daily basis. It is unconscionable acceptable that you would allow this law to pass. Would you consider eliminating the autmobile.seatbelt requirement so that we could have more tourists come to Michagan ?
  • A. A. I work for a trauma center. We see these patients all year round. The costs of caring for motorcycists who survive accidents is enormous for families and for taxpayers. No motorcycle insurance under $1M is aceduate.
  • L. G. I am a health care provider who knows the devastating effects of closed head trauma. I am also a health care consumer who is not interested in subsidizing the cost of care for people who do not take appropriate action to protect their own health.
  • S. G., EMT-B Everyone should wear a helmet...I have seen too many accidents and traumas due to motorcycle accidents. Riders will have no protection and the increase in injuries will result meaning a shortage of ICU beds, beds in ECF's and we as taxpayers would have to pay for the uninsured!
  • D. L. I have treated so many people who were innocent victims of crashes with motor vehicles who needed rehabilitation care because of their injuries. Without the requirement to wear helmets they may die or need long term custodial care which would go well beyond the $20,000 insurance requirement.
  • C. W. I work in brain injury rehabilitation and see first hand the devastating affects caused by not wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle.
  • S. S. I work in a trauma center and have seen first hand the devistation to people and families secondary to motorcycle collisions. Attempts should be made to avoid head injuries at all costs - passing this bill would be a huge step backwards for Michigan as we continue to work towards a statewide trauma system. We have an obligation to our citizens and community to maintain safety measures!
  • G. P. I work in E.R. and see patients with life-altering head injures that may have been prevented with use of a helmet.
  • B. S. Michigan Emergency Nurses support to save lives and reduce head injuries.
  • B. W., M.D. As a physician, I see the repeal as only adding to the financial and emotional costs of our communities.
  • T. P. I am an ER physician
  • P. K., M.D., Ph.D. As a pathologist, I have seen the acute and chronic consequences of traumatic brain injuries. Our son had a closed head injury while skating (WITH A HELMET) and lost a year of his life and erased 4 years of education from his memory. I strongly urge you to VETO this legislation.
  • T. F., M.D. As a pediatrician and public health professional, I feel that this bill would undermine the progress we have made on enhancing the safety of children and adults in this state.
  • J. K. Insurance coverage requirement is not adequate to pay the cost of the medical care required by persons who have sustained head injuries while motorcycling without a helmet. I am an emergency medicine physician and know from personal experience how expensive these injuries often are.
  • K. K. As a safety and traumatic injury expert at a Level 1 Trauma Center, I strongly urge Governor Snyder to veto the proposed motorcycle helmet law repeal legislation. In this era of health care crisis and reform, laws that save health care dollars and resources are crucial. Motorcycle helmets have been indisputably proven to save costs and lives, as well as reduce resource utilization and injuries. In fact, the research data is so overwhelmingly conclusive that we have an ethical obligation to protect and ensure the safety and financial rights of our citizens by keeping the current universal helmet law in place.
  • C. B. I am an Emergency Physician - I truly believe that helmets have saved many of Michigan's residents from brain injury and death. To repeal the helmet law is shortsighted and will cost Michigan much more in the future.
  • D. R., RN I am a Registered Nurse, I get it.
  • A. L. Because I am an ER doctor and 20,000 dollars of insurance coverage does not even touch the cost of taking care of a polytrauma motorcycle victim. Society should not have to pay for preventable collateral damage.
  • T. B. As a County Board of Health member I am familiar with the trauma of head injuries.
  • M. A. I am a registered nurse and work with severly injured patients so I see the benefits of helmet use. I think we should continue to enforce that people use/wear helmets.
  • H. H. I am a Michigan ER physician.
  • D. W. To protect the people who are hurt in accidents, who believed that it was Ok to not wear helmts becuase the law said so. As a nurse I have seen too many families hurt and stryggle with a family member who has brain injury.
  • W. F., M.D. As an emergency medicine and EMS physician, it is crystal clear that repealing the helmet law will cause increase deaths, disabling brain injuries, and increase the economic burden on the rest of Michigan's citizens. As Michigan's statewide trauma system evolves, it should be realized that there is little modern medicine can do to in brain trauma that can have the life saving impact of Governor Snyder vetoing this legislation.
  • J. S. I'm an ED physician and I can assure you helmets save more lives than they cause injury. This is a nonsense libertarian based movement that the State has an interest in stopping. If you repeal the helmet law you probably should repeal the seat belt law. The Government has an interest in protecting the vulnerable whether they know it or not.
  • L. B. As a nurse I have seen the devastation caused by motorcyclists not wearing helmets.

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TBI Survivors and Their Families and Friends Share
Firsthand Experience with Closed-Head Injuries

  • B. U. Our 55 year old son is a TBI survivor whose life was changed drastically after an auto accident in 1982. At that time seat belts were not mandatory; he may not have had his closed head injury if that had been mandatory. Motorcycle helmet use is in much the same category for preventing head injury. Please keep the mandatory law.
  • L. C. My son has an extreme TBI. He would have exhausted the $20,000 minimum insurance on the first day. We are so fortunate to be able to provide the needed assistance for him.Those receiving injury on motorcycles will greatly increas and they will end up being supported on the backs of the taxpayer. Supporting this bill is very irresponsible. Please do not approve it.
  • C. S. I have a head injury and would not wish it on anyone. I believe that head injuries would increase if helmets are not required to be worn by motorcyclists.
  • R. H. A parent of a child with a brain injury, and as a former member of the BIAM I saw many people with life long disabilities caused by brain injury.
  • R. M. I know from first-hand experience about the effects of a traumatic brain injury and the costs involved.
  • K. M. I am a car accident victim with a TBI suffered 20 years ago. Motorcycle accident victims whom I have met have been far more seriously and permanently injured than those injured in a car. These people have no idea what their quality of life will be like, cognitive loss, bowel/bladder control loss, and the list goes on.
  • A. F. I have an adult son who suffers brain damages from an accident
  • W. S. because for the last 16 years we have been attending to our sons needs since mar. 4th 1996 when he recieved a TBI that has left him unable to care for himself. i think the people that going to be resposible for this law need to visit a TBI rehab facility and see what really happen's to the brain and what the person can't do again sometimes never again. the brain is a slow healer. please veto SB291
  • R. P. I have a son with a TBI. Also, it is simply an important safety measure. Also save money health care wise.
  • J. H. I've watched a relative die from a closed head injury. It was devastating to his family, not to mention the financial burden for his injury and to the family with his loss of income.
  • D. St. A. I am signing for myself as a TBI survivor. I am also signing for my old Mich. Trans. driver, Rick Perry. Rick and I agreed to do anything and everything that would lessen road deaths. Helmets really play into that saving lives non-sense.
  • L. S. I am recovering from a closed injury that happened 11 years ago. If you want more people to be like me it shows that you are not a concerned man. Real briefly, I had to go to cognitive therapy every day for 3 years and !have over 50 surgeries. If that's what you want, then you sleep easy at night
  • C. S. People feel their rights are being taken away, try living every day without knowing your rights. That's what Tramatic Brain Inj. can do for your rights. Also, not to mention what it can do to your familys. You need to offer to volunteer in a facility for a day to see first hand what happens to people with TBI.Please veto SB291

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Families and Friends of Motorcycle Riders Involved in Crashes
Share Their Firsthand Experience

  • C. D. I had a best friend in a serious motorcycle accident. If not for helmet, she wouldn't be here today.
  • L. M. Please Veto SB 291. Motorcyclists without helmets are referred to as "Organ donors". My insurance agent said his son died in a motorcycle accident in Ohio because they do not have helmet laws. Even one life lost, or altered forever, must be protected. Please VETO SB291.Thank you.
  • R. A. J. Experienced the results of a motorcycle accident with a family member who was wearing a helmet ... can't imagine much worse the injuries might have been without the helmet.
  • D. A. My son was severly injured on a motorcycle the helmet saved his life and he has recovered very well. I can see little upside to this bill, and an overwhelming downside. We will be watching to see who caves to special interest.
  • M. G. I know people who have died wearing a helmet, I don't want to see someone die because they are not wearing a helmet.
  • D. B. MET AND TALKED TO GARY BUSEY WHO WAS ALWAYS AGAINST HELMETS UNTIL HE HIT THE CURB WITH HIS HEAD. NOW HIS LIFE AND CAREER HAS SUFFERED FROM THE BAD CHOICE OF NOT WEARING A HELMET. THE HUGE FINANCIAL BURDEN HAS TAKEN A TOLL ON HIS FAMILY AND HIS PERSONAL ACCOUNTS. THE STATE OF MICHIGAN IS NOT PREPARED TO TAKE ON THE EXPENSE OF UNPROTECTED RIDERS.
  • K. C. I've known to many people that would not be here today, if it were not for having the helmet law. We have the seat belt law for safety in automobiles, lets keep helmets on for motorcycles.
  • B. B. I have friends and family that would not be here today if they hadn't been wearing a helmet. They save lives.

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Motorcycle Crash Survivors and Riders Share Their Firsthand Experience Wearing a Helmet to Protect Their Head and Eyes

  • T. M. As a long time motorcycle enthusiast I have seen first hand what a helmet can do, personally and on others. Helmets reduce injuries and save lives.
  • J. S. I've been in two motorcycle accidents. Helmets saved my life in both of them.
  • S. D. Helmets are effective in preventing injuries and death during a motorcycle accidents. If the Michigan all rider helmet law is repealed all indications point towards an increased tax burden for Michigan's tax payers. Helmets can also provide eye, face, and head protection from flying debris and exposure to elements experienced in daily riding. Contrary to what some preach this is an example of where helmets DO prevent accidents and injuries. If you are not a motorcyclist, just think of driving your automobile everyday with no windshield and then ask yourself if adding the windshield to the auto would help to prevent accidents.
  • B. A. I ride and I know how many people get killed but the helmet has caused so many invalids an others for the state to take care of after an accident and they wish they were not wearing a helmet so that they would have died instead of being a paraplegic or quadraplegic. California did away with the helmet law for this very reason.
  • T. G. for the reasons listed and just plain COMMON SENSE...Come on! You make vehicle passengers wear seatbelts, mandatory airbags, etc...etc... and these few yo yos want to protect themselves with DO RAGS on their heads???That would be the most IRRESPONSIBLE act by a sitting Governor I can recall... PS... I am a motorcycle owner/rider...
  • D. W. I am signing this so that I may keep/save my brain.....and for the others who won't sign, and therefore need one!
  • S. P. As a motorcycle rider, its a simple LIFE SAVING DEVICE. We do not need our medicaid system bogged down by these severely injured people who are making a poor choice not to use a helmet. They make such TINY helmets that it does not impact the freedom of the motorcycle ride. Please PLEASE do not pass this legislature. We do not need more brain injured people.
  • L. K. Additional injury will accrue to the public health systems including Medicaid. I am also a motorcyclist and believe that the protection is of great importance.
  • J. F. As a motorcycle rider who averages over 8,000 miles per summer, I know that not wearing a helmet makes me an unsafe driving hazard to others as well as myself. Getting hit in the head with a June Bug at 60 mph can knock a man out, causing him to lose control of his bike.
  • C. S., RN, CRRN, CCM I believe a helmet can reduce the injury to the brain when an impact is happening. If we remove helmets for motorcycles, sports players don't need them either. WRONG! Please don't sign this bill. I will continue to wear a helmet when out enjoying Michigan roadways.
  • T. A. I am a motorcycle accident survivor. I would have died if I did not have a helmet on. Repealing this law lacks common sense
  • K. G. I am signing because, as an emergency physician and a motorcycle rider, I have seen, both personally and professionally, how motorcycle helmets save lives.
  • V. S. Helmets save lives and reduce injuries. As a former rider with a cycle indorsement and witness to motorcycle injuries, no one should consider riding without a helmet.
  • S. M-S. I was involved in a motorcycle crash that would have been fatal had the cyclist not been wearing a helmet. Why should motorists have to wear seatbelts while motorcylists go helmet-free? The costs to society are too great.
  • G. C. I nearly died on a motorcycle while trail riding in the Seirra Mountains in California.
  • S. L. Having been a motorcyclist over 45 years, I have seen the results of even the most minor crash have devistating effects on unprotected riders. To allow riders to ride without a helmet would open the door to increased costs and long term injury and burden for any rider that accepts the risk on their own behalf, and increase the burden on the state and families that have to live with the results. This is just a REALLY BAD IDEA!
  • L. T. I lived in Michigan until 2008 and I am a founding member of SMARTER. I live in a state that does not support a helmet law and there are far too many deaths due to not wearing a helmet.
  • J. G. I am a 58 yr. old motorcyclist and I feel strong about having a helmet while driving and riding.
  • M. F. My neighbor is a seasoned biker, yet a couple years ago he was in a serious accident through no fault of his own. It took him months to recover from the broken ribs, bruised internal organs, and injured hip, but thankfully his head was protected by his helmet. My family and I WHOLEHEARTEDLY hope you will veto this bill.

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Petitioners Share Outrage Over Costs of Unhelmeted Motorcycle Riders Who Crash and Claim Freedom of Choice

  • G. K. Please look at the cost of treating a head injured patient who lives before considering signing this bill. The cost is far above what a $20,000 insurance policy will pay. The rest of the cost will be borne by society.
  • L. N. Without helmets, there will be very adverse effects on the person if in an accident and Michigan will have to pick up the enormous medical expenses for those who are uninsured.
  • L. A. it's not about personal rights. It's about all of us being burdened because of others choices. This is wrong.
  • R. B. It is absurd to think that health care cost wont be astronomically increased by each and every head injury cause by a helmetless motorcycle crash, not to mention the pain and suffering for riders and their families, including loss of precious life. Please veto this bill.
  • B. K. This bill will affect all of Michigan Residents. $20,000 for personal injury insurance for motorcyclists with no helmet who get injured will barely cover a few tests for broken bones, and may not even cover 2 hospital days. This will not cover the care neccessary for a Traumatic Brain Injury, which could be months to years of care. This cost of these individuals' care will then be the burden of all Michigan Residents to balance the cost of care for these individuals. This is VERY important and I strongly urge the govenor to VETO this bill.
  • D. P. High cost of medical bills and spilled brains on the highway.
  • J. B. You will be increasing the health care costs for the patients with closed head injury. It wakes more than $20K to pay for these accidents
  • R. L. Helmet laws save lives and lower health care cost.
  • N. S. Health Insurance costs are already unacceptable, the burden of increased care for traumatic brain injuries will fall on the government and taxpayers, not to mention the additional lives that will be lost.
  • S. I. The human misery and medical costs make a veto comman sense.
  • M. S. The devastating injuries that occur when helmets are not used can be avoided by requiring helmet use. The cost of care for a paralyzed individual far exceeds far exceeds what is being proposed as the insurance rider for non-use.
  • J. K. It's not a completely personal decision...it imapcts the public as we pay for long-term care.
  • M. M. Personal freedom isn’t “personal” when the public must pay. Repeal of helmet laws results in increased deaths, injuries, and costs to society. One must consider the long-lasting emotional and financial impact of losing a loved one to an injury or having a loved one suffer a devastating disability that could have been prevented by simply wearing a helmet. The emotional toll on those who lose a friend or loved one in a motorcycle crash has a steep financial counterpart that we all pay. If our helmet law is repealed, the State of Michigan and its citizens will incur an unnecessary and avoidable financial burden. The motorcycle helmet issue is NOT a simple “it only affects me” or a simple “freedom of choice” issue. It is part of a much more complicated citizen-safety effort, and our best effort must include a mandatory helmet law covering all riders. No one know this better than myself, a paramedic and a trauma nurse who has seen it firsthand.
  • T. S. Safety of our riders is important. TBI is a devastating injury that costs thousands of dollars for medical care and a lifetime of recovery.
  • S. A. Because I don't want to pay for someone's head injury who isn't smart enough to wear a helmet.
  • M. B. This is not an individual rights issue. People don't just die in such accidents, they often become severely disabled from head injury. A cyclist who is injured due to not wearing a helmet will affect many people other than the cyclist alone. There are no protections for these secondary victims within the legislation. Any dependents left behind will experience both emmotional and financial loss. The cost of insurance for all cyclists will be increased to shift the expense onto more cyclists purchasing insurance. An injured cyclist without a helmet will result in lawsuits against any driver, hospital, or surgeon, or physician who happened to be unlucky enough to be around when the helmetless rider was injured (even if they are not at fault for the cyclists injuries or disabilities). Such lawsuits will be needed to cover the injured cyclists ongoing living and medical care expenses. The money will need to come form somewhere. Please protect society and secondary victims of helmetless cyclist injuries by pledging to veto this costly legislation.
  • L. L. To limit catastrophic, life altering head injuries and the health and fiscal costs associated with them.
  • M. A. R. Michigan cannot afford this massive increase in health care costs. History has shown the actually costs to human life and to taxpayers. Enough of a few individuals running our state at the cost of our lawmakers potentially loosing a few votes. Please do the right thing for human suffering and health care costs and do not sign this bill.
  • K. M. I do not want my tax dollars to be used to pay the medical expenses of cyclists who have an accident causing a traumatic brain injury. No $20,000 is not enough.
  • A. P. Helmets save lives! Furthermore, they save tax dollars to prevent missing helmet induced injuries.
  • D. M. using helmets saves lives and saves extreme health care costs
  • J. C-B. This is a VERY BAD IDEA! …and will cost the state taxpayers millions!!!!!!!!!!!! The people who decided they don't want to wear a helmet don't realize that it is the TAXPAYERS who pick up the bill for their negligence. Very few people have enough money, or enough insurance, to pay for life long nursing care from a traumatic brain or spinal cord injury, Helmets reduce greatly reduce the incidence of these devestaing injuries. The loss of tax revenue from these people not working is tremendous. This doesn't even touch on the impact to the patient's family and the rest of society. If we have seatbelt laws, life preservers for boaters, and require orange atire for hunters- we should have helmet laws. No one's rights are being violated. NO ONE is saying not ride a motorcycle-But helmets significantly minimize the severe long term damages of motorcycle accidents, hence decreasing the cost to society. Also, tourists don't avoid Michigan because of helmet laws, come on now...really. I can't believe anyone is that naive. Look at the data- Helmet laws weakened in other states caused dramatic rises in the number of deaths resulting from motorcycle crashes. And most importantly the citizens of Michigan overwhelmingly support helmet laws! Do you really want your teenager on a motorcycle without a helmet? (partial coverage age specific helmet laws are not enforceable. It is like telling a 20 yo at college party who wants to drink not to drink with their 21 yo friends. They will, until they get caught or become of age.) You must think critically about what the vocal few are truly saying and why. They simply don’t want to wear a helmet and don’t care what the real data says, what the rest of us will have to pay for their selfishness, and they actually have the gall to twist this into a freedom of choice issue.
  • P. G. Brain injury costs money. Why should I pay for some crazy person to ride without a helmet. An accident impacts everyone, when it comes to money and inability to work.
  • E. B. This long standing safety policy has been very successful in reducing costs to Michigan motorists and saving lives. There is no business case for changing it to a policy that cannot be enforced and will result in signficant reductions in helmet usage.
  • J. E. R. Michigan taxpayers cannot afford to pay for the health care costs FOR LIFE of someone maimed in a motorcycle crash because they didn't have a helmet on. Let your hair blow in the wind while doing somethihing else!
  • C. W. A repeal of this law will affect all of us. Riding a motorcycle is dangerous, riding without a helmet costs lives, and in term of the public health and welfare it costs money. Head injuries can last a lifetime and cost millions of dollars over the lifetime. It is foolish to repeal this law especially at a time of economic concern.
  • E. B. Nursing home charges in Michigan average $8,000- $9,000 per month. Assisted Living $4,000-$5,000 per month. $20,000 worth of insurance covers 4 months' care at best. The rest is on the taxpayer. I spent 50 years in advocacy for people with disabilities. I've met many people who rolled their bikes and live out their lives in long term care. Helmets matter. Please Veto this bill.
  • B. L. Burden for cost of treating head trauma falls on everyone.
  • B. U. The amount of healthcare dollars spend on ICU admission for motorcycle injuries is high enough. The long term care of pts will increase if more safety measures are not taken.
  • W. B. We know the cost of brain injury rehab and to prevent that injury in the first place makes more scents.
  • J. M. This bill will bankrupt the tax payers. The cost of someone in a motorcycle accident with a major head injury will exceed $500,000 for their initial hospital stay. This does not include the cost of rehabilitiation, and the life long disability that will ensue. As an Emergency Physician I see this far too often. Those not in the medical field need to look deeper into this issue.
  • B. S. Though this legislation may appeal to those who feel it is their right not to wear a helmet, I do not want to pay for injuries they may suffer as a result of their poor judgement.
  • D. D. Have you calculated the cost from injuries sustained without a helmet and how that will transfer to the taxpayers of Michigan when the injured motorcyclist runs out of insurance funds? The cost burden passed onto MI citizens/taxpayers should be considered a tax! Why should responsible MI citizens bear the burden of those not willing to take established precautions by wearing a helmet?
  • F. O. I do not think that Michigan needs to pay if someone is not insured and something happens. Unless you are in the health field in some way the cost of injury is underestamated. This could be a high price for wind blowing threw you hair.
  • R. K. This is absurd, the cost of one day in the hospital in a closed head trauma case would well exceed any bond of $20,000.
  • D. K. Save people's brains, and avoid huge medical costs!
  • R. M. We will all be paying long-term medical bills for people with TBIs.
  • M. B. Prevent increase in medical costs and protect idiots against self-harm.
  • E. D. M. We, the taxpayers, should not have to pay for the irresponsibility and carelessness of others.
  • D. V. Because we pay too much already for health care, the is a "No Brainer" in the face of health care reform. The facts speak for themselves.
  • P. P. Repeal contradicts all scientific evidence and would cost the state money via Medicaid to care for those seriously injured.
  • J. K. The removal of the requirement to wear a helmet will be catastrophic to the medical community and increase the financial burden on the tax payers of michigan for the potential traumatic brain injured patients that will result from this.
  • J. T. It has been proven that helmets prevent many head injuries during motorcycle accidents. This lowers the costs involved in treating closed-head injuries and SSI payments . Please do not repeal the law.
  • T. M. We all pay into the MCCA, we all should have a vote. I vote no to no helmets as a legal assistant for the injured.
  • R. S. This completely unacceptable. Taxpayers of Michigan will continue to pay for the lack of personal accountability or responsibility of others. If individuals CHOOSE to ride without a helmet with only 20K of insurance, I guess that's all they should get. Why do I have to pay for the someone else's "right" to be irresponsible. Don't I have a right to have my tax dollars spent responsibly.
  • C. S. The Senate evidently thought that the bill's requirement to have $20,000 of personal injury insurance was sufficient to cover the cost of a traumatic brain injury. We all know this is absurd – and that Michigan taxpayers will end up footing the bill for many who suffer serious head injuries while riding without a helmet.
  • K. K. As an expert in motor-vehicle crashes, eliminating requirements to use a protective device will only increase medical costs in the state of Michigan that we don't need.

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Petitioners Share Common-Sense Reasons for Motorcycle Riders to Wear Helmets and Logically Compare the Helmet Law to the Seat Belt Law

  • C. R. Helmets save lives. Plain and simple.
  • J. B. less injuries
  • M. L. The car I drive surrounds me in steel, has special bumpers, glass, seatbelts etc. to protect me at great cost. Why should bike riders not be required to, at the very least, wear a helmet?
  • C. L. States without helmet laws have significantly higher rates of severe traumatic brain injury in the young who end up in persistent vegatative states. Many of these are permanently supportted by the public.
  • K. E. Anyone foolish enough to ride a motorcycle without a helmet should be required to carry insurance sufficient to completely cover rehabilitative care for brain and craniofacial injury, including lifetime care in case of permanent disability. Since this is unlikely to fly politically, it makes sense to keep the helmet ban.
  • C. R. I don't feel that it is responsible or safe to ride a motorcycle on the road without a helmet.
  • J. F. Wearing helmets can help reduce injuries, deaths and health care costs.
  • P. J. Helmets save lives and decrease injuries. Helmets also provide a greater chance for a better quality of life for those that have accidents. G. B. This is so stupid. Why not get rid of seat belt laws also? Even little kids on bicycles now know they should wear helmets.
  • C. F. The existing helmet legislation has been saving lives and reducing medical injury costs for decades. To change it makes no sense what-so-ever! As good as modern medicine is, physicians cannot save every injured rider. They can't return every injured rider who lives to a life worth living.
  • M. S. I understand that Wisconsin has a no helmet law and as a result also has one of the highest availabililties of organs for transplant due in part to this law. i would assume those who survive require a tremendous amount of care for the remainder of life. I believe prevention is a better approach.
  • K. M. Helmets prevent brain injuries and saves lives!
  • J. W. The brain is too important of an organ to negatively "impact"!!!
  • E. P. Repealing the law will decrease helmet usage, especially by the young who don't understand how dangerous it is. It's great to ride a motorcycle, but it IS dangerous. Helmets save lives!
  • P. G. As the owner of public roads, it is the government's responsibility to assure that roads are used in a safe and efficient manner . The government set and enforces speed and rules of the road, licenses drivers and vehicles and takes other steps to assure the safety of the motoring public. Vehicles are required to be structurally sound, occupants belted, and motorcyclists need to wear helmets.
  • R. C. helmets save lives
  • J. P. Veto for the greater good!
  • M. N. Please protect Michigan residents! Veto the repeal of the helmet law. It is one of the good laws that I am proud to say Michigan has.
  • T. W. Safety should come before comfort
  • D. N. This puts tourism dollars ahead of people's lives.
  • S. S. THIS LAW IS ONLY FOR THE SAFETY FOR ALL MOTORCYCLE RIDERS AND ALSO MEDICAL INSURANCE PROVIDERS.
  • D. B. Public Health importance
  • R. P. If you've never seen brains on the ground . . .
  • K. A. This law will result in more severely brain injured individuals and death
  • K. J. Riding a motorcycle without a helmet should not be a personal choice but a legal mandate. It makes no sense to "click or ticket" to prevent injuries and then allow someone to drive around on a motorcycle without a helmet. Thank you.
  • T. H. I work with young people, and I am concerned about their health and safety.
  • N. J. Why helmets and not seatbelts? Same logic would apply - if you don't need a helmet, then you don't need a seatbelt. Duh - I don't want to die when someone else is an idiot.
  • N. Z. Serious outcomes from not wearing a helmet affect all of us and not just the rider. We know more now and thus are responsible for more. To return to a practice from 40 years ago is irresponsible!
  • D. G. Gov. Synder--please do not repeal the Michigan mandatory helmet law. This law protects our citizens and reduces cost to the State.
  • B. S. Far too many people are simply unaware of the tremendous risk of riding without a helmet. Even "slow " crashes are severely damaging and almost any normal riding speed is a 'fatal crash' w/o a helmet. Keep Michigan making the intelligent choice, it's a law that cares.
  • A. H. To save lives!
  • A. C. Not wearing a helmet is unsafe. Stop head injuries
  • K. B. THIS IS RIDICULOUS THAT WE EVEN NEED TO DEBATE THE SAFETY OF HELMETS IN 2012! THEY PROTECT THE DRIVER FROM CATASTROPHIC BRAIN INJURY.
  • R. G. How can there be any doubt about the safety issues regarding the use of helmets. This law is needed.
  • K. O. My brother had a kidney transplant two years ago in Grand Rapids. While awaiting transplant, he was urged to sign up in Wisconsin for a cadaver kidney. Apparently, due to the lack of helmet laws in Wisconsin, there is an abundant supply of kidneys. Enough said.
  • R. K. helmets save lives and decrease serious, permanent injury
  • D. C. Dangerous---
  • K. W. Automobile drivers are required to wear seat belts, whether they want to or not. The same policy reasons favor requiring motorcycle riders to wear helmets.
  • P. R. mandatory helmit laws do honestly save lives!
  • C. B. To save all the head injuries and brain damage that occurs frequently in a helmetless rider
  • E. L. Helmets do save lives. Michigan's all rider helmet law protects all riders. To change this law would result in an increase in injuries and fatalities. This law protects those who might not otherwise have the common sense ride with the proper protection.
  • C. M. This is a public health travesty!
  • S. H. Helmets save lives. Helmet laws protect people who aren't smart enough to protect themselves.
  • M. J. MOtorcycle helmet repeal is a regressive movement that would increase the burden to society. It's akin to repealing the seatbelt mandate. For the selfish motivations of the few, many more will suffer from its consequences.
  • R. S. More people will die or have severe traumatic brain injuries.
  • J. F. Maintain an improved state of health for all Michiganders.
  • J. B. If they pass helmet free on motorcycles they should be forced to pass no seat belts as you are more protected inside a car.
  • C. K. Because we need to keep the mandatory helmet law.
  • K. M. It is common sense to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle to protect one's head and brain, just as is done by countless other sports enthusiasts who do not engage in their sport at high rates of speed in the midst of vehicular traffic. Duh!
  • J. C. it would be irresponsbile to pass this law!!
  • J. M. Mandatory motorcycle helmet laws are literally a "no-brainer" - meaning no brains will suffer when motorcyclists wear protective crash helmets.
  • S. S. Helmets save lives! There is no credible evidence to overcome the overwhelimg research that they do not.
  • C. B. Loss of life and livlihood is to high to justify repealing this law.
  • S. B. although repealing the helmet law would increase the number of donor kidneys available.
  • M. T. Safety.
  • D. R. Other states that have repealed helmet laws also see a decrease in helmet usage for riders under the age of 21. Helmets lower health care costs.
  • T. P. There are only two type of people who ride motorcycles. Those that got hurt and those that are going to get hurt. Protect them and medical insurance programs.
  • S. M. S. This is so we don't have to take care of someone who is maimed or a vegetable all the rest of their life because they were too stupid to not wear a helmet!
  • C. M. We ride inside cars and wear seatbelts required by law. How logical is it to ride a motorcycle without a helmet? When others are not able to think logically then it is up to the others to make sure their brains remain intact so we can sign another petition when they come up with another not so brilliant idea.
  • M. P. The evidence is clear cut. Helmets help prevent brain injuries.
  • A. B. Motorcycles are already extremely dangerous because the rider does not have much, if any, protection. You can be the safest rider in the world and still get into an accident because it is the other driver that you have to worry about. Helmets save lives and I feel that they should be considered on the same level as wearing a seatbelt. Helmets are there to protect riders and make it more likely for them to be able to live another day if they are in an accident. Most riders only get one chance and all it takes is one mistake by any driver to cause an accident that can take a motorcycle rider's life. Don't take away there one chance for survival by removing the helmet law.
  • J. B. I read an editorial once and it stuck with me: riders who don't wear helmets must think they have nothing to protect.
  • A. R. With all the safety built into cars.....why in Gods name would you sign a no Helmet lawBefore you sign this bill....go to a major hospital and take a good look at no helemet injurys.
  • M. A. WEARING A HELMET SAVES LIVES!!! PLAIN AND SIMPLE!!! JUST LIKE WEARING A SEAT BELT IF IT IS NOT A LAW PEOPLE WILL DO WHAT THEY WANT!!
  • R. B. Helmets protect lives and lower vehicle insurance costs.
  • L. S. Because it's crazy to not wear a helmet when traveling at high speeds. We need to stop the madness.
  • S. M. We are required by law to wear seat-belts in a car because it saves lives. Babies have to be in an approved car seat in a car. Helmets on motorcycles follow the same common sense reasoning. Keep the law that has served out state well.
  • M. M. I believe that helmets are necessary protection for motorcycle riders and should be manditory, just like seatbelts on cars.
  • R. H. There are no good reasons to not wear a helmet!!
  • L. O. This has nothing to do with personal freedom; it's about being responsible!    

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