Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Michigan: let bikers ride helmet free — for a fee

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by Ktulu, May 23, 2007.

  1. Article here

    Backers of a long-running quest to free Michigan motorcyclists of the requirement that they wear helmets launched a renewed effort Monday -- hoping to sway skeptics by paying a fee for bareheaded riding that could bring the state $25 million.

    One important skeptic: Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who vetoed the last attempt to make helmets optional in the state. Granholm thinks the law saves lives, spokeswoman Michelle Begnoche said.

    The latest no-helmet plan would create a license plate sticker to certify a rider was at least 21 and had personal injury insurance and two years of motorcycle experience.

    The stickers would cost $100 a year or $200 for three years, and would raise as much as $25 million for the cash-strapped state government, said state Rep. Barbara Farrah, D-Southgate, the bill's chief sponsor.

    While I'm normally the first to tout the retardation of America and the detriment to their own society in their relentless, lusting pursuit of rights & freedom... this is pretty close to being ok, yeah?

    I mean - helmets are a damn good idea; but a lot of people do believe in personal choice as well.

    I think if there's going to be an allowance for helmets to be optional - this isn't a bad way to do it:
    - over 21.
    - 2 years riding experience.
    - private health insurance.
    - fee paid for the privelege.

    I don't think we should do the same, but if they did introduced similar legislation over here, that's the minimum I'd expect.
  2. Its not the dumbest idea I have ever heard.
    Make the fee representative of whatever extra helmets save the state and it might even make more people wear helmets.

    Do the same thing with pushie helmets and you would be stuffed. For all the dozens of people I meet who swear that their helmet saved their life when you look at it there is absolutely no evidencen that this is the case. All the studies that assert they do are just so flawed

    With motorcycle helmets the debate now is if you can eliminate the torsional type brain injuries (with the phillips type helmets) And no one can seriously argue that they work. So figuring out the states component of the costs of not wearing a helmet should be doable. Charge people that much and its fair I think
  3. This pushes away the issue of liability I suppose? :?
  4. Sounds like a great idea to me (not that I'd be taking them up on it)

    They've put in place enough checks to be basically saying - it's your head it's your responsibility. Fair enough in my view.

    I wonder what will happen to their private health insurance costs when they sign up to ride without a helmet though.

    Though there is an interesting arguement that riding without a helmet can work out cheaper for insurance companies - since you just die rather than go to hospital, and the rehab etc.
  5. there needs to be a final clause that if you are unable to look after yourself after an incident (your fault or not) you become an automatic organ and tissue donor.

    ie, if you're a dribbler, we'll kill you and steal your bits for less fortunates who would otherwise look after themselves.
  6. What's a torsional type brain injury? I cant picture the kind of accident that would do this.
  7. That's an easy statement to make, but can you support it with any evidence? Otherwise, it's your arguement that is flawed.

    Charge everyone the cost of care for the rest of your life in case you end up a vegetable($$millions) or charge them the cost of a broken collarbone($thousands)?

    You must have heard some seriously dumb ideas then, coz this is right up there with the worst one's.

    I can set the scenario now, rider fill out insurance forms, all OK, confirms he has insurance, gets no helmet permission, doesn't tell insurance Co. CRASH->sorry no insurance as you didn't tell us the change in risk->joe public pays!
  8. Over here, yes Triway - over in the states, if you don't have health insurance, you're pretty much on your own.

    I don't think it costs US taxpayers an awful lot if someone needs an operation and they don't have the insurance: they just cop the lower quality of life/death unless they can scrape the cash together.

    ^quite possibly the most simplistic, cold-hearted statement that could be typed in this thread.

    ... I laughed bonox, Oh how I laughed :LOL:
  9. The dude who was an accountant before will now be on welfare for the rest of his life->Joe public pays. :wink:
  10. if you can't be bothered to take care of yourself, why should the rest of us? This is in an entirely different league to vehicle suicides btw...
  11. Not true Ktulu, in the case of serious injury there is Medicaid, which is pretty much like Medicare except you theoretically have to pay some of it back later, but only if your income exceed a given amount, (much like a HECS loan). In the case of a "vegetable" with no income, that just ain't gonna happen, so there is no functional difference between Medicaid and Medicare.
  12. Does it also cover elective surgery?
    IE: plastic surgery to rebuild guy's face after an off, rather than just save his life?
  13. I don't know, but I think so if it was bad enough to be life changing, (as opposed to just making him plug-ugly)...
  14. Couldnt think of the right word. Apologies. Its rotational injury.. Statistically more likely in accidents in which riders are wearing helmets. Possibly becouse being still alive (cos you were wearing a helmet) someone cares. :shock: But still worth investigating. And some new technologies may solve it as an issue

    Well for example the monash study that is most often quoted as 'proving' that cycling numbers did not decline after the introduction of the helmet law compared rider numbers in winter a few years before the introduction of the law to the numbers in summer after the introduction of the law. Seems to be an obvious flaw there.

    But my favorite in the same study is that it appears to prove that the introduction of bicycle helmets lowered the incidence of head injury amongst pedestrians

    Yeah exactly how many cites do you want?
    This paper seems remarkably consistent to me. It draws from many sources, Discusses or quotes points out their methologies and the conclusions they drew and discusses any likely errors of methology. It is true they may be pushing a particular viewpoint but isnt everyone? I cannot see a flaw
    More if you want em

    Understand I am not saying bicycle helmets are useless here. I can confirm they protect against magpie attacks rather well actually. But the evidence that they save lifes is seriously dodgy. The evidence for motorcycle helmets in unequivicable. And now we are talking about improving those designs.
  15. True, that's because the Australian Standard for bicycle helmets only require that they protect the rider from a fall (ie minimal forward momentum). So for riders doing 50+kph in traffic they really aren't going to do much. In fact ironically a British study found that unhelmeted cyclists were actually safer as motorists tended to give them more space when passing. Motorcycle helmets though are obviously tested to a much higher standard - though do have to wonder if motorcycles riders would be treated differently by drivers if they weren't wearing a helmet.
  16. Yes thats exactly right.
    The truly weird thing is that in my life I have met many cyclists who believe to the point of religion that their helmet saved their life. For example this debate here
    Yet few of em are saying it while dribbling from a hospital bed. Often they dont even have a single serious injury.

    Yet on this forum I have rarely heard anyone say any such thing. Even though it must be true far more often. I think thats becouse we understand the reality of such forces better. Nothing like gathering up body parts to give you an appreceation of serious violence.

    I think I have this sussed out actually. Not that I,m game to say so on BV. I think that some people need a totem to protect em from enemy bullets.. oh sorry cars.. and helmets fill that role allowing them to be extraordinarily brave and charge the ena... er ride in traffic cos they KNOW they are safe.

    Maybe... OK but its a theory
  17. This is utterly ridiculous…

    The law occasionally has the need to protect idiots from themselves, and the public at large from the consequences.

    The public liability issue is a live one, as Inci pointed out. It is also a system open to error given the difficulty inherant in policing little stickers on a number plate.


    This is what really gets me. $25 mil :!: in the land of incredible medico and insurance costs, not to mention the extreme compo payouts ....this is a drop in the bucket.

    What's worse is that it appears to be nothing more than a revenue raising exercise... it does nothing for riders, injured or otherwise.
  18. And THAT, is in my opinion the sole reason for this piece of illogical nonsense.
  19. You could be onto something. I remember reading some study once where a psychologist had looked into how "uniforms" can drastically alter peoples personalities and behaviours because it creates a feeling anonymity and safety. Sometimes wonder if some cyclists only act the way they do once they don the lycra/helmet/glasses to "protect" them from the outside world.
  20. I''l pay up AND same for seat belts And to breath air....