Should motorcyclists wear helmets in Wisconsin?Wisconsin News
-- Should Wisconsin bring back its old requirement that motorcyclists wear helmets?
Should Wisconsin bring back its old requirement that motorcyclists wear helmets?
There’s at least some talk about it, after a slight uptick in motorcycle deaths this year. Thirty-four bikers have been killed in Wisconsin crashes, up from 32 a year ago. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says the state has about one-and-a-half times more motorcycles than it did 10 years ago – but the numbers of biker deaths have not risen proportionately. The numbers vary greatly from year-to-year, but Wisconsin has averaged 91 motorcycle deaths annually over the last decade. The state repealed its mandatory helmet law in the 1970’s, in one of the most intense political battles of the last 40 years. And there’s never been a serious effort by lawmakers to bring it back. The Centers for Disease Control says there’s clear evidence that helmets save lives and billions-of-dollars in health costs – and it says bikers are safer in the 19 states which have mandatory helmet laws. In Wisconsin, 92-percent of those killed on motorcycles last year were not wearing helmets. But Ric Mellon of the motorcycle group ABATE says rider education and awareness by other drivers is much more important than quote, “wrapping your head in plastic and foam.” Minnesota lawmakers are considering whether to require bikers without helmets to carry more insurance. Michigan did that when it repealed its mandatory helmet law. Wisconsin only requires helmets for those under-18 and those with instructional permits. Eye-wear or windshields are also required.