Trade Group Urges Gov. Granholm to Veto Bill Repealing Mich. Helmet Law

June 13, 2006

The American Insurance Association (AIA) has called upon Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) to veto Senate Bill 297, which would repeal the state’s mandatory motorcycle helmet law.

“The facts do not lie, people that ride motorcycles without a helmet are at a significantly greater risk for serious injury and death. For that reason alone Gov. Granholm should veto this attempt to repeal this life-saving law,” said David Snyder, AIA vice president and assistant general counsel.

SB 297 would repeal the mandatory helmet law for riders over age 21. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that helmets saved 1,326 lives in 2004 and that another 671 people still might be alive had they worn helmets.

Additionally, according to NHTSA, motorcycles make up less than two percent (2%) of all registered vehicles and only 0.4 percent of all vehicle miles traveled, but motorcyclists account for over nine percent (9%) of total traffic fatalities. Fatalities among motorcycle riders have increased by more than 89 percent since 1997.

“It is virtually guaranteed that there will be more serious injuries and claims that will result from the helmet law repeal. These added health care costs and lost productivity will be borne by the victims’ families, employers, taxpayers and insurance consumers. This legislation is bad financial policy for the state, its citizens and its businesses,” added Snyder.

Source: The American Insurance Association represents approximately 400 major insurance companies that provide all lines of property and casualty insurance and write more than $120 billion annually in premiums.

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