The Helmet Law Review Team of the Community Preventive Services Task Force (appointed by the Centers for Disease Control director) is preparing to recommend that all states have universal helmet laws, which means that all riders, regardless of age, will be required to wear helmets. US Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) strongly opposed the task force’s findings and conclusions, for the proposal has the ability to reduce motorcycling and ignores the positive influence that motorcycle use has on the economy.
While the proposal concludes that universal helmet laws will benefit the economy, there is no reference to the economic costs anticipated by reducing motorcycling. Walberg notes that the only costs mentioned are the charges of purchasing a helmet and the price of the enactment and the enforcement of helmet laws. These, as Walberg states, are negligible because it contradicts earlier findings about how imposing motorcycle laws could discourage motorcycle use and that it ignores the positive impact that motorcyclists provide to the economy.
Walberg has since then written to CDC Director Thomas Frieden, according to the American Motorcyclist Association. In addition to pointing out the problem above, Walberg stated in his letter that motorcyclists spend billions of dollars touring and attending rallies and by restricting their usage would effect the economic negatively.
The AMA advocates helmet use, but believes adult helmet use should be voluntary. For a more detailed account of Walberg’s letter, click here.
To read the AMA position on voluntary helmet use, go to www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Rights/PositionStatements/VoluntaryHelmetUse.aspx.