Michigan's motorcycle helmet law changes 2012.04.25

Written by David Green.

The day that Michigan’s new motorcycle helmet law took effect, Morenci Chief of Police Larry Weeks spotted a few bikers out the street without helmets.

It’s true, as of April 13, the repeal of Michigan’s helmet law took effect, but Chief Weeks questions whether all the riders who immediately went out bareheaded were actually following the law.

He was referring to the requirement that helmetless riders must carry an additional $20,000 in medical insurance coverage.

In addition, riders 21 years of age and older must have had a motorcycle license endorsement for at least two years or have completed a motorcycle safety course. Those under 21 must still wear a helmet.

The change in the law makes Michigan the 31st state to make helmets optional and the last state bordering the Great Lakes to join in. Some critics of the helmet law charged that it resulted in an enormous loss of tourism dollars.

On the other hand, insurance companies and safety advocates say the change will increase premiums for everyone in the state to help cover the cost of accidents.

An analysis by the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning analysis estimates that the change will result in 30 additional fatalities, 127 more incapacitating injuries and $129 million in additional economic costs.

  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
  • Front.chat
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016