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Michigan motorcycle helmet repeal going nowhere — for now

January 30, 2012 by Steven M. Gursten

SB 291 waiting for comprehensive No-Fault “reform”

First off, you know I’ve written quite a bit about how dangerous SB 291 is, a senseless proposal to repeal Michigan’s motorcycle helmet law. SB 291 would enable motorcyclists 21 and up to ride without a helmet. It would also require them to purchase a completely inadequate amount of additional Michigan No-Fault insurance coverage. That is, completely inadequate to actually pay the medical bills and protect any motorcycle rider in the event of a serious motorcycle accident injury.

As a Michigan motorcycle accident lawyer for nearly 20 years, I can say with absolute certainty that every motorcycle accident injury where I’ve helped the injured rider has had medical bills far in excess of the amounts being proposed.

Now, the good news is: the motorcycle helmet repeal is on hold – for now. The bad news is the helmet repeal will very likely pass once our vital No-Fault insurance laws and protections are taken away from injured Michigan accident victims.

But at least the Michigan insurance companies – that already lead the nation in profitability – will be happy. According to the Gongwer News Service (which reports on the Michigan Legislature), SB 291 continues to sit on the back burner in the Senate:

“After passing the House in November, SB 291 was not included in the remaining weeks of session last year and has not seen a vote to concur in the House changes yet this year. The House also added a provision requiring riders to carry an additional $20,000 in medical insurance.

The Senate is waiting to see if an auto no-fault bill emerges from the House before taking the helmet repeal up again.

Governor Rick Snyder has indicated those two issues should be tied together and the Senate is respecting that request, said Amber McCann, spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville (R-Monroe).”

I’ve said before that Gov. Snyder tying the helmet repeal to insurance “reform” is misguided. Here’s a blog I wrote about why Snyder’s plan is a bad idea all around — one that guarantees more motorcycle riders will die, one that robs drivers of important insurance protections, and finally leaves our taxpayers to pay the bill (and makes our rich auto insurance companies even more profitable).

This is politics at its very worst.

Steven M. Gursten is recognized as one of the nation’s top motorcycle accident attorneys. Steve received the highest motorcycle injury settlement in the state last year, according to Michigan Lawyers Weekly. He frequently appears in the media on the helmet law issue and is available for comment.

– Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by bluebike

Related information to protect yourself:

7 reasons every state should pass a motorcycle helmet law

What happens when a motorcyclist causes an accident?

How long do I have to file a Michigan motorcycle accident claim?

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