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ABATE motorcycle group says helmet repeal is positive for Michigan – unless you’re dead

August 14, 2013 by Steven M. Gursten

Ludicrous! ABATE chooses to ignore the spike in motorcycle accident deaths and injuries

couple on motorcycle without helmets

The motorcycle lobby group ABATE – which is more responsible than any other interest group for the motorcycle helmet law repeal – is contending that the motorcycle helmet repeal has been a positive for Michigan.

Sure it has. Unless you’re one of the dead motorcycle riders who would be alive today if you had been wearing your helmet.

ABATE (American Bikers Aiming Toward Education) says that there is an increase in tourism from motorcycle enthusiasts, and more riders are visiting bars, casinos and restaurants.

ABATE  said there has been an increase in motorcycle travel in Michigan since the motorcycle helmet was repealed in April 2012, which allowed motorcyclists to ride with the wind in their hair:

“Motorcycle tourism is up. Motorcyclists across the country are coming to Michigan in droves. Very few out-of-state motorcyclists were seen in Michigan before the adult helmet requirement was modified,” according to a recent press release from ABATE.

Added Scott Ellis, executive director of the Michigan Licensed Beverage Association, which represents more than 1,800 restaurant, bar, party store, hotel and casino establishments across the state (the liquor lobby was also pushing hard for motorcycle repeal, because we know booze and riding without a helmet go together like peanut butter and jelly):

“Our members have reported an increase in motorcycle tourism since the enactment of the rider choice law… more out-of-state motorcyclists are stopping, staying and spending money at our restaurants, hotels and attractions.”

This is sad.  I cannot stress enough how ludicrous this statement from ABATE is – a group that claims to promote “safe operating practices of all Michigan motorcyclists.”

Let’s start by noting the significant spike in motorcycle accident fatalities and serious injuries of bikers who were legally riding without helmets:

And all for what? So more people can ride around without a motorcycle helmet, visit bars and casinos and possibly drive a motorcycle intoxicated?

I previously wrote about Gov. Rick Snyder’s questionable motives behind repealing our motorcycle helmet law.

It’s very clear that Snyder and many other lawmakers caved in to ABATE, this very small but powerful single-issue lobbying group. And that penalizes the rest of us, because guess who pays for the lifetime medical care that many of these people who suffer terrible head injuries and other serious injuries from motorcycle accidents without helmets?  Taxpayers, as they are shifted onto Medicaid.

But at least ABATE and the liquor  lobby are happy.

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