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Poll: Should RI Re-Think its Motorcycle Helmet Laws?

Should Rhode Island join other states that require all motorcyclists wear helmets?

Motorcycle crashes killed 4,502 people in 2010. In Rhode Island, news reports of motorcyclist deaths occur regularly throughout the summer and warmer months. Many of the victims weren't wearing helmets.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, helmets are estimated to prevent 37 percent of crash deaths among motorcycle riders and 41 percent of crash deaths for motorcycle passengers.

Rhode Island law requires anyone under 21 to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle. Passengers must wear helmets at all times.

In the wake of numerous motorcycle-related traffic fatalities in Rhode Island, is it time for the state to re-think its helmet laws? Nineteen other states have universal helmet laws.

Advocates say universial helmet laws save lives and money. Motorcycle crash-related costs was $12 billion in one year, according to the CDC. That figure counts both medical care and productivity losses.

And as more people buy bikes and ride, deaths have increased at an alarming rate. Motorcycle-related deaths have increased 55 percent since 2000, according to the CDC.

People who choose not to wear helmets and opponents of universal helmet law say it's an issue of personal freedom and a mandatory requirement is unnecessary government interference.

Robert E October 17, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Shaun that doesen't work because the sound is directed tword the back of the motorcycle people don't hear you until after you pass them. It makes it more dangerious for the rider because he can't hear traffic around him. A good horn directed tword the front of the bike does a much better job.
Rhodeworrier October 17, 2012 at 11:56 PM
Maybe the GA is waiting for Federal money, thats what it took to pass the seat belt law.The only time this State cares about anyones health is when they can make a buck off it.
christina January 17, 2013 at 11:06 PM
EVERYBODY should be wearing helmets no matter what! i just got mine from 2wheelbikes dot com /bike-helmets they are great on my wallet and even better on my son's head! promote safe riding people!
Janice Scarpitti April 29, 2013 at 01:16 PM
If I have to wear a seatbelt surrounded by 2000 pounds of metal then yes motorcyclists should wear helmets. My not wearing a seatbelt affects only me as does wearing a helmet only affects the rider. The only difference is the motorcyclists go and lobby to get their way such as using $ for helping children's charities. Please!
Jack Baillargeron April 29, 2013 at 02:14 PM
Current Law is fine, quit wasting time and work on the Jobs GA and Budget.

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