Maine Bikers and Health Advocates Clash over Bill to Extend Helmet Law
News from MPBN News:

Rep. Paulette Beaudoin, a Biddeford Democrat, is sponsoring the bill, known as LD 66. Besides requiring all motorcyclists and passengers to wear helmets, the bill would hit riders with a fine of up to $ 500 if they’re caught on a bike without one.

Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have universal helmet laws. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, Beaudoin noted, recommends that all states take this step.

“Head injury is the leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes,” she said. “The administration estimates that motorcycle helmets reduce the likelihood of a crash fatality by 37 percent.”

Beaudoin says the law is also needed to cut down on all the non-fatal accidents that result in traumatic brain injuries.

“I have heard the slogan, ‘We ride, we decide!’” Beaudoin said. “The problem is the decision not to wear a helmet goes beyond choosing to feel the wind in your hair. Who pays for the medical expenses for brain injuries because someone wasn’t wearing a helmet?”

According to the Brain Injury Information Network of Maine, studies show that just over half of all motorcyclists have private health insurance. Marcia Cooper is a coordinator with the group. “For those without private insurance, most of those costs of their medical ca…………… continues on MPBN News

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