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Posted on Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 4:01 p.m.

Health care groups band together against proposed helmet law changes

By Juliana Keeping

Washtenaw County health care organizations are among those banding together against a new measure that would some allow individuals older than 21 choice when it comes to wearing a helmet on a motorcycle in Michigan.


Photo courtesy of Flickr user Steve Parker

A letter co-signed by the University of Michigan Health System, St. Joseph Mercy Health System, the Washtenaw County Medical Society and other groups asks Gov. Rick Snyder to veto the legislation, should it reach his desk.

Currently, helmets are mandatory for all motorcyclists in the state.

Senate Bill 291 passed in June while the lawmakers still are considering House Bill 4608. The measures allow those older than 21 who meet certain criteria to pass when it comes to wearing a helmet.

In the joint letter, the organizations cite a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study that says 50 lives in Michigan and $86 million are saved via the helmet law.

Gov. Jennifer Granholm vetoed helmet law repeal efforts in 2006 and 2008, according to a UMHS news release. Snyder has yet to take a stand on the issue, the release states.

What are your thoughts on the universal helmet law? Should it be weakened, repealed or left alone? Leave a comment below.

Juliana Keeping covers general assignment and health and the environment for Reach her at or 734-623-2528. Follow Juliana Keeping on Twitter


Wilford John Presler IV

Thu, Nov 3, 2011 : 5:01 p.m.

Car vs.Motorcycle in a Personal Injury Accident... With Helmet = C-spine trauma= Open Casket Funeral Without Helmet=Traumatic Brain Injury=Closed Casket Funeral Dead is Dead... Any Questions?... Class Dismissed


Sat, Sep 10, 2011 : 12:43 a.m.

Let's outlaw even having a phone "inside" vehicles and treat it like a concealed weapon that kills people all the time because someone can't wait to make idle conversation while they run people over from inattention, or cause a biker to go off the road while they keep traveling completely unaware they just killed someone.


Sat, Sep 10, 2011 : 12:28 a.m.

Did they send the same memoto then President Bush BEFORE he went to war on two fronts? Did they send a letter to President Obama to quit providing billions in foreign aid that are being used to kill American soldiers? Did they put a letter out with hospital mortality rates, death causing errors, and life threatening mistakes committed by health workers? Do doctors willingly disclose how much they are being paid by pharmeceutical companies to prescribe specific medications to patients? Why are they so concerned about the decision of an individual? Are they being compensated by insurance professionals? I find it hard to consider credible themedical community that seemingly just discovered that hand washing prevents infections.


Fri, Sep 9, 2011 : 2:23 p.m.

Give your head the amount of protection you think it's worth.


Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 11:20 p.m.

It's simple really. Repeal the helmet law, and pass a law at the same time that no insurance company has to pay for ANY medical bills related to the accident and the other person cannot be sued if the biker was NOT wearing a helmet. That way bikers can make their own choice without me having to pay for it.

Ed Kimball

Fri, Sep 9, 2011 : 1:05 p.m.

Long Time No See - let's not make hospitals or doctors treat patients injured because they are not wearing helmets. Let's let them die. Or don't motorcyclists like this idea? Then maybe they're NOT really so willing to go without helmets.

Long Time No See

Fri, Sep 9, 2011 : 4:14 a.m.

I don't understand why you think that it is a good idea to increase the amount of uncompensated care that hospitals have to provide. The result of doing so is higher fees for those who can pay and those that do have insurance, which means higher insurance rates for everyone. Sure, maybe some better long-term care options wouldn't be available to uninsured riders, but that is likely to mean that government support would eventually kick in via Medicaid, costing you even more money (via taxes).


Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 9:41 p.m.

what you don't want the truth No helmets Will kill bikers


Sat, Sep 10, 2011 : 12:39 a.m.

So does war and hunger who's regulating that? How about crime? Ann Arbor seems to have the "hang art, not criminals" policy going for it with the safety layoffs happening. And you feel obligated to make decisions for individuals you don't even know?


Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 9:32 p.m.

Oh Did i offend your rules I am sorry Please don't make the use a Helmets