Ready To Pay $100 For The Freedom Of Riding Without A Helmet?

helmetlawThis post forwarded by Rogue (Sturgis Freedom Fighters, Motorcycle Hall Of Fame Member 2005).

“To Pay for freedom? No way! This is what happens when motorcycle rights organizations make compromise deals with state legislative bodies. Motorcycle Rights Organizations need to go back to Protests and Civil Disobedience. That worked before and will again, you just need some balls to do it. Now enter law enforcement wanting to shake down motorcyclists who want to ride without a helmet. The Michigan State Police Union and the Deputy Sheriffs Union have come out in favor of the bill if a fee of $100 is charged for the privilege of riding without a helmet It’s all-out Money and not Safety!”

Below the explanation of the proposed Bill) via Jordan Travis, Capital News Service).

“Lansing, Michigan — Motorcyclists would be able to buy permits to ride without helmets if a bill introduced by a Westland lawmaker becomes law. It would apply to riders who are 21 years or older, have been licensed to operate a motorcycle for at least two years or completed a safety class, and have at least $20,000 in health insurance. The $100-a-year permit would make helmets optional. Any passenger over 21 years riding with a permit holder wouldn’t need a helmet. Rep. Richard LeBlanc, D-Westland, said wearing a helmet should be a personal choice. “I’m not critical of anyone who believes that cars should have airbags, and that children who ride bikes should wear a helmet,” he said, “but as adults, I think we should have a choice”

LeBlanc said he’s been involved with the issue since the 1970s when he started riding a motorcycle. “I know that people have very strong opinions about this,” he said. “I doubt people will change their minds because of politicking.” However, Peter Kuhnmuench, executive director of the Insurance Institute of Michigan, said his organization strongly opposes the bill. “Regardless of whether or not the consumer has coverage of $20,000, we think bike drivers ought to wear helmets,” he said. One of the main reasons the institute opposes LeBlanc’s proposal is because current law allows motorcyclists who collide with an automobile to collect from the auto driver’s insurance company. Making helmets optional would result in more motorcyclists receiving head injuries, he said, which would raise insurance costs.

Nancy Cain, communications director for AAA Michigan in Dearborn, said the organization also disagrees with the bill. AAA Michigan, the state branch of a national automobile insurer and drivers organization, said a year without helmets would result in 30 more motorcycle fatalities and cost Michigan citizens an extra $129 million in medical expenses. AAA pointed to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data showing a nationwide rise in motorcyclist deaths. In 2007, 5,154 motorcyclists died, 120 in Michigan. That was a 7 percent increase over 2006.

Dan Quinn, owner of U-Win Motor Sports in Ludington, said he probably wouldn’t support the bill. He recommends that his customers wear helmets. “Even people who come in here and buy mopeds, we recommend a helmet.” The bill is pending in the House Committee on Regulatory Reform. Cosponsors include Reps. Joel Sheltrown, D-West Branch, Gabe Leland, D-Detroit and Fred Miller, D-Mount Clemens.

31 Responses to “Ready To Pay $100 For The Freedom Of Riding Without A Helmet?”

  1. 1 busfreak Jan 7th, 2010 at 8:43 am

    Everyone will be wearing a helment if the new socialist health care bill passes. You think Uncle Sam is going to pay for a hole in your head.

  2. 2 BadMonkeyMW Jan 7th, 2010 at 9:16 am

    This is same tired argument these scumbag insurance companies have been using for years. The idea of encouraging automobile drivers to be more cautious when driving is never mentioned. They are basically saying that if you ride a bike you are going to have someone in a car crash into you at some point, so we want you to wear a helmet to theoretically reduce the severity of your injuries. Injuries likely caused by their brain dead idiot insured auto driver.

    These fabricated statistics they quote are a smoke screen they try to use to strong arm lawmakers into taking their side. If the MRO’s in MI agree to any of this they are only hurting themselves and every bike rider in the state. This is the time to stand fast and stand up for real freedom. Good luck.

  3. 3 WT Jan 7th, 2010 at 9:19 am

    Although I wear a helmet 90% of the time, I feel strongly that it’s an individual’s right to not wear one. This applies to seat belts in cars.
    Have to wonder who lobbied for this and what corporation it will benefit. Instead of the county and state receiving just a few dollars from income tax and sales tax from a sale of a helmet, now that state gave itself a raise.
    It’s always great when your government looks out for your safety.

  4. 4 J Jan 7th, 2010 at 9:20 am

    LOL- oh really? $100 to the unions if they allow me to break the law? Is that their price?

    Might try running that one thru the state constitution wringer first- doesn’t matter how much you tart up a bill…… Hey, if I pay the union $200, can I get the ok to do drive-by shootings?

  5. 5 Boss Hawg Jan 7th, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Pure BULL SHIT.

    Michiganders that ride better stand up and defend themselves…loud and clear. Don’t call your representatives. Write and email and a letter…it’s viewed as worthy as 5,000 votes, folks.

    Boss Hawg

  6. 6 Larry R. Jan 7th, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    I guess they believe if they keep pushing the same BS packaged under a new name, we’ll eventually give in. Looks like it is working for them. It’s a flight or fight situation. Damn them, anyway.

  7. 7 stephen Jan 7th, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    What an inconsistent message. Helmets are good, helmets save lives but pay us and you can do whatever you like. What are these people thinking? Just another government tax anyway you look at it.

    It is the same as the speed cameras used here in Australia in the state of NSW. A new law was passed to allow tickets for doing 1 KPH over the speed limit (That’s about .6 of a mile…yes just over 1/2 a MPH) and guess what a whole lot of speed cameras went up…not to increase road safety but to raise revenue for the state. Seems your law makers have been looking at what the socialist governments of Australia have been doing.

    Fight it now while you still can.

  8. 8 weezy Jan 8th, 2010 at 10:27 am

    In my humble opinion my fore fathers have paid the price for me to travel unencumbered already, any person that continues to bow down to this legislative corruption, is as much of the problem as the exthortionists themselves. Peace

  9. 9 Banshee Jan 8th, 2010 at 10:45 am

    I think they have it backwards… Pay us to wear a helmet…… Give us a big whopping insurance break it we agree to wear a helmet….. Give us toll discounts…. Make it where it is our right to decide but those that decide to… get rewarded for carrying around that extra weight on their heads…. Not to mention the stress put on your neck if you wear anything but a full face with a c-collar.

    Sometimes I do … sometimes I don’t… it all depends on what I am up to and how the weather is. But if they were to offer me a reward for doing it all the time…. I would be tempted.

    I have watch helmet laws come.. helmet laws go…. age limits imposed… experience taken in to the equation. But I have yet see the real problem addressed: The total disregard for our lives and our right to our space on the road by cage drivers. Teach them, fine them, charge them with attempted vehicular homicide when they attack us with their cars and watch the accident rate drop.

  10. 10 boodanwarlocksmc Jan 8th, 2010 at 10:49 am

    I belive I was taught in History class, “The
    Boston Tea Party”. Wasn’t that about the
    corrupt Government imposing unjust and
    unreasonable taxes on good citizans?
    As a Patriot and Veteran of the USA. I ask
    that our Government leaders abandon all
    illegal and treasonist activity. Return to our
    Constitution and Bill of Rights. Stop trying
    to munipulate your citizans and your own
    childrens lives. This is all our Country. STOP

  11. 11 Gary Hilderbrand Jan 8th, 2010 at 11:00 am

    You know I’ve had about enough of this crap. My forefather’s kicked the King of England’s troops and representative’s butts and sent them back across the ocean because they just kept on taking the individuals rights away from them.

    Every time the people turned around some government official, or business group, or law enforcement outfit decided that they knew what was best for the citizens. Well guess what? They didn’t then and they don’t now.

    More idiots die from head injuries in automobile accidents but I don’t see any of these jerks running around trying to mandate helmets for auto drivers. Hell no, they want to put a whole lot of unproven safety junk on the motorcycle rider, who usually gets run over by the auto driver that didn’t see them.

    How much has any one’s insurance gone down since our government forced seat belts on us? I haven’t seen a reduction. When things started to look like we could get insurance reductions for safe driving records, etc the insurance companies started using our credit scores to establish how much our premiums would cost.

    How many murderers and rapists are being caught and prosecuted by the police compared to dui and seat belt check points? Hell on any given night you can find dozens of cops standing around waiting for the unsuspecting motorist to roll through their road blocks but God forbid you call 911 because some one has broken into your store or house and is threatening you bodily harm.

    It is time for the American citizens to stand up, tell their elected officials that they are tired of having their individual rights and freedoms trampled on and taken away from them. It is also time to quit rolling over for the police and prosecuting legal system by accepting whatever actions they decide to impose on you because of the unjust laws that are passed every day by our government.

    Know your rights, stand up for them, take the system on, and make them pay for all of their stupidity. Eventually they will get the message and all it will cost you is time.

    And last but not least, I pay for my health insurance. Should I have an accident it is suppose to cover my injuries. It also helps pay for people who have diabeties, are over weight, have high cholestorol, bad hearts, and many other illnesses and diseases. Now if I could eliminate them out of my health care coverage I would imagine that my premiums would be significantly smaller. However, that is what health insurance is all about. A group of people with all kinds of issues helping each other out. And I haven’t seen the poor insurance industry go broke yet.

    Oh yeah, I forgot my premiums help pay those nice salaries for the folks who are working against the bikers on this piece of legislation too! Nice ain’t it?


  12. 12 LeftTenant Jan 8th, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    I’m with you Rogue!

    I happen to always wear a helmet because I CHOOSE that option. I’m an American citizen and making this decision for me isn’t yours, the governments’, or anyone else’s to make FOR me.

    We have lots of issues to sort out with regard to our government and THIS ISN’T ONE.

    Thanks for yours and others’ dilligence in bring these issues to the attention of riders everywhere. Many Europeans and Aussies do not have this choice. I believe they like to ride in the “free” States where they know they have options.

    Born in Michigan–living free in Colorado.

  13. 13 LeftTenant Jan 8th, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    “diligence”, I knew that….

  14. 14 jan Jan 8th, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    To be forced to part with money replaces one discrimination with another. The path to liberty is already within your grasp when you no longer abide, but only if you have the courage to be free, and knowledge to guide your defense. While you are thinking that you will get the fee repealed, the legislators are already thinking about raising it in the next session. Take a stand for liberty. No compromise.

  15. 15 Magicman Jan 8th, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    I think the states have learned how to handle the civil disobedience,they fine you till your broke. you need permits for a rally, this process allows them to be forewarned of a group gathering. If that doesn’t stop you its jail and or license loss. No one is their to back you up in the end, SMRO’s are trying to work within the system now and don’t want the rebels causing them bad PR by blocking the city streets or an interstate, so you would be left on your own.

  16. 16 Thorsblood Jan 8th, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    I am an Abate Regional coordinator of 5 counties in Michigan. A couple years ago when the fee proposition was first fostered by the State Board to try and work helmet law repeal through the legislature and in particular the Governor it was a huge thorn in the side of most Abate members who were paying attention. Lots of discussion took place, but assurances that once the helmet repeal with fees was passed it would be short work to then lobby for legislation repealing the fees, swayed the Regions to support the plan. Add to this 30 plus years of fighting for helmet law repeal without success, and the previous year having gotten a non-fee bill passed through both the house and senate only to be vetoed by the governor, riding free had been as close as it ever had been. Just a little sweetener to sway the governor and it could be had. Yet, it was passed in the house and the senate, and AGAIN vetoed by Granholm. It was a mistake to make those concessions on a number of levels more easily seen in hindsight. 1. From the Gut level, we all found the idea of fees for freedom dispicable and contrary to who we are, but we were so close to closing the deal we did it anyway. 2. Once the idea of money being made by granting freedom was floated, it will be a difficult thing to take it back. The State itself, meaning the governor, at least had the integrity to stick to her position even with the “bribe”, but no shortage of government hooligans with dollar signs in their eyes was going to let this potential cash income go without a fight. 3. Now we have a no concession, no fee bill, representative of what ABATE OF MICHIGAN members honestly believe is the ONLY position to take, finding themselves with their bill pushed aside as they watch the Hooligans, (Law Enforcement Officers Unions), push a fee and concessions bill to the forefront.
    Its easy to criticize. Especially after the fact. Our State Board members, many who have been there since the 70’s have worked unrelentingly to repeal this helmet law every one of those years. Every aspect of getting it done has been explored and attempted, and many re-attempted in another 10 year cycle. Go easy dishing out the criticism on them, especially if your from Michigan, and an Abate member. We were all party to this despite our reservations. The important thing to keep in mind is that WE WILL NOT QUIT fighting to repeal the helmet law ever. And, mistake or not, no position of concession or fees will be taken again or accepted, even if forced upon us by the most bizarre possiblity of all. That a helmet repeal bill gets passed that Abate Of Michigan is opposed too. Now wouldn’t THAT be a trip.

  17. 17 Neen13FL Jan 8th, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    Just another way for the government to control another little piece of our lives.

  18. 18 Rogue Jan 9th, 2010 at 10:15 am

    What you say is not quite true. It would apply only if a group or organization filed for a permit.
    The permit if applied for a rally could cause problems for those putting it on BUT if a group of people just happened to go for a ride to the same place say for instance to see their legislators who could the law charge. There are ways to get around this just like everything else.
    It is a scare tatic to say they can put you in jail and or take your license away. If in fact they do arrest you then you go to court and tie up the system where it becomes Un-profitable for the to issues the tickets.
    There are people in different parts of the country who are intentially getting tickets for helmet law violations and then fighting the ticket in court. Yes it is time consuming for those getting the tickets but it is also very costly for the court system and in most cases the tickets are dismissed. When it happens enough the court and or the police department realizes what is going on and stops issuing the tickets.
    For more information on how to fight these tickets check out the B.O.L.T web site. Bikers Of Lesser Tolerance.
    As far as the SMRO’s ( State Motorcycle Rights Organizations) Some are good and some are not.
    In the State of Florida we have had numerous laws passed in the recent years that are not in the best interest of motorcycle riders. In some other ares of the country there has been No Progress in repealing of Bad Laws though the SMRO’s though they continue to ask people to join and pay a fee to do so. Many have joined the SMROs for the social aspect over the legislative.
    I do belong to numerous motorcycle rights organizations and feel that for the most part they are doing what they are doing is right BUT just read what you wrote about not wanting the rebels causing you bad PR.
    I guess that you do not know the history of SMROs very well. I am one of the Original Founders of ABATE – A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enatments and for your and everyone elses’s information many of the early members were called rebels BUT They Got The Job Done much better than many are today.
    I doubt very seriously if a person or organization was to put on a ride to complain about motorcycle issues they would be doing it by them selves.
    One of the reasons that the SMRO’s do not want Protest Rides is that some in those organizations have tried to con the legislature by telling them they would Control The Motorcycle Riders and Not Have Protests if the state would work with them and make it look like they were working towards a solution..
    In every SMRO there are those with different opinions about how to handle specific situations and legislative issues. So in fact the spokesperson and or legislative officer of the organizations do not speak for all of their membership and Definately All Of The Riders In their State,
    To be effective each person should do what they feel is right for themselves to protect their rights.
    I feel that contacting your legislator and letting them know how you feel about issues is a high priority and much better that having someone else do it. They may Not Be Saying What You Want.
    If a legislator Votes For Bad Motorcycle Legislation Vote Against Them when they come up for re-election

    I think the states have learned how to handle the civil disobedience,they fine you till your broke. you need permits for a rally, this process allows them to be forewarned of a group gathering. If that doesn’t stop you its jail and or license loss. No one is their to back you up in the end, SMRO’s are trying to work within the system now and don’t want the rebels causing them bad PR by blocking the city streets or an interstate, so you would be left on your own.

  19. 19 Rogue Jan 9th, 2010 at 10:19 am

    My latest post is in reference to the one by Magicman and that is why his post is below my name

  20. 20 just my opinion Jan 9th, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    This should never pass. First of all how would the cops know who paid and who did not? If some can pay a fee and ride without a helmet then everyone could ride with out a helmet and who is going to know if you paid or not? The cops can’t just stop people for no reason and do helmet permit checks. And then there is the other legal side of this some one will get caught and say it is un constitutional to force a them to pay a fee to not wear a helmet. This is a Stupid idea. I have a better Idea let people decide for them selves we could call it Freedom of Choice. That will never be over turned by our constitution. OH forget it I forgot we Americans don’t use common sense it would never work.

  21. 21 Englishman Jan 11th, 2010 at 9:00 am

    This will never pass anyway. The legislature is pretty much in the back pocket of the insurance industry around here, even if, somehow, they got it past them, Granholm would veto it like she did the last time.

    And yeah.. “just my opinion”… too right we’d all start riding without the helmet OR permit.

  22. 22 Kitty Biker Jan 11th, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Oh please do tell where I can get one of those darling little helmets for my cat. Mr. Snuggles would look so cute in that. Do they come in other colors?

  23. 23 Bigwoody Jan 11th, 2010 at 9:55 am

    Beware Unions: Michigan based UAW screwed Retirees from G>M. and Chrysler. Called Brotherhood, that is a real stretch. Health care benefits have been pulled back and Co-pays went upNever safe in todays society. General Motors only ests to garner taxpayer dollars. Profit is no longer an issue. GMAC jut awarded 3.5 billion in TARP monies. They changed name to HSBC and call themselves a bank. No bank or branch offices tho. Another Goldman Sachs.

  24. 24 maroco Jan 11th, 2010 at 10:43 am

    Sentence of Dead to many Bikers!

  25. 25 drew Jan 11th, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Health care two words

  26. 26 Katman Jan 11th, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    Abate of Michigan can take care of this business without any outside interference except from Michigan riders. And if they are Michigan riders, let them join Abate of Michigan and let their voice be heard. Otherwise, butt out!!!

  27. 27 kiri Jan 13th, 2010 at 10:18 am

    this is ridiculous! i love my health and I wear every time a helmet!

  28. 28 Rogue Jan 13th, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    Katman Why would anyone Have To Join ABATE to Have Their Voice Heard.
    Just to make sure that Exactly what a person wants said to their legislator can be done by contacting the legislator themselves.
    Are you trying to tell me that All Members Of ABATE of Michigan Agree on what is Being Said By Those Authorized To Speak For ABATE???? Yea Sure!!!
    Does ABATE of Michigan charge a fee to have them speak for those who join???

  29. 29 Rogue Jan 13th, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    No Matter Where You Live if you do not like what is going on in your state contact your legislator and tell them so.
    If you legislator Votes different from your wishes You Vote Against Them in the Next Election.

  30. 30 Mike Greenwald Jan 14th, 2010 at 12:46 pm


    ABATE of Michigan has not taken care of this in any year that it has come up. I know this may sound abrasive to you but, we must look at the facts.

    You are a greybeard rider, as I am.

    Years ago, we did not have government interference on motorcycle riding.

    In the State of Michigan, as in all other states, mandatory helmet laws were enacted because of Federal blackmail. The efforts of various Motorcycle Rights Organizations were victorious in their efforts to rescind these highly masked taxes.

    As a personal injury attorney, who profits on the misfortune of others, you are fully aware of the causes of death and injury to motorcyclists. Knowing theses causes and knowing the intricacies of product liability cases, you are also aware of the unprofitable cases against helmet manufacturers.

    Your day to day dealings with Insurance companies commands that you have a working relationship with them so that you will have an income and profit for your business.

    It would appear to me that you are now in the position of being a shill for the insurance industry so you will not have to work harder for your paycheck.

  31. 31 Thorsblood Jan 17th, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    Michigan is NOT Florida. Don’t make the mistake of confusing that fact.
    Katman does NOT deserve the disrespect of ANY other motorcycle rights activists or freedom fighters.
    If you don’t know ALL the facts, don’t make disrespectful assumptions and accusations, especially if you have the wherewithal to get the facts.
    Making enemies of advocates and associates does none of us good.

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Cyril Huze