The NTSB – National Transportation Safety Board – hopes that all US States will have mandatory helmet laws. At this day 20 states have such laws. The NTSB points out the fact that there was 4,400 deaths nationwide for 2009 and says that a law requiring all riders to wear a helmet will reduce that number. And while the NTSB states motorcycle deaths have increased over the last decade, the MTSA – National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – shows they’re lower than they’ve been in years. As a matter of fact, the number of deaths went down in 2009 versus 2007 and 2008 with each year showing over 5000 motorcyclist deaths.
Not surprisingly, all motorcyclist organizations oppose any mandatory laws forcing riders to wear helmets because they would infringe on their rights. Most bikers continue to think that wearing or not a helmet should remain their own choice. The NTSB states that bikers continue to iggnore the cost to taxpayers and governments of picking up the pieces, and the tab, when they crash. It put helmet laws on its annual “most wanted” safety improvement list, and urged states to instate, or reinstate, them.
Almost all states once had them, when they were part of the requirements to receive federal highway funding, but once Congress scratched that obligation off the list, many helmet laws were significantly watered down or junked.