The debate over motorcycle helmets has roared back into the headlines in Pennsylvania.
A state representative reintroduced legislation in Harrisburg in May to make helmets mandatory across the state.
Currently, Pennsylvania motorcyclists 21 and older can go helmetless. Across the border in New York, all motorcyclists must wear helmets.
Based on my experience representing bikers and seeing the abuse their helmets have taken, I always ride with a helmet. BUT I respect every bikers’ rights to make their own decision.
Pennsylvania had a mandatory helmet law until it was reversed in 2003. State Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, made his fourth attempt in May to reinstate the mandatory helmet law.
He told The Philadelphia Inquirer in one report that he expects his bill will fail again. “I do it every session, but I know it won’t go anywhere,” he told the Inquirer.
Frankel said in a Chambersburg Public Opinion story that this time, he is proposing requiring additional motorcycle insurance for riders without helmets. He also urges the state to make separate plates for motorcyclists under 21 to make it easier to enforce the current law
Most of the state lawmakers seem to support the motorcyclists’ right to do as they wish. Despite the fact, Frankel said, that the law is widely viewed as a smart public health measure.
“There is an alternative to reading these stories about fatalities and brain injuries,” Frankel told the Inquirer.
ABATE of Pennsylvania (A Brotherhood Aimed Towards Education) and its political action committee have lobbied to win and maintain their freedom of choice, according to the Inquirer.
Like smoking cigarettes or eating fried food, they argue, riding one’s chopper without a helmet is a personal decision, and no paternalistic government agency has the right to interfere, the Inquirer reported.
So where do YOU stand on motorcycle helmets? Do you wear one? Would you still wear one if you had a choice? Chime in and tell us what you think!
Thanks for reading, and ride safe!
Adam M. Gee, Esq.
NY and PA Motorcycle Accident Attorney
The Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William Street
Elmira, NY 14901