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Washington Motorcyclists Want to Repeal Helmet Law

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on February 14, 2013

Motorcyclists in Washington are once again making a push for lawmakers to repeal the state’s helmet mandate. The Senate Transportation Committee is considering a bill that would repeal the helmet law for riders 18 or older, according to The Bellingham Herald. Proponents of the bill believe that it is not the responsibility of the government to protect riders from themselves.

State laws requiring helmet use have come under fire in recent years. In Michigan, the legislature repealed its 35-year-old helmet law. Members of the motorcycle advocacy group A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments (ABATE) have been trying to get Washington’s helmet laws repealed for more than 20 years. They believe that helmets actually cause accidents by giving riders a false sense of security. Only 19 states and Washington, D.C., still have a mandatory helmet law.

Under current law, all motorcyclists must wear a helmet. According to Washington Statute 46.37, it is unlawful “for any person to operate or ride upon a motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, or moped on a state highway, county road, or city street unless wearing upon his or her head a protective helmet of a type conforming to rules adopted by the state patrol.”

Whether or not Washington changes its helmet law, all riders would be well advised to wear a properly fitted helmet whenever they are on the roadway to prevent serious motorcycle crash brain trauma. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), helmets are estimated to prevent 37 percent of crash deaths among motorcyclists and 41 percent of crash deaths for motorcycle passengers. The CDC also reports that states that have universal motorcycle helmet laws save millions of dollars each year in terms of medical losses, productivity, and other costs. States with universal helmet laws, such as Washington, have cost savings that are four times greater than states with only partial helmet laws.

The experienced Bellevue motorcycle accident attorneys at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. have years of experience helping injured victims seek compensation for their significant losses. Our skilled legal representatives offer free consultations on all potential claims. Please contact us at (888) 228-3860 for a free case evaluation.

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