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- The ARC - California Edition -

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Adult Brain Injury

Motorcycle Safety Helmets

Each year in California, the month of May is proclaimed by the Governor to be Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. The state highway patrol kicked off the awareness activity for May 1998 with the announcement that the number of motorcycle rider annual casualties are at the lowest level since injury statistics have been formally compiled.

The 1997 results were 233 motorcyclists killed and 7,374 injured. The highest numbers occurred during 1986 when 851 riders were killed and 28,097 were injured. This remarkable reduction in death and injury over the last dozen years has been considered by most safety advocates to be the result of two legislatively-mandated initiatives – the motorcyclist training program, and the mandatory use of safety helmets.

According to CHP Commissioner D. O. Helmick, "Much of the credit goes to the state’s riders, who are driving defensively and wearing proper safety gear, especially helmets."

Following the state imposed mandatory use of safety helmets for all motorcycle riders, over 2,200 fewer bike riders have been killed, compared to the six years prior to the law. Similarly, 70,400 fewer bike riders have been injured during the post-law period compared to the pre-law period.

Despite this remarkable achievement, AB1412 (Ducheny) will be heard by the Senate Transportation committee on June 16, 1998. This is an attempt to repeal this very significant lifesaving measure. Contact your legislator and voice your OPPOSITION to the repeal of the helmet safety law.


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