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.