Sep 102003
 
Authors: Jamie Way

Colorado is one of only three states, along with Illinois and Iowa, that have no motorcycle helmet law.

Senator Peggy Reeves said periodically a bill is introduced, but there is a large group of motorcyclists that lobby against it because they see it as their individual right to choose not to wear a helmet.

“I have generally been supportive of helmet laws,” Reeves said. “My concern is not only the number of accidents that result in brain damage and/or paralysis and the cost to their families, but also the long-term costs to taxpayers.”

In 2001, helmets saved an estimated 674 lives, according to a study done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“We could use a helmet law,” said Dylan Scheie, an employee of Thunder Mountain Harley Davidson, although he does not wear a helmet. “A lot of guys have too much of an ego and if we had a law, they could blame (wearing a helmet) on the law.”

After Fort Collins resident Sean McCarty’s death on Saturday in a fatal motorcycle crash, bystanders questioned why there is no helmet law in Colorado.

“He had massive head trauma and really the only injuries he had were to the head,” said Coroner Dianne Fairman. “So yes, a helmet would have helped. I can’t say for certain it would have saved his life, but chances are it probably would have.”

As Ruth Little and her daughter witnessed the aftermath of McCarty’s accident, she told her 8-year-old daughter, “That’s why you wear your helmet.”

Senior Melissa Hinman, a civil engineering major, has had her motorcycle for a week and says she always wears a helmet. She said everyone should have to wear one to be safe.

“An un-helmeted motorcyclist is 40 percent more likely to incur a fatal head injury and 15 percent more likely to incur a non-fatal injury than a helmeted motorcyclist when involved in a crash,” according to the NHTSA Web site.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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