Heres the appropriate cautionary note for members of the General Assembly who are in the process of easing the ban on riding a motorcycle without a helmet in North Carolina: Use your heads. While abandoning the helmet requirement might be attractive for some riders, there are times when a government has to stand up for safety even when those most affected might say its not governments business to protect them.
Lawmakers already have heard from a WakeMed trauma specialist who estimated that the initial treatment for a brain injury is $250,000. But the bill as it stands would require riders to carry insurance to cover only the first $10,000 of their care. Thats nonsensical, and if drivers were uninsured, the costs would fall on everyone else with insurance. The mother of a brain-injured youth told House committee members she has to sleep in her sons room every night to guard against seizures. That presumably will last a lifetime.
The awful consequences of brain injury from motorcycle accidents, for victims and many others, far outweigh the benefits of freedom awarded to riders by a repeal of the law. No repeal is necessary.