Paul B. Jones: Helmet law not about safety

May 14, 2013 

Not about safety

Some well-meaning legislators are about to dump a multi-million dollar healthcare burden on taxpayers if they pass legislation to weaken the state’s motorcycle helmet law.

Requiring motorcycle riders to carry a $10,000 insurance policy to pay for injuries that might be sustained would be laughable, if it were not a serious matter.

Data clearly show that the most frequent and most expensive injuries to motorcyclists not wearing a helmet is traumatic brain injury. Check with hospital bean counters and rehab centers to get a cost estimate for one, just one, severe head trauma. The cost is frequently in the millions of dollars, which no insurance policy covers.

Then, it’s the taxpayers who get stuck with a motorcyclist’s long-term or lifetime healthcare costs. If legislators are serious about listening to taxpayers who are tapped out, the motorcycle helmet law needs to be left intact.

This conservative believes it’s about “economics” and not about someone’s libertarian desire to have the wind blow through their hair.

Paul B. Jones

Charlotte

The writer was director of the Governor’s Highway Safety Program 1985-1993.

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