Motorcycle Helmet Laws: Most Wanted List

Motorcycle Legislation

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced Wednesday that they added all rider motorcycle helmet laws to its 2010 Most Wanted List of Safety Improvements directed at the US.

And now, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety calls on Congress to enact federal legeslation that will result in the all-rider motorcycle helmet use law, along with adopting minimum standards for teen driving laws, primary enforcement seat belt use laws and ignition interlock laws for first time offenders.

Jackie Gillan (Vice President, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety) says: "We commend NTSB for this important addition to their Most Wanted List which includes other basic lifesaving traffic safety laws that will protect every family in every state."

"It is time that Congress passes the bi-partisan Safe Teen and Novice Driver Uniform Protection Act (STANDUP), H.R. 1895 and S. 3269, as well as compels every state to have a primary enforcement seat belt law, an all rider motorcycle helmet law and an ignition interlock law for first time offenders."

Too many states lack essential highway safety laws that were enacted decades ago. The first primary enforcement seat belt law was passed in the 1980s and all rider motorcycle helmet laws in the 1960s. Last year, more state legislatures considered laws to repeal all-rider motorcycle helmet laws than to enact them.

NTSB’s recommendation for all states to enact all-rider motorcycle helmet laws is timely, particularly because 4,462 motorcyclists died in crashes in 2009. That is double the number of fatalities in 1998.

Helmets saved the lives of 1,483 motorcyclists in 2009, and could have saved another 732 if all motorcyclists in crashes were wearing helmets. Thirty states still need an all-rider helmet law.