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Will 2017 be the year the state enforces a helmet law?

The discussion began again back in February when the two sides took their places at a Connecticut legislative hearing. It was being held to determine whether or not motorcyclists will be forced to capitulate and require helmets for all riders.

The Connecticut Motorcycle Riders Association’s legislative spokesman, an accountant and enthusiastic biker, has defended at least six attempts over the past three decades to implement more stringent helmet laws.

He likens the decision not to wear a helmet to that of choosing to consume alcohol, smoke cigarettes or overeat, saying, “It’s totally ludicrous to single out motorcyclists.”

His opponent is employed by Connecticut Children’s Medical Center as the Injury Prevention Center director, who cites the statistic that riders wearing helmets have 37 percent better chance of surviving a wreck.

The bikers and doctors have faced off many times in the past over this same issue. Both sides clearly have a passion for their position.

The legislative spokesperson brought up the 99 motorcycle fatalities and1,068 severe injuries that occurred in 1982. That was the year Connecticut implemented its motorcycle education program. As of 2015, those numbers had diminished to 54 and 208.

Committee chairman Rep. Tony Guerrera who sponsored this latest proposal stated that he was undecided about its future. He views the increased incidences of distracted driving as an even greater risk to motorcyclists.

“I’m concerned – it’s scary out there,” Guerrera said. “But you can’t argue with numbers.”

Regardless of your position on the state’s lack of a helmet law, if you are injured in a motorcycle accident caused by an at-fault driver, you have the right to pursue compensation for your injuries and damages.

Source: Hartford Courant, “Connecticut Motorcycle Helmet Law Discussed,” Don Stacom, accessed April 21, 2017

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