|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||CONTACT: Rick Alloway|
|Thursday, February 10, 2005||(202) 408-1711 x27|
PROTECT MARYLAND'S MOTORCYCLE HELMET LAW
February 10, 2005
Maryland's House Environmental Matters Committee will hear HB450, a bill that would dramatically weaken Maryland's Motorcycle Helmet law, on Tuesday, February 15 at 1 pm. This is a serious challenge to Maryland's motorcycle all-rider helmet law that has been saving lives since 1992. The bill has 51 co-sponsors, so it is crucial that the committee members hear from their constituents who oppose this measure. This is a "minors only" bill allowing motorcyclists and their passengers 21 years of age or older to ride helmet-free if the motorcyclists: 1) Have had their license for two years; or 2) Have participated in a motorcycle rider safety program.
ASK COMMITTEE MEMBERS TO VOTE NO ON HB450:
The following members of the House Environmental Matters Committee need calls. Members marked with an asterisk (*) have sponsored this bill, and should be specifically targeted.
Maggie L.McIntosh, Chair -- firstname.lastname@example.org
James E. Malone, Jr., Vice-Chair -- email@example.com
John S. Arnick -- firstname.lastname@example.org
Kumar P. Barve -- email@example.com
Elizabeth Bobo -- firstname.lastname@example.org
William A. Bronrott -- email@example.com
*Rudolph C. Cane -- firstname.lastname@example.org
Virginia P. Clagett -- email@example.com
*John W. E. Cluster, Jr. -- firstname.lastname@example.org
Barbara A. Frush -- email@example.com
Tony E. Fulton -- firstname.lastname@example.org
Barry Glassman -- email@example.com
*Patrick N. Hogan -- firstname.lastname@example.org
Marvin E. Holmes, Jr. -- email@example.com
*J. B. Jennings -- firstname.lastname@example.org
*Tony McConkey -- email@example.com
Karen Montgomery -- firstname.lastname@example.org
*Rosetta C. Parker -- email@example.com
*Richard A. Sossi -- firstname.lastname@example.org
Joan F. Stern -- email@example.com
*Paul S. Stull -- firstname.lastname@example.org
*Michael H. Weir, Jr. -- email@example.com
MOTORCYCLE HELMET TALKING POINTS:
Maryland's motorcyclist death rate has dropped by 56 percent since passage of the all-rider helmet law in 1992. "Autopsy Study of Motorcyclist Fatalities: The Effect of the 1992 Maryland Motorcycle Helmet Use Law," AJPH 1352-1355, Vol 92, No. 8, August 2002.
According to the Fiscal and Policy Note accompanying SB611, an identical bill proposed last year, the resulting increase in motorcycle rider injuries will cause Maryland Medicaid expenditures to increase annually by at least $750,000 beginning in FY2005, growing to $1,022,400 by FY09. The total increase by 2009 in Medicaid expenditures will be almost $4.5 million due to the increase in motorcycle rider injuries.
In Maryland, according to Maryland Shock Trauma (MIEMSS), the uninsured, non-helmeted motorcycle victims are costing the Maryland taxpayer almost $1.35 million annually compared to the helmeted victim's cost of $80,025 in uncompensated care.
NHTSA estimates that helmets reduce the risk of death in a motorcycle crash by one-third and are 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries to motorcyclists.
When Texas repealed its all-rider helmet law in 1997, fatalities jumped 31 percent. Arkansas also repealed its all-rider helmet law in 1997 and experienced a 21 percent increase in motorcycle deaths. NHTSA 2000
After motorcycle helmet repeals in Kentucky (1998) and Louisiana (1999), motorcycle fatalities dramatically increased by 50 percent and 100 percent, respectively. NHTSA 2003
In the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) latest survey, helmet use was reported to be essentially 100% at sites with helmet use laws governing all motorcycle riders, as compared to 34 to 54% at sites with no helmet use laws or partial use laws. (NHTSA 2001)
From 1984 to 1999, $13.2 billion was saved because of motorcycle helmet use. An additional $11.1 billion could have been saved if all motorcyclists had worn helmets. (NHTSA, 2000)
Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety is an alliance of consumer, health, law enforcement and safety groups and insurance companies and agents working together to make America's roads safer. Founded in 1989, Advocates encourages the adoption of federal and state laws, policies and programs that save lives and reduce injuries. For more information contact Rick Alloway, State Program Manager, at Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, 1-800-659-224