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House panel moves new MI helmet law compromise

By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network


A state House panel has approved a partial repeal of Michigan's motorcycle helmet law in hopes it will win the support of Governor Rick Snyder. The bill now goes to the House floor. It would allow people 21 or older with at least two years of experience to ride without a helmet.

State Representative Peter Petallia sponsored the measure.

"The push behind this has just been to encourage tourism in Michigan," he says. "We're surrounded by states that do not have a helmet law, so a lot of tourists that come around Michigan will come through Wisconsin, maybe up to the Wisconsin Dells to enjoy the lakeshore and not come in to Michigan because of our helmet law."

The governor has said he does not support repealing Michigan's four-decade-old helmet law without assurances that the costs of injuries won't be shifted to taxpayers or ratepayers.

The measure would require riders without a helmet to carry 20 thousand dollars in medical coverage in case they are injured. Critics say that amount would not cover a week in intensive care.

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