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Monday, November 29, 2010

Midland, Texas - Feds Push for Nationwide Motorcycle Helmet Requirement 11/26/10

Twenty states require motorcycle riders to wear helmets and Texas is not one of them but if the National Transportation Safety Board gets its way, riders in every state will have to wear a helmet.
According to the NTSB, 12 motorcyclists die in crashes in the US every single day. That’s why the federal agency is urging states like Texas to make helmets mandatory.
Every time Richard Sexton fires up his motorcycle he's wearing a helmet.
As a rider coach for the motorcycle safety foundation he advises his students to do the same.
"All of the rider coaches certainly in the state of Texas and throughout the country would love to see everybody wearing a helmet", says Sexton.
Yet thousands of Texas bikers choose to go without headgear, leaving them very vulnerable.
According to the National Transportation Safety Board, motorcycles make up just 3% of the vehicles on the road but account for 13 % of all fatalities.
"A majority of the motorcycle deaths in this country are because of people not wearing helmets, head injuries", says Sexton.
That's why the NTSB wants states nationwide to enact laws requiring riders to strap on a helmet.
"I've come really, really close. I've been run off the road several times and hit a cub and it gets pretty frightening. Your life flashes in front of you. The only thing you can think of is, oh, this is it", says avid biker, Shawn Johnson.
He has had his share of close calls but still goes helmet-less much of the time.
"You're restricted in many ways so you don't get the full feel of getting out on the open road and having the wind go through your hair", says Johnson.
Even Sexton understands their gripes.
"There are tons of people that think that that would be a great intrusion on their privacy and what they want to do and not do”, he says.
Despite backlash, some argue that the preference to go helmet-less costs taxpayers money, when riders without insurance sustain major injuries that could be prevented.
"You will always be safer if you have all of your safety gear on and the number one things that will save your life will be your helmet", says Sexton.
Mr. Sexton recommends wearing a Department of Transportation approved helmet as well as full finger gloves, boots and heavy clothing when you ride.