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Tuesday, January 10, 2017


Updated 1/04/2017

ABATE of Delaware Membership, Supporters of ABATE of Delaware, and Concerned Freedom Fighting Friends.
As expected Representative Sean M. Lynn (D-Dover) and Senator Gary F Simpson (R) have once again introduced a Mandatory Helmet Law - House Bill 14 and it is now in the hands of the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.

The Legislative Task Force is requesting ALL ABATE of Delaware
Members, Supporters of ABATE of Delaware, and Concerned
Freedom Fighting Friends to write, call, or visit the Delaware 149th
General Assembly Members of the House Public Safety and
Homeland Security Committee and respectfully request that
they vote against the release of HB 14.

Ask them to support you and the entire motorcycling community and
against ANY Mandatory Helmet Legislation and why you feel that way.

You will recall that these two attempted this during the last session
with HB 54, but didn't get a single vote to move it out of Committee.

We need to stop this bill in Committee!!

My sample letter below the Members of the House Public
Safety and Homeland Security Committee email addresses
has ideas and suggestions that you might use.
Also, scroll all the way down to the two videos.

In each email you send to the Committee Members address them
by their position and name and close with your name and town.
Click/Tap on the Committee Members' Email Adresses below:

Chairman: Representative John L. Mitchell -
Representative Michael Mulrooney -
Representative Melanie George Smith -
Representative James Johnson -
Representative William J. Carson -
Representative Edward S. Osienski -
Representative Gerald L. Brady -
Representative William R. Outten -
Representative David L. Wilson -
Representative Ruth Briggs-King -
Representative Steve Smyk -

Sample Email:

Good day Representative (Name)

I am a registered voter in your district.

It has come to my attention that Representative Sean Lynn has introduced HB 14 for consideration during the next legislative session.
I have serious issue with this bill.
I am not opposed to wearing a motorcycle helmet, but I am against legislation that mandates what I can or cannot do with respect to my own personal safety.

In the synopsis of the bill it states, "Of the 49 motorcycle fatalities in Delaware since 2014, just over half of the motorcyclists, 28, were wearing helmets at the time of the crash."

I took the liberty of reviewing the Delaware State Police report, "2015 Delaware's Annual Traffic Statistical Report" (

There were actually 35 fatal motorcycle accidents in Delaware since 2014, 22 of those were wearing helmets.
Simple math tells me that I'm 63 percent safer without a helmet.
Going further into the data there have been 541 people injured while riding, 321 of those were wearing helmets.
That leaves 220 that were not wearing helmets.

Once again, based on the actual numbers I am less likely to be injured without a helmet.

During the last incarnation of this bill, Representative Lynn stated that, "more than half of all cyclists killed in Delaware in the past 10 years were not wearing helmets".
The actual numbers are of the 182 fatal motorcycle accidents 95 were wearing helmet, 87 were not.
This indicates to me that it's a crap shoot at best.

Will the state be liable to my estate in the event of my death during a motorcycle accident while wearing a helmet?
Is the state going to be responsible for the medical bills in the event that the helmet causes devastating neck injuries?

I am concerned because the only "legal helmets" allowed must conform to FMVSS No. 218  which is a manufacturing standard established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA).
Amazingly NHTSA doesn't test helmets itself to see if they conform to the standard.
They rely on the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act specifying that it is the responsibility of the manufacturer to certify that the helmet meets the criteria (more on that later).
They do however contract testing to private labs.
Of the thousands of different helmets sold only about 40 are tested every year, and half of those fail.
So, who is to say the others untested would meet the standard?
Many times in the past it has been revealed that a manufacturer is lying about their products' ability to conform to set standards as is the case with Diesel Volkswagens and Takata airbags.

The present testing standard (FMVSS No. 218) was created more than 30 years ago.
The tests are done in a laboratory on a head form at an impact speed of 13.66 MPH.
At no time does the testing simulate what happens to a rider during a crash and does not take into account the stresses that would be transferred to a motorcyclists neck and spinal cord, the effects of the chin strap, nor the kinetic effect of the brain when the helmet bounces.
Would that be acceptable in government crash testing of cars? Just smash it in to a wall, yup good to go?

The bill's sponsors Representative Lynn, and Senator Simpson like to point to Paul Kalp, who was the unfortunate victim of a 16 year old driver who violated his right of way and caused the crash that has left him with a traumatic brain injury.
I would like to point out that a very close friend of mine was involved in a motorcycle crash on 19 June this past year (Father's day).
The details of the accident are similar.
The only real difference being that my close friend was wearing a Motorcycle helmet that was DOT compliant (FMVSS No. 218).
The aftermath for him has been quite different.
On impact he suffered a broken spine and is now paralyzed from the neck down.
He cannot attend to his daily needs and just returned home this past weekend.
He can no longer work or drive.
He gets around in a special motorized wheel chair.
His wife has been forced to sell their family home and move to a home that can accommodate his needs at considerable cost to the family.

Tammy Kalp, wife of Paul, has become the spokesperson for this legislation.
She has publicly stated that riding without a helmet is irresponsible.
Riding a motorcycle is not irresponsible, but inherently dangerous as are most sports and activities. 
It is interesting to note that neither Senator Simpson nor representative Lynn (nor the Kalps for that matter) supported SB150 (Vulnerable users bill) in the last session.
I find that disappointing because it could have helped in their situation.

The bottom line is that everything in life has some danger associated with it.
Some more than others.

What I don't understand or appreciate is when someone else tries to tell me what is good for me.
I was raised and educated very well. 
I know smoking is unhealthy, but I enjoy smoking, and my health is no one else's business.
I know motorcycles can be dangerous, but I enjoy the freedom of choice, whether or not I wear a helmet is no one else's business. 
No one has the right to tell me what sort of car to drive, what kind of light bulb I can buy, what kind of milk I can drink, or how to raise my kids.

I look for your support to defeat this bad piece of legislation.

Your Name
Your Town