A federal task force may soon recommend all states adopt mandatory helmet laws, reports the American Motorcylist Association.
According to the AMA, the Community Preventive Services Task Force, which conducts research and then issues recommendations to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and Congress, will advise in favor of universal helmet laws, arguing they would reduce motorcyclist deaths and injuries, while also reducing healthcare costs.
The Task Force had a meeting on Oct. 23 to discuss several topics, with the top issue being “Motor Vehicle – Related Injury Prevention : Economic Impact of Motorcycle Helmet Laws“. The Task Force’s previous meeting in June had a related topic titled “Effectiveness of Motorcycle Helmet Laws in Reducing Motorcycle-Related Fatal and Non-Fatal Injuries“. No information about either meeting has been released, though the AMA claims the Task Force is poised to issue a recommendation.
The AMA meanwhile, maintains the decision to wear a helmet should lie upon the motorcyclist, and that resources are better spent on finding ways to prevent motorcycle crashes.
“The AMA continues to strongly encourage the use of personal protective equipment, including gloves, sturdy footwear and a properly fitted motorcycle helmet certified by its manufacturer to meet federal safety standards,” says Wayne Allard, AMA vice president for government relations. “But we also believe that adults should have the right to voluntarily choose to wear a helmet.”
Allard also argues helmet laws do nothing to reduce the number of motorcycle crashes.
“The AMA strongly advocates helmet use, but helmet use alone is insufficient to ensure a motorcyclist’s safety,” said Allard. “There is a broad range of measures that can be implemented to improve the skill of motorcycle operators, as well as reduce the frequency of situations where other vehicle operators are the cause of crashes that involve motorcycles.”