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Essay about Helmet Laws In The United States

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Helmet laws throughout the U.S. have always created a great deal of controversy. Currently there are two types of helmet laws in the United States; a universal helmet law, which requires all motorcyclists to wear a helmet and partial helmet law that has age requirements. The helmet debate has been a long battle between free-rights organizations and government officials.

In 1967, the Highway Safety act created a federal highway safety grant program. Prior to this act, no state in the U.S. had a motorcycle helmet law. In order for states to receive federal funds, they were required to have a highway safety program in place. If a state did not enact a universal motorcycle helmet law, portions of these federal funds could be withheld. By 1975, forty-seven states responded and passed helmet laws. Congress amended the Incentives for State Helmet Laws in 1976. Although in 1991, they passed the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act to give states incentives and penalties based on the helmet laws. This had little effect on the states and Congress rescinded this helmet policy in 1995. States, under pressure from free-choice groups like ABATE, weakened, and began repealing their helmet laws. (Laws)
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), only 20 states still require all riders to wear helmets today. Three states have no helmet law at all, and the other 27 have age restrictions.

I currently live in PA and the helmet law is a very personal one to me. I have many friends and immediate family members including myself, who are avid motorcyclists. We are all fully aware of the dangers associated with riding first hand. This debate has been discussed around our dinner table many times. Despite...


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...st. Web. 17 Nov. 2011.
"Costs of Injuries Resulting from Motorcycle Crashes." Home | National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Web. 20 Nov. 2011. .
Rhoades, Jim. "Helmet Law." ABATE of Michigan 248 685 9150. Web. 16 Nov. 2011. .
"Crash Science." Friction Zone June 2006: 2-4. Web. 17 Nov. 2011.
Heinrichs, Allison M. "Pitt Study Says Helmet-less Riders Hazard to Health." Pittsburgh Tribune-Review [Pittsburgh, PA] 13 June 2008. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 15 Nov. 2011. .
Auman, K. M., J. A. Kufera, M. F. Ballesteros, J. E. Smialek, and P. C. Dischinger. "Autopsy Study of Motorcyclist Fatalities: The Effect of the 1992 Maryland Motorcycle Helmet Use Law." American Journal of Public Health 92.8 (2002): 1352-355. Business Source Elite. Web. 18 Nov. 2011.



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