Archived Story

Ask Trooper Rob: Repeal of helmet law effective now

Published 11:41pm Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I have had recent conversations with citizens about the Helmet Repeal Law. I have been asked why it was passed.

Repealing the state’s mandatory helmet law was a public policy decision approved by the Michigan Legislature with bipartisan support, and the Michigan State Police remained neutral throughout the legislative process.

Public Act 98 of 2012 took immediate effect. This act states that motorcycle riders no longer have to wear an MDOT approved crash helmet if all of the following apply: The operator is at least 21 years of age, the operator has had his/her motorcycle endorsement for at least two years or has successfully passed a motorcycle safety course, and the operator has in effect a security for the first-party medical benefits payable if he/she is involved in a motorcycle crash for at least $20,000 for the operator or $20,000 per person is the operator is carrying an additional passenger and the passenger does not have at least $20,000 security.

The motorcycle passenger is not required to wear an MDOT approved crash helmet if all of the following apply: The passenger is at least 21 years old, the passenger has in effect at least a $20,000 security for the first-party medical benefits payable if he/she is involved in a motorcycle crash or the operator of the motorcycle has in effect a security that covers the operator and the passenger for at least $20,000.

Michigan is the 31st state to give motorcyclists the option of wearing a helmet. Michigan originally implemented its helmet-use law in 1967 to comply with U.S. Department of Transportation requirements for federal funds. That requirement is no longer in place.

Safety for children

I would also like to remind caregivers the current “best practice” for child passenger safety seats is for children to ride rear facing up to the age of 2 years old. The better manufacturing of the seats now have a rating of up to 35 pounds rear facing.

Drug collection

Saturday is the National DEA Drug Take Back Day. Please call local law enforcement for times and locations of drop-off sites, which are open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. These sites have a drop box to turn in unused or expired medication for safe disposal. Michigan sites cannot accept liquid or patch medication due to disposal regulations.

Still not acclimated to the long, hard winters of the Wakefield Post in the western Upper Peninsula, Post Commander Sgt. Perry Critchell, 43, was anxious to visit “down below.” Notified to bring an old patrol car to East Lansing Headquarters, Sgt. Critchell jumped at the chance. He brought along a friend, Gogebic County Sheriff Frank Perlich, for the long road trip. After picking up supplies and getting a new car, they began the long road trip back on March 20, 1954.

While traveling on Old U.S. 27, they approached County Road 200 in Crawford County, where a westbound car ran a stop sign and entered the intersection, directly in the path of Critchell. Critchell was unable to stop and struck the car broadside. Critchell died almost immediately. Sheriff Perlich was severely injured. At age 35 and a mother of 6, the driver of the vehicle that ran the stop sign was also seriously injured. No criminal charges were filed in the matter.

Sgt. Critchell served at the White Pigeon and Paw Paw Posts after enlisting in the MSP on July 18, 1934, before being promoted to Wakefield. He is buried in Rockford and was the seventeenth MSP officer to die in the line of duty.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/#!/kbtonkin Kevin Tonkin

    So will the police stop everyone and check for age ID? Sounds like more work for the police now.

  • Rusty

    Trooper Rob, I would really love to see a MDOT approved helmet. In 35 years of riding and wearing helmets I have never seen one of those. I am sure you “meant” DOT approved helmet, but then I have never seen one of those either. According to NHTSA, the actual agency that regulates helmet manufacturers, the government does not nor has it ever approved a motorcycle helmet. They do provide the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) known as FMVSS 218 (49CFR571.218)which is a testing protocol that helmet manufacturers are expected to comply with before they SELF CERTIFY helmets they sell in the U.S.A. by placing THEIR OWN D.O.T. sticker on the back.
    You should note also that in an effort to inspect compliance by helmet manufacturers with 49CFR571.218, NHTSA has annually sent randomly selected new year models of helmets (around 50 models) to an independent engineering lab for testing. In all the years they have conducted these compliance checks half tested have failed. It would seem logic dictates that if half tested fail, then half not tested fail making half of all helmets for sale technically illegal.

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