ENACT THE MANDATORY MOTORCYCLE HELMET LAW
From: John Hamilton
On Sept. 1, 1963, the state of Maryland enacted a mandatory motorcycle helmet-use law. This law was amended on May 29, 1979, to affect only persons under the age of 18.
A bill to reinstate this law has been introduced in the Maryland legislature every year since then and has failed to pass.
It is not a radical law -- 23 states already have them.
Head-injured motorcycle riders have less than a 55 percent chance of ever returning to work. So you the taxpayer will carry the patient and, frequently, the patient's family. All because the rider did not wear a helmet!
Many people wonder how this failure to reinstate the helmet law could happen. (These people include):
* Police and fire teams who are the first on the scene and frequently remove damaged, un-helmeted heads from the pavement.
* The ambulance and helicopter crews who race against time to the life-sustaining treatment of shock trauma (units).
* The doctors and nurses of the shock trauma centers who mobilize all their skills for hopeful restoration of functions to the broken, un-helmeted heads.
* The department of post-mortem examiners who are called in when all efforts have been to no avail.
* And most important of all, the families and loved ones of the victims -- they are in shock starting with the first knock on the door by a police representative and remain that way for days, weeks, months or frequently years, watching, waiting and hoping, for the damage that could have been prevented, to be repaired.
The Maryland Head Injury Foundation has a twofold mission: (1) to improve the lives of head-injury victims; and (2) prevention of head injury. We support reinstatement of this Maryland Motorcycle Helmet Law, without reservations.
We urge you and your readers to demand reinstatement of this law, when the next session of the Maryland Legislature begins in January 1991.Editor's note: The writer is the volunteer director of the Maryland Head Injury Foundation and the parent of a head-injured son.