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Helmet Law

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NEWS
January 2, 1992
Health and safety concerns, not budgetary savings, ought to be the motivating factors for requiring all adult motorcycle riders in Maryland to wear helmets. But with the state's budget shortfall approaching $1 billion, it is the dollars and cents aspect that seems to be swaying legislators.For the last 15 years, motorcyclists have defeated every attempt to force them to wear safety helmets. They call it freedom of choice. Medical experts call it sheer stupidity. And budget analysts call it a raid on the public treasury.
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NEWS
May 19, 2014
Regarding your editorial about dirt bikes and how they should be handled, you seem unable to understand that there is a way to stop the dirt bike madness on the streets and also generate money for Baltimore City ( "Scofflaws on two wheels (and sometimes one)," May 15). Granted, dirt bikes are illegal. But they also have conversion kits for lights and signals and can be converted and inspected by state officials, then registered just like a moped or motorcycle. There should be a minimum age of 17 for a cyclist license and a helmet law for all riders.
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NEWS
By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun | February 13, 2013
It seems as if it would be a common-sense maxim for cyclists: Wear a helmet. Maryland law mandates the practice for children 16 and younger, similar to standards in nearly two dozen states. Under a Sykesville town ordinance, a person of any age can have their bike impounded for being caught without one three times. A bill in the General Assembly would make Maryland the first state in the country to extend helmet requirements to any person on any bike. More helmets, more safety?
NEWS
By Nicholas Edler | May 1, 2014
In the new Marvel movie, "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," Captain America (Played by Chris Evans) is seen coolly riding his new Harley-Davidson on the streets of D.C. While watching this, I can only think of one thing: Where is Captain America's helmet? I am an intensive care unit nurse at the University of Maryland Medical Center, the first trauma hospital in the world. We regularly see motorcyclists survive devastating crashes if for no other reason because they were wearing a helmet.
NEWS
By Peter Jensen and Peter Jensen,Staff Writer | September 27, 1992
ANNAPOLIS -- They came to town with a roar, a parade of steel and chrome, leather and rumbling horsepower.On a glorious fall day, hundreds of motorcyclists celebrated their last helmet-free weekend with a protest ride, loudly motoring through the narrow streets of historic Annapolis, past the State House and legislative office buildings.The only things atop their heads were bandannas, caps and hair -- a great deal of hair in many cases. They paused only to show their contempt for the governor and legislators who deemed that beginning this Thursday they shall have to wear helmets whenever they ride.
NEWS
By JoAnna Daemmrich and JoAnna Daemmrich,SUN STAFF | March 18, 1998
In the center of a House of Delegates committee room, beneath the Colonial-style candelabra, stood a prop yesterday that drew a fascinated crowd of spectators:A purple Harley-Davidson."
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel and Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF | December 9, 1997
Five bandannas, three soft welder's caps, a Santa stocking cap and a Harley baseball cap, all with chin straps, form some of the "protective headgear" favored by a St. Mary's County motorcyclist.What he puts on his head while motorcycling is a matter of constitutional import to William "Mike" Lewis, a crusader against helmet laws. As the state sees it, he is making a mockery of the law. As the Maryland Court of Appeals sees it, Lewis has raised a legal question.The state's highest court will hear arguments today.
NEWS
February 6, 1996
THEY'RE BA-AAACK. The horde of motorcyclists who ride into Annapolis each winter protesting Maryland's motorcycle helmet law have become more expected than snow in February. "I know every [year], 500 motorcyclists or so ride around the State House," former Gov. William Donald Schaefer once complained. "The only thing it does is annoy my dog."The cyclists have come and gone before, usually turned back by statistics showing a decline in deaths for the years the state's helmet law has been in effect.
NEWS
By Donna R. Engle and Donna R. Engle,SUN STAFF | August 19, 1996
Taneytown police hope citations and fines will prompt young bicyclists to obey Maryland's nearly year-old helmet law.Chief Melvin Diggs, frustrated with the lack of enforcement powers in the state law, has asked the City Council to adopt an ordinance that would allow officers to issue citations to parents whose children ride without helmets. Parents of repeat offenders could be fined $25.The City Council has asked its attorney to draft an ordinance.The measure was prompted by a July accident involving a 6-year-old bicyclist who wasn't wearing a helmet.
NEWS
January 27, 1997
WHEN THE House of Delegates' Commerce and Government Matters Committee gathers tomorrow afternoon for a public hearing on House Bill 56, which would repeal Maryland's five-year-old motorcycle helmet law, how will proponents of this step backward in highway safety argue their case? How will they challenge the fact that motorcycle deaths have dropped yearly since the law took effect, from 54 deaths in 1992 to 26 deaths last year?Will they hold the chart upside down to make it look like deaths have spiked upward, and hope no one notices?
NEWS
February 19, 2013
Baltimore has made a great deal of progress in making itself more bike friendly ("Cycling advocates fight proposed helmet law, preferring 'safety in numbers'" Feb 13). As a homeowner in Baltimore City, I enjoy the convenience of jumping on my bike to make short trips to run errands rather than driving. This newly proposed bike helmet law promises not only to make this more inconvenient for me and many of my fellow neighbors who also ride bikes, but also to ironically make it more dangerous to ride.
NEWS
February 16, 2013
Your recent article ("Helmet bill gets objections from bike advocates" Feb. 13) left me quite astounded and literally shaking my head. People have opinions, and opinions do indeed vary. As a lifelong road-bicycling participant (35 years) and helmet wearer, I have cycled the roads and streets in many states, raced at the intercollegiate level and as a licensed amateur, commuted to school and work, participated in local group rides (both fast paced and leisurely) and just rode (and currently ride)
NEWS
By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun | February 13, 2013
It seems as if it would be a common-sense maxim for cyclists: Wear a helmet. Maryland law mandates the practice for children 16 and younger, similar to standards in nearly two dozen states. Under a Sykesville town ordinance, a person of any age can have their bike impounded for being caught without one three times. A bill in the General Assembly would make Maryland the first state in the country to extend helmet requirements to any person on any bike. More helmets, more safety?
NEWS
May 31, 2007
Preliminary numbers released last week by the federal government suggest the nation isn't making much progress in reducing traffic deaths. But the most troubling news of all was the fastest-growing source of fatal accidents - those involving motorcycles. In all, an estimated 4,800 motorcycle riders lost their lives in collisions last year. That's a 125 percent increase over the last decade. The situation is much the same in Maryland, where police recorded 82 deaths and 1,701 injuries related to motorcycle accidents in 2006.
NEWS
BY A SUN STAFF WRITER | February 28, 2001
The state Senate defeated an effort yesterday to repeal Maryland's 8-year-old law requiring motorcycle riders to wear helmets. The bill, which would have required minors to wear helmets while exempting adults, failed on a 22-25 vote. The bill's supporters said there is no proof that requiring helmets has saved lives, arguing that helmets might actually cause accidents because they interfere with cyclists' ability to see and hear. Opponents said the law has saved taxpayers money by preventing debilitating brain injuries.
NEWS
By Dan Thanh Dang and Dan Thanh Dang,SUN STAFF | October 9, 2000
About 600 mostly bare-headed men and women in leather jackets and chaps roared through Annapolis yesterday afternoon to snub and protest -- for the ninth year in a row -- a Maryland law that requires motorcyclists to wear helmets. Demanding the right to choose and calling for the end of government intrusion into private lives, the members of A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments (ABATE) pledged to file a helmet law modification bill in the next legislative session that would allow riders 18 and older to decide whether to wear protective headgear.
NEWS
February 6, 1992
Smoking rulesThe state should not pre-empt local governments on no-smoking laws, according to 67 percent of callers to SUNDIAL. Of 342 callers, 231 have that opinion, while 111 (32 percent) favor state pre-emption.Of 344 responses, 188 (54 percent) say minors should be fined for having cigarettes, and 156 (45 percent) disagree. Two-thirds of 343 callers say companies should draft smoking policies (228 vs. 115 callers)."It's Your Call" represents a sampling of opinions from certain segments of the community, but it is not balanced demographically, as a scientific public opinion poll would be.Motorcycle helmet lawMaryland once had a law requiring motorcycle riders to wear helmets but repealed it in 1979 when motorcycle enthusiasts insisted it was a violation of their personal freedom.
NEWS
By M. Dion Thompson and M. Dion Thompson,SUN STAFF | February 3, 2000
The kids were prowling the halls of the James Senate Office building yesterday, lining up votes for a bill filed in honor of a dead friend. They want the General Assembly to require children under 16 to wear helmets when using in-line skates, just as the state requires bicyclists to wear helmets. Since 1992, at least 27 children have been killed across the country while in-line skating. Their friend, Casey Athman, was one of them. A helmet might have saved his life. The bill might save someone else's life.
NEWS
By Nancy A. Youssef and Nancy A. Youssef,SUN STAFF | June 26, 1998
A ceremony tomorrow dedicating Warfields Farm Community Park will do more than celebrate the community's 18-year effort behind the park -- it will also remember the life of a boy whose death spurred legislation requiring the use of bicycle helmets.The program will include the unveiling of a plaque honoring Christopher Kelley, who died in 1990 at the age of 13 after he was struck by a car while riding his bicycle along the pond at what would become this Glenelg park. Christopher, who was not wearing a helmet, died in a neighbor's yard.
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