VOTE FOR THE BEST OF ORLANDO® 2021 NOW THROUGH AUG. 1!

Where helmets are headed 


July 1 marked the first day of Florida's no-helmet law. Motorcyclists who carry more than $10,000 in medical insurance can ride their bikes without the cumbersome problem of attaching a plastic cap to their heads.

But if another Southern state is any indication, cyclists will need that insurance. Louisiana repealed its helmet law last summer. The state now reports a near-doubling of highway fatalities involving motorcyclists.

Through May 2000, the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission reported 22 motorcyclist deaths. Of those, 11 riders weren't wearing helmets. In another case an investigator could not determine whether the rider was wearing one or not.

During the same time period in 1999, 12 motorcyclists died in Louisiana.

News of the increase in fatalities surprised two motorcyclists: Louisiana Gov. Mike Foster and his son Murphy, both of whom lobbied against the helmet requirement. The governor's office responded by saying a longer-term analysis was needed.

In Florida, death projections have already been completed. The Central Florida Safety Council, a nonprofit organization, expects a 53 percent increase in motorcycle-related fatalities throughout the state. That means 100 more riders will perish between now and next July than the 183 who died throughout 1998.

Many of those projected deaths will be novice riders who decided buying a motorcycle would be fun since they no longer had to wear a helmet. "It's a new-found freedom," says Glenn Victor, a Safety Council spokesman. "They can hop on a bike and ride any time."

In this case, maybe the freedom to wear a helmet is what should be stressed. As Victor says, "[It's] kind of a no-brainer."


Tags: ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

July 28, 2021

View more issues

Calendar

© 2021 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation