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Proposed Michigan helmet repeal could raise auto insurance

Repealing the law which mandates helmet wearing for motorcyclists in Michigan would lead to additional road deaths and injuries - as well as increasing auto insurance and health-related costs.

That's the cry from insurance companies and public safety officials, who insist the current requirement to wear a helmet continues to work in the best interests of riders, and other road users, in the Great Lakes State.

AAA Michigan says it opposes bills sponsored by state representative Richard LeBlanc that would make helmet use optional for those operating or riding a motorcycle.

Repealing the motorcycle helmet law could have lethal consequences, the organization warns, leading to at least 30 additional motorcycle fatalities and 127 more incapacitating injuries annually. The overall bill to Michigan citizens would be $129 million, it estimates.

Debate over the wisdom of mandatory helmet usage is longstanding, with opponents claiming that helmet mandates can actually lead to an increase in rider fatalities.

Only a small number of states have no helmet laws on their statute books, including Iowa, Illinois, and New Hampshire.

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