HB 2010 Helmet Reform

Our bill has a house number. It is HB 2010. It is a very simple bill. It simply allows those 21 and older to choose whether or not to wear a helmet. You can read the bill at the following link: http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?131+ful+HB2010.

Now is a good time to get the emails rolling in the House. Normally I do not include a suggested email but this year it will be very important for us to stay on our talking points. We have refused to get sucked into an overall safety debate because that argument will lose with many non-riders regardless of the facts. I have attached an email that hits the points that we have hammered all summer and fall. I would highly encourage you to use it or a variation that makes these points. I have also pasted the email at the end of this message. What we don’t want is arguments that it is safer to ride without a helmet or that helmets can kill you. I am sure that many can make credible arguments but the minute you do your reader will simply hit delete.

Below is the contact information for every member of the House of Delegates. I would encourage you to email each of them. Remember to include your address in your email since an email from a constituent means more. Likewise I get the cold shoulder from the legislative assistants if you don’t because they have to look up each person to see if they are in their district. Please make my life easier. Here is the list of the House members. The sample email is attached and also copied below my signature line. Thanks for all that each of you do for Virginia motorcyclists.

Delegate Albo                         DelDAlbo@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Anderson               DelRAnderson@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Bacote                      DelMBaCote@house.virginia.gov

Delegate D. Bell                     DelDBell@house.virginia.gov

Delegate R. Bell                      DelRBell@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Brink                        DelRBrink@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Bulova                     DelDBulova@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Byron                       DelKByron@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Carr                          DelBCarr@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Cline                        DelBCline@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Cole                          DelMCole@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Comstock                DelBComstock@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Cosgrove                 DelJCosgrove@house.virginia.gov

Delegate J. Cox                      DelJCox@house.virginia.gov

Delegate K. Cox                      DelKCox@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Crockett-Stark       DelACrockett-Stark@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Dance                       DelRDance@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Dudenhefer              DelMDudenhefer@House.virginia.gov

Delegate Edmunds                 DelJEdmunds@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Farris                        DelMFariss@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Farrell                       DelPFarrell@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Filler-Corn               DelEFiller-Corn@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Garrett                     DelSGarrett@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Gilbert                      DelTGilbert@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Greason                    DelTGreason@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Habeeb                     DelGHabeeb@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Head                        DelCHead@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Helsel                       DelGHelsel@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Herring                     DelCHerring@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Hester                      DelDHester@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Hodges                    DelKHodges@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Hope                         DelPHope@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Howell                     DelAHowell@house.virginia.gov

Speaker Howell                       Delwhowell@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Hugo                        DelTHugo@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Iaquinto                   DelSIaquinto@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Ingram                     DelRIngram@house.virginia.gov

Delegate James                       DelMJames@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Joannou              No Email (804)-698-1079

Delegate Johnson                   DelJJohnson@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Jones                        DelCJones@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Keam                         DelMKeam@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Kilgore                     DelTKilgore@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Knight                      DelBKnight@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Kory                          DelKKory@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Krupicka                  DelRKrupicka@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Landes                     DelSLandes@house.virginia.gov

Delegate LeMunyon               DelJLeMunyon@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Lewis                       DelLLewis@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Lingamfelter          DelSLingamfelter@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Lopez                       DelALopez@House.virginia.gov

Delegate Loupassi                 DelMLoupassi@house.virginia.gov

Delegate D. Marshall           DelDMarshall@house.virginia.gov

Delegate B. Marshall              DelBMarshall@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Massie                      DelJMassie@house.virginia.gov

Delegate May                          DelJMay@house.virginia.gov

Delegate McClellan                DelJMcClellan@house.virginia.gov

Delegate McQuinn                  DelDMcQuinn@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Merricks                   DelDMerricks@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Miller                       DelJMiller@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Minchew                  DelRMinchew@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Morefield                 DelJMorefield@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Morris                      DelRMorris@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Morrissey                 DelJMorrissey@house.virginia.gov

Delegate O’Bannon                DelJOBannon@house.virginia.gov

Delegate O’Quinn                   delioquinn@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Orrock                      DelBOrrock@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Peace                        DelCPeace@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Plum                         DelKPlum@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Pogge                       DelBPogge@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Poindexter               DelCPoindexter@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Purkey                      DelBPurkey@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Putney                      DelLPutney@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Ramadan                  DelDRamadan@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Ransone                   DelMRansone@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Robinson                  DelRRobinson@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Rush                         DelNRush@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Rust                         DelTRust@house.virginia.gov

Delegate E. Scott                    DelEScott@house.virginia.gov

Delegate J. Scott                     DelJScott@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Sherwood                DelBSherwood@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Sickles                      DelMSickles@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Spruill                      DelLSpruill@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Stolle                        DelCStolle@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Surovell                    DelSSurovell@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Tata                          DelBTata@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Torian                       DelLTorian@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Toscano                    DelDToscano@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Tyler                         DelRTyler@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Villanueva                DelRVillanueva@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Ward                        DelJWard@house.virginia.gov

Delegate O. Ware                   DelOWare@house.virginia.gov

Delegate L. Ware                    DelLWare@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Watson                     DelMWatson@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Watts                       DelVWatts@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Webert                     DelMWebert@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Wilt                          DelTWilt@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Wright                      DelTWright@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Yancey                     DelDYancey@house.virginia.gov

Delegate Yost                         DelJYost@House.virginia.gov





I am writing to ask you to support HB 2010.  This bill was introduced by Delegate Ben Cline and amends Virginia’s helmet law to allow adults age 21 and older to choose whether or not to wear a helmet.  Currently, 31 states allow adults to make that choice.  While you will no doubt hear many in opposition to this bill cite conclusions with no factual basis, I would ask you to consider the following facts concerning this bill.

1)      States that allow adults to choose whether to wear a motorcycle helmet do not see higher motor vehicle insurance rates.  Conversely, states that have mandatory motorcycle helmet laws do not experience lower motor vehicle insurance rates.  Insure.com studied motor vehicle insurance rates.  Of the top five most expensive states for motor vehicle insurance in 2012, four had mandatory motorcycle helmet laws.  Of the five least expensive states for motor vehicle insurance, only one had a mandatory motorcycle helmet law. To take it even further, only two of the ten cheapest states for motor vehicle insurance have mandatory helmet laws. The other eight states allow adults to choose for themselves or, as in the case of Iowa, simply have no law at all. (http://www.insure.com/car-insurance/car-insurance-rates.html)

2)      States that allow adults to choose whether to wear a motorcycle helmet do not experience increased health care related costs.  There is simply no proof of this.  In fact, in 2010, the Kaiser Family Foundation conducted a study of daily inpatient hospital expenses by state.  Of the twelve most expensive states for daily inpatient hospital expenses, seven had mandatory helmet laws.  Of the twelve least expensive for daily inpatient hospital expenses, only four had mandatory helmet laws.  The other eight states allow adults to choose for themselves. (http://statehealthfacts.org/comparemaptable.jsp?ind=273&cat=5)

3)      States that have repealed their mandatory helmet laws have seen increased revenues in motorcycle sales, registrations and tourism.  Being that Virginia is surrounded by several large jurisdictions with mandatory helmet laws (North Carolina, West Virginia, Tennessee and Maryland) The Commonwealth would likely see increased tourism from riders in those states much in the same way that many riders in Virginia currently go to Kentucky, Pennsylvania and South Carolina due to the fact that they allow adults to make their own choice with regard to the issue of helmets.

4)      States that allow adults to make their own choice do not see higher motorcycle fatality rates.  According to data from both the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration, between 2008 & 2010, 20 states and the District of Columbia (roughly 40% of U.S. jurisdictions) accounted for 40% of total motorcycle registrations and 42 % of total motorcycle fatalities nationwide even though they had mandatory motorcycle helmet laws.  The other 30 states (60% of U.S. jurisdictions) which allowed adult riders to choose whether to wear a helmet accounted for 60% of total motorcycle registrations and 58% of motorcycle fatalities. (http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/departments/nrd-30/ncsa/STSI/USA%20WEB%20REPORT.HTMhttp://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s1098.pdf)

5)      Of the 14,283 motorcycle fatalities which occurred nationwide between 2008 and 2010, 8,226, or 57.6%, were wearing helmets when they were killed even though 60% of jurisdictions allowed adults to make their own choice. (http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/departments/nrd-30/ncsa/STSI/USA%20WEB%20REPORT.HTM)

I therefore respectfully ask that you support HB 2010. This issue is a matter of choice and personal freedom. If one has a governmental philosophy that individuals should make their own decisions absent a compelling governmental interest, then one would strongly support HB 2010.