Nevada lawmaker proposes repeal of helmet law

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July 14, 2012

Nevada

By: Stephan Burklin
CARSON CITY, Nevada: Sen. Don Gustavson intends to make Nevada the thirty-second state to repeal a law requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets.[1]

According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, Gustavson said, "I am a fighter for what is right. The opposition is just continuing the 'nanny state' view that government should protect people from themselves."[1]

As in every prior legislative session since 1997, Sen. Gustavson will introduce a bill aimed at overturning the helmet law.[1]

He is re-introducing the same bill he sought to pass in 2011. According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, the bill would require all riders and passengers under age 21 to wear helmets. Motorclycists 21 and over could ride without helmets provided that they have at least one year of experience and have passed safety courses.[1]

Opponents of the bill argue that a repeal of the helmet law would only cause more costly accidents - and more costly bills for state and local governments charged with providing care.[1]

According to the Las Vegas Journal Review, the four Nevada trauma centers - University Medical Center; Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center; St. Rose Dominican Hospital, Siena campus; and Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno - admitted 5,559 injured motorcyclists or passengers between 2005 and 2010. Ninety percent of them were wearing helmets, and their average hospital charges were $68,734. The 10 percent not wearing helmets had average charges of $84,004.[1]

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