In a letter to Governor Charlie Crist dated October 3, 2007, it has been recommended that the State of Florida rescind its no helmet law. The letter says that the statistics show these no helmet laws are deadly.
The Safety Board is concerned about motorcycle safety and the growing number of riders who have been killed or injured in motorcycle crashes. Since 1997, the number of motorcycle fatalities has increased 127 percent, an increase that far exceeds that of any other form of transportation. In addition, the number of motorcycle fatalities in any recent year has been more than double the number of deaths that same year from accidents in aviation, rail, marine and pipeline combined.
Florida’s current no helmet law was enacted July 1, 2000. In a study reported in the Traffic Injury Protection magazine, in the period 2001 – 2002, two years after the change in the law, the number of motorcycle accident deaths increased from 30.8 per 1000 to 38.8 per 1000 motorcycle drivers. It was estimated that had the no helmet law not been passed, 117 lives would have been saved that year.
It still remains an issue whether the rights of the motorcyclist to have the freedom to ride without helmets is outweighed by the costs to society of no helmet laws. Strong opinions are voiced on both sides.
For more information on this subject, please refer to our section on Car and Motorcycle Accidents.