A federal report recently showed that the number of motorcyclists killed in crashes had doubled in Louisiana in the first two years after the state repealed its mandatory helmet law.
The figures might be a look into the future of Pennsylvania, where Gov. Rendell signed a law repealing the state’s helmet law in September, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. The issue pits avid bikers on one side against safety officials and doctors frustrated with the number of fallen motorcyclists with head injuries arriving at emergency rooms.
The doctors believe that allowing motorcyclists to ride without helmets is creating a public health problem.
They point to a Louisiana safety commission report that estimated that 46 deaths and 73 severe injuries could have been avoided if motorcyclists had worn helmets between 1999 and 2002. The study calculated that those casualties cost the citizens of Louisiana $102 million.
Pennsylvania now allows experienced motorcyclists over 21 to go “lidless.” When the Keystone State’s law went into effect Sept. 4, Pennsylvania became the 31st state to allow adult motorcyclists to ride without head protection.