The Maine Legislature is attempting to pass a law (LD 453) to require all motorcycle riders and passengers to wear helmets. This bill was presented by Rep. Paulette Beaudoin of Biddeford and sponsored by Sen. Peter Bowman of York and Reps. Sheryl Briggs of Mexico, Alan Casavant of Biddeford, Gary Connor of Kennebunk, Adam Goode of Bangor, Benjamin Pratt of Eddington, Jeff Tuttle of Sanford and Linda Valentino of Saco.
The need is to reduce motorcycle accidents, not to legislate helmet laws. The belief that motorcycle helmets prevent accidents is false, and the jury is still out on the question of helmets actually increasing the chance of neck and spinal cord injuries.
The United Bikers of Maine and the Maine Motorcyclist Political Action Committee have addressed this by supporting legislation requiring motorcycle safety training for all new bikers.  As a result, between 1998 and 2008 motorcycle fatalities in Maine have been reduced by 50 percent.  
The motorcycle community can be a powerful voting bloc in this state.  Most of us have influence with many non-riders, community organizations and commercial businesses that we support.  We must all become politically active to protect our right from legislators who are philosophically opposed to bikers and wish to legislate against us.  We must note these legislators and oppose them at their next election. Riders and non-riders alike should contact their state legislators and voice their opposition to LD 453. 
Educate, not legislate.
William Gilliland, Farmington


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