Taxpayers’ Freedom/State
            Citizens’ Rights
vs.
Personal Freedom/Individual Rights


During our consideration of the motorcycle helmet law, I became aware that the vast majority of my constituents were in favor of maintaining our mandatory helmet usage law: mothers, doctors, safety activists, seniors, epilepsy experts, hospitals, and law enforcement officials. I will always be proud of my vote. I saved lives.
—Senator Michael Oliverio
West Virginia State Senate


Data tell us that an overwhelmingly large percentage of the people supports helmet laws.


The public wants universal motorcycle helmet laws. Voters may not be on the phone with their legislators or other policy makers once a week, but that does not mean they do not care about or support motorcycle helmet laws.

The public strongly supports highway safety and motorcycle helmet laws. In a 1996 Louis Harris poll, 61 percent of respondents stated that helmet laws are very important.


Despite conventional wisdom that the public wants less government involvement in regulatory matters, a decisive majority of Americans feel it is important for the government to play a strong role in highway safety. The American people look to their lawmakers to make decisions that protect lives and save money on our nation’s roads.
—Louis Harris, nationally recognized pollster and author of the
Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety’s 1996 national survey.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s 1995 Motor Vehicle Occupant Safety Survey is consistent with the results of the 1996 Louis Harris poll. The survey found that public support for motorcycle helmet laws in the United States is strong: 82 percent of persons age 16 and older support universal helmet laws.43


A majority of motorcyclists support universal helmet laws. The same NHTSA survey published in 1995 revealed that 62 percent of those motorcyclists who rode in the preceding year support helmet laws for all riders.44


Table of Contents / Comprehensive Approach to Safety / Anatomy of a Crash /
Preventing Brain Injuries / Reducing Injuries & Saving Lives / Helemet Laws Work /
Reducing Costs / Not a Stand Alone Issue / Common Myths /
Tax Payer vs. Personal Freedom / More Info. / End Notes