U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters sent legislation to Congress seeking greater flexibility for states to target one of the leading causes of motorcycle deaths across the nation – riding without a helmet, according to a Feb. 14 press release from the Department of Transportation.
The legislation submitted to Congress would allow states to use federal motorcycle safety funding to promote the use of motorcycle helmets. Currently, states are limited to using the funds for motorcycle safety training and awareness programs only.
In a response Feb. 15, Ed Moreland, American Motorcyclist Association vice president for government relations expressed concern that diverting federal motorcycle safety funds to promote helmet use could harm rider training courses and motorcycle awareness programs that are already underfunded in many states.
Moreland also expressed concern that Peters' proposal could contradict sections of transportation bills passed in 1998 and 2005 that ban the use of federal motorcycle safety funds to lobby state legislatures in favor of mandatory helmet laws and could effectively reverse those bans.
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