Governor Jack Markell says Delaware’s motorcycle helmet law isn’t perfect, but it is better than allowing riders to travel without a helmet.
The Governor vetoed the bill which would repeal the current law requiring motorcyclists to carry a helmet with them when they travel. The current law also says anyone under 19 must wear a helmet at all times.
The Governor in his statement to the legislature admits the current law isn’t perfect, but he wasn’t ready to accept the tone of the proposed bill. “Riders are more likely to wear helmets if they have to carry one on their motorcycle,” he stated.
He points out 11 people have died so far this year in motorcycle crashes. Nine of those people were not wearing a helmet. He says that already equals in the 2010 total.
The Governor went on to show statistics that the death rate dropped in Maryland and California when those states added mandatory helmet laws. In Pennsylvania he says the reverse happened when they repealed their helmet law.
He says the supporters of the bill pointed out flaws in the current law and he agrees with their assessment that more and better education would help reduce injuries. “I am prepared to sit down with the proponents of House Bill No. 95 and others to discuss how we can make our roads safer for motorcyclists” he wrote. He added, “it should also include discussion of a mandatory helmet requirement, which experience has shown in other states can save lives.”