Motorcycle-helmet bill passes Senate; faces Granholm veto By Amy Lane
Legislation that would allow some motorcyclists to ride without helmets has passed the Senate, after clearing the state House last week.
The Senate on Thursday approved House Bill 4749, sponsored by Barbara Farrah, D-Southgate. The bill would give riders over 21 the option of going helmetless if they pay an annual state permit fee and meet other requirements.
The measure calls for riders to purchase a $100, one-year permit or a $200, three-year permit. They must carry at least $20,000 in insurance to pay first-party medical benefits in the event of an accident, have been licensed for at least two years to operate a motorcycle, and have completed a motorcycle safety course. Riders who do not purchase a permit and ride without helmets face a fine of up to $300. The Senate amended the bill to put money raised by the new permit fees toward a greater number of law-enforcement purposes than previously listed in the bill, and the bill now returns to the House.The legislation appears unlikely to see approval by Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who supports the state’s current helmet law and has vetoed past helmet-law repeal.