Transportation/Recreation

CITIZEN VOICES®

Should NH have a helmet law?

May 18, 2018

New Hampshire is only 1 of 3 states without a motorcycle helmet law. Bills mandating helmet use have repeatedly failed to pass the Legislature. The last attempt was in 2010. Opponents believe adults should have the choice to wear a helmet and those who ride without one are only endangering themselves. Proponents of mandatory helmet laws say head injuries impact everyone through increased hospital costs, rehabilitation and loss of employment.

Read more about motorcycle helmet law in New Hampshire

“Should NH have a helmet law?”

Discussion held on Citizens Count NH website and Facebook page May 11, 2018

273 citizens responded222 citizens were opposed to a mandatory motorcycle helmet law20 citizens were in favor of a mandatory motorcycle helmet law31 citizens commented on related questions or issues

What Participants Said

No: 222 citizens were opposed to a mandatory motorcycle helmet law in New Hampshire.

  • “Should you wear one? Yes. Should we require you to wear one? No.”
  • “No. It’s not the government’s job to nanny people. If you are responsible enough to ride a motorcycle you are old enough to decide if to wear a helmet or not.”
  • “No, free choice is the New Hampshire way.”

Yes: 20 citizens were in favor of a mandatory motorcycle helmet law in New Hampshire.

  • “Life is precious; head injuries are horrendous and heal poorly; and the rest of society is forced to pay the medical costs.”
  • “Yes. Everybody pays for the uninsured.”
  • “Yes. My sister lost her fiance because at the time there were no helmet laws in Florida. I understand how many riders would rather have the wind in their hair and the bugs in their teeth, but please think about your loved ones when you choose not to protect yourself in every way.”

Other: 31 citizens addressed their comments to related questions and issues.
These included:

  • Consider statistics: “What statistics can you show, in comparison with states that have helmet laws, that show that having that law would be life saving, or even beneficial in any way?”
  • Share the road: “I usually wear one and a jacket & pants no matter the weather, but that has more to do w/my complete lack of faith in other drivers than my own riding ability. I've had people almost hit me in my Ram 4x4 truck because they didn't even look before changing lanes."
  • Sign a waiver: “If they sign a waiver that they are solely (no insurance coverage) responsible for medical costs should they be injured in an accident.  Head injuries can be extremely expensive.  The public should not have increased premiums because of their claims.”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes.

Read the full Facebook discussion of this question

Click here for details on our methodology

Comments

Mike Dunbar
- Hampton

Tue, 05/22/2018 - 9:18am

Comment: 

New Hampshire prides itself on individual liberty. While it is extremely dangerous to ride without a helmet, Granite State riders ought to have the right to do so if they choose.

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