Motorcycle Riders Foundation -- E-MAIL NEWS RELEASE
PO BOX 1808, Washington, DC 20013-1808
202-546-0983 (voice) 202-546-0986 (fax)
steve@mrf.org (e-mail) http://www.mrf.org (website)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Steve Zimmer
March 7, 1998 Phone: 202-546-0983

KENTUCKY REPEALS HELMET LAW --- BUT!

Frankfort, KY -- March 3, 1998 ... At 3:00pm Governor Paul Patton signed
the Helmet Law Repeal Bill into law. HB 106 cleared its final hurdle on
February 24, 1998, when the state Senate voted 35-3 to send the helmet law
repeal bill to the governor's desk. Effective July 15, 1998, Kentucky will
be helmet free for adults 21 or older, providing they can show proof of
medical insurance. Jay Huber, Kentucky Motorcycle Association/KBA
President, stated, ìIt is now official and this battle has been won. We now
must prepare for the next battle to remove the unfriendly amendment and to
help our friends in office stay there and our opponents to look for a new
job.î Regarding the controversial insurance provision, Huber went on to
say, ìFirst off, we do not like this provision and did all we could to kill
it without jeopardizing our billî. The KMA/KBA plans to lobby the
remainder of the session for a legislative remedy and/or pursue the matter
in the courts. Similar legislation is pending in California and Florida
with the support of some motorcyclists.

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation [and AMA] remains vigorously opposed to accepting
PIP-type stipulations on helmet law repeals. Such concessions by
motorcyclists' rights groups (MRO) are, in fact, conceding that riding a
motorcycle is such a high risk activity that it warrants discriminatory
treatment under the law. Adult helmet laws, by nature, discriminate
against motorcyclists by denying the them the authority to be responsible
for their own welfare and mandatory PIP requirements do exactly the same
thing. The MRF believes these requirements will ultimately lead to
prohibitive insurance costs.

For many years the MRF and other MRO's have been successfully contended
that motorcyclists are not a social burden. MRF President Mark Buckner
stated, ìThe actions taken by motorcyclists in Texas and Kentucky accepted
social burden status in exchange for relief from helmet laws with the
expectation of fixing the problem after the fact with further legislative
action or litigation. The problems with this plan in the legislative arena
are attempting to change a law previously supported while maintaining the
respect of legislators, withdrawing their concession on the social burden
issue, and expecting legislators who merely agreed to change from one
social burden requirement to another to suddenly abandon their position.
The challenge of fighting this legislation in the courts is not likely to
be easier than lobbying legislators and, even if successful, does not
alleviate the need to work in the legislature. The most successful effort
in helmet law history (Illinois Supreme Court 1969) has not stopped the
Illinois legislature from proposing anti-motorcycle legislation including
helmet laws.


| MRF Postion | HB 106 Bill | Comments |


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