Articles Posted in Pending Legislation

Some members of the Delaware House of Representatives recently made a move to prevent a mandatory helmet bill for motorcyclists from moving to the full House of Representatives. A report from one local news source stated that the maneuver puts the plan to require all motorcycle riders to wear a helmet in “legislative purgatory,” and it will prevent the bill from becoming law until at least the next legislative session.

What Is the Law and What Are the Benefits?

The proposed law would require all riders to wear a helmet. The current law requires motorcyclists to have a helmet in their possession but not to wear it. When actually worn, helmets make motorcycle riding safer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, helmets reduce the risk of death by 37% and reduce the risk of head injury by 69%. The proposed change would have made Delaware a state with a universal helmet law, much like the law in Maryland, where helmets became mandatory in 1992.

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Earlier this month, the Maryland State Senate heard testimony from a motorcycle safety instructor in favor of a new bill that would potentially make failing to yield a criminal offense in some circumstances. According to one local Maryland news source, the woman who testified told the story of a 50-year-old woman who was riding her 2006 Harley Davidson to Bike Week along Route 50.

At some point, a Toyota Solara heading in the opposite direction attempted to make a left turn in front of the motorcyclist, cutting her off. As a result, the motorcyclist had no time to react and slammed into the side of the Toyota. The 50-year-old motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, and the driver of the Solara was named as the at-fault driver.

Another motorcycle and a minivan were also involved in the collision. Currently, the driver of the Solara, who is the son of the Mayor of Pokomoke City, is not facing any criminal charges, although prosecutors may file charges shortly after the conclusion of the investigation.

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