Local News

Weaker ATV Helmet Law Proposed

Posted May 9, 2007

— While Congress debates tougher helmet requirements for all-terrain vehicle riders, the North Carolina House approved a bill Wednesday that would weaken state regulations for ATV riders.

The bill would allow property owners and guests to skip using helmets and safety goggles while riding ATVs. The bill wouldn't apply to riders age 16 or younger.

The proposed change comes despite estimates from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission that ATV crashes cost society about $6.5 billion in medical and legal expenses and lost work every year.


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  • k9sandQtrs May 9, 2007

    What the hey - gotta thin the herd now and then... how else are we gonna do it? ;) Seriously though, as long as they're quiet and stay off the roads and out of neighborhoods and kids aren't being flung off of the back and they aren't trespassing, helmets should be a personal choice. If someone doesn't mind a bug in their eye at 40-50mph, no biggie, right? But helmets do tend to make road cleanup a little easier.

  • kinguvkool May 9, 2007

    I think it's a small step in the right direction. shera01 -at- peoplepc makes a good point. Notice the statement in the article - "The bill would allow property owners and guests to skip using helmets and safety goggles while riding ATVs." Did y'all catch the term "property owners"? If I own my property and I want to ride an ATV without a helmet, and I'm a grown up who should be allowed to make my own decisions on MY OWN PROPERTY, then the government should leave me to my own demise. It's a free country, or at lease it used to be. I've got family in the Western NC mountains, where the people are very anti-government, and I can understand why. Let Deputy Barney head up to the hills and tell them boys that they can't ride their ATV's without a helmet. Bet Barney goes missing.

  • shera01 May 9, 2007

    What ever happened to "freedom of choice"? I don't think the goverment has the right to tell anyone they HAVE to wear a helmet. If the goverment keeps telling people they HAVE to do this and HAVE to do that,then why have a constitution? Why not just go back to dictatorship? That seems to make the goverment happy.Let's just forget everything our forefathers fought for.

  • nighthunter May 9, 2007

    Simpler solution. Outlaw ATVs.

  • The Fox May 9, 2007

    Sailbad, methinks you're correct. Never judge a law's intent by face value.

  • SailbadTheSinner May 9, 2007

    Want to know the real reason for easing the restrictions on helmets?

    Look at the cost. Back when helmet laws were first enacted a person was much more likely to be killed if not wearing a helmet; getting to a hospital didn't help much. Now, if a person gets to a hospital their chance of surviving is excellent but the cost of keeping them alive is tremendous.

    The insurance companies would prefer for you to die on the spot. It cost them a lot less for a death benefit than it does to keep you alive in a hospital.

  • EZGoing May 9, 2007

    That is about the dumbest amendment to a law one could imagine. Who wakes up in the morning and says "Hohum, I think I'll have an accident today, better wear my helmet" The facts are: Helmets save injury and lives, why limit their use ??

  • silvfx May 9, 2007

    Helmets save lives and people are too stupid to do it themselves. I say make the law even stronger since the stupid people rarely have insurance.

  • Homeward May 9, 2007

    I'm cool with this so long as anyone injured due to the lack of helmet or safety goggles doesn't expect my insurance company or anybody else to pay their medical expenses, and that they reimburse the EMTs, ambulance service, and local law enforcement agencies involved in getting them out of the predicament they put themselves in.

  • hooptie1964 May 9, 2007

    I'm fine with them chaging the law. Perhaps people will learn a bit of personal responsibility. (I doubt it, but maybe)

    Let Darwins theory work it's magic.