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Michigan motorcyclists wait for the governor to decide on major change to state helmet law

Time is running out for Governor Snyder to decide if he’ll sign a major change to Michigan’s motorcycle helmet law.

The governor has until Monday to decide if he will OK the change which would allow riders over 21 to ride without a helmet for the first time since the 1970’s.

Rusty Bongard is the spokesman for ABATE, a group of Michigan bikers who have  been lobbying for the helmet law’s repeal.   He says they’re not just waiting to see if the governor will sign the helmet bill into law.

"There’s a lot of phone calls taking place…I’m pretty sure the governor’s office is getting…..(pause)…a lot of phone calls," says Bongard.

Bikers will be allowed to ride without a helmet as long as they have additional insurance coverage.    Critics say the added $20 thousand of insurance coverage required by the bill is not enough to cover the increased health care costs of a serious injury. 

Unless the governor vetoes the bill, it will become law, with or without his signature.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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