After seeing this Action Alert from Brain Injury Association of Michigan, I followed the directions to cast my vote. They make it very easy on you to send to the proper representatives. They supply the introduction and you can insert your own personal experiences in the middle before the plea at the end.
Here's my letter in its entirety:
I want to implore you to VOTE NO on H.B. 4008, H.B. 4608, and S.B. 0291 which would repeal Michigan's over 35 year old motorcycle helmet law. Not only am I opposed but over 80% of Michigan voters are opposed.
While some states did repeal their motorcycle helmet laws, two states quickly reinstated theirs when they witnessed the significant increase in deaths and hospitalizations. In every case, the increased hospitalizations led to a significant increase in Medicaid costs. As recently as 2008, Michael L. Prince, Director of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning stated that a repeal of Michigan's helmet law would likely cause 30 more fatalities and over $129 million in economic costs. Do you really believe the exaggerated claims of a single issue advocacy group over the research done by numerous key national and state governmental and private agencies who are experts in such matters?
I almost died in a bicycle accident, riding my bike in my neighborhood with my children and their father. I wore a helmet because I wanted to set a good example for my children, but it ended up saving my life! While in the hospital, several of the folks in the trauma unit were there due to injuries related to a motorcycle and they teased me about my serious injuries coming from a seemingly harmless sport. Let me assure you this accident forever changed my life and those of my family forever! We talk about things as BBA (Before Bike Accident) and ABA (After Bike Accident). Our entire financial situation was put on the brink of bankruptcy even though we had excellent health insurance. I hate to think how horrible this could have been for us, and the others that teased me, had we all not had our helmets on. Plus the cost to our state in Medicaid for those with inadequate coverage could just add on to the budget issues we all ready have. Please, reconsider this legislation. It is such a relatively easy thing to do to avoid such unspeakable horrors and costs to Michigan citizens.
This issue is simply common sense AND good public policy. Your initial impression may be to believe that this is a "freedom of choice" issue; however, you must also look at the consequences that result - namely, you are taxing all Michigan taxpayers. The hospitalization and long term care of an injured motorcyclist will be paid by someone - the taxpayer with increased Medicaid costs. And if you believe, a requirement for $20,000 of personal injury insurance will suffice - you are sadly mistaken. It simply is better to be wearing a helmet when riding a motorcycle than not to be. Helmets may not prevent a rider's death or serious injury; however, if they survive, it is an undisputed fact that their injuries including a brain injury will be less severe.
Finally, one of the governor's dashboard measures being touted as showing the effectiveness of government will measures highway traffic deaths. It is beyond me to believe that as a legislator you would purposefully cause this number to increase with your vote to repeal the motorcycle helmet law.
Patricia E. Kefalas Dudek
The letter is sent by email from their site to your Senator and Representative, as well as options to the media. I hope you will join me in this cause!
More information on Brain Injury Assn. of Michigan