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Proposed helmet law about money and safety, senator says

Proposed helmet law about money and safety, senator says

By Richard Piatt | Posted - Dec. 10, 2012 at 7:52 p.m.


7 photos

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SALT LAKE CITY - A state senator is making a new argument for a motorcycle helmet law in Utah.

Sen. Todd Weiler hopes his approach will gain more support than in past years on the Capitol Hill. It's all about money in this case, believe it or not. Safety too.

But in either case, the opposition to a helmet law is just as fierce. At Harley Davidson of Salt Lake City, Brian Brown will sell you a hot motorcycle, but he'll also thrown in a free safety pitch.

"We believe everybody should wear a helmet," said Brian Brown.


At the end of the day we feel it's up to the individual rider to make that choice. It just isn't anything we feel should be mandated by law.

–Brian Brown


He'll also recommend chaps, a coat and gloves to go with that head gear. But when it comes to making it the law, he says, no way.

"At the end of the day we feel it's up to the individual rider to make that choice," Brown said. "It just isn't anything we feel should be mandated by law."

But it may be safety and money that influences the latest helmet law proposal to Utah. Weiler is taking on both.

"I think your right to exercise your liberty ends when it affects my pocketbook," he said.


I love personal liberty. I want to be that guy. But it's costing us money and it's money we don't have. It's either raise taxes or take it from other sources like education.

–Sen. Todd Weiler


Weiler says medical costs are just the beginning of a list of expensive consequences taxpayers can't afford.

"I love personal liberty. I want to be that guy," he said. "But it's costing us money and it's money we don't have. It's either raise taxes or take it from other sources like education."

Brown doesn't think Weiler's arguments add up. Riders like Frank Jones are just interested in their experience on the road.

"I think you get a real sense of freedom without a helmet," Jones said.

Jones says there's a bigger concern: more government in people's lives.

"I feel like it's one more piece of legislation," he said. "We got way too much now."

The most recent attempt at a helmet law in Utah was back in 2009 by Democrat Neil Hendrickson. It went nowhere.

Weiler admits his bill might not gain traction either, but he's going to give it a shot.

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Richard Piatt

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