Mich. State Police: Jump in helmetless motorcyclists killed - KMSP-TV

Mich. State Police: Jump in helmetless motorcyclists killed

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A motorcycle at Rosenau Powersports in Dearborn Heights.  A law requiring riders to wear helmets was repealed last April.  (Credit: Fox 2 News) A motorcycle at Rosenau Powersports in Dearborn Heights. A law requiring riders to wear helmets was repealed last April. (Credit: Fox 2 News)
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -

Michigan State Police released the numbers recently.  55 motorcycle operators that died in 2012 were not wearing helmets compared to only five in 2011.  Back in April of last year, the helmet law was repealed allowing riders the choice.

"It scares me every time I see it," said Steve Patterson with Rosenau Powersports.  "It looks so sweet and comfy, and it just looks free and happy, but when I see it, I'm just like oh my god."

The numbers here tell the story and are pretty staggering, but regardless of the math, plenty of riders still choose to go without a helmet.

"I think that the riders that do ride without a helmet, I think they know that, but I think that's a part of maybe the thrill of riding is everything is on the edge and on the limit," Patterson remarked.  "I think they're just gambling and taking that chance, and a lot of riders don't take the chance, but [I saw] quite a few of them last year that were riding with no helmet."

At Fox 2, there are a good number of employees that ride motorcycles, all of whom wear helmets except for one.

"Apparently I've got a death wish," said Charlie LeDuff.

"What's the thrill of riding a motorcycle without the helmet?" I asked him.

"Breeze in your hair, man, freedom, smelling the wind, hearing it," he replied.

"Is the smell of that wind and the breeze in that hair worth risking your life for?" I further asked.

"When a person goes out on a motorcycle, they don't plan to lay it down at 70, and I think if you do, you're probably not going to walk away anyway.  That's the thinking," LeDuff said.

Thankfully for us, Charlie is still okay.

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