Bill 87 mandates use of helmets; support is split
Friday, June 14th 2013, 4:39 PM ChST
GUAM - "It is no secret that I recently loss my brother to a motorcycle crash my brother was not wearing a helmet. I openly admit that this was a reason to start the research into issues and the statistics both locally and nationally related to helmet laws and the use of helmets" the senator confessed.
Motivated by the loss of his brother, senator Tommy Morrison introduced legislation that would mandate a universal helmet law on Guam. Several people however from the island's motorcycle community like Joe San Agustin showed up to a public hearing last night hoping to slam the brakes on Bill 87. He believes riders should have the freedom of choice.
"Seven traffic fatalities -- two where motorcycles speed alone were contributing factors even if they had their helmet on because of the speed they were going it would have killed them. A helmet will not prevent an accident when there are other contributing factors such as speed alcohol and operator error and un-experience" San Agustin explained.
While San Agustin testified against the legislation, Carl Quintano testified in support of the measure. He shared his story of how he survived two motorcycle crashes-one wearing a helmet the other without.
"If I had known then what I know now that a helmet would have saved me so much pain and drama and would have kept my family fighting with each other because my injury put them through so much pain and it was selfish of me to ever think that I could handle everything and I would never get hurt" Quintano revealed.
Bill 87 would mandate motorcyclists to wear a certified dot safety helmet to reduce injuries to the head and brain. According to Morrison, in every state with a universal helmet law there is a decrease in injuries and deaths involving motorcycle crashes. Currently Guam law mandates that only bicyclists and those under 18 riding motorcycles and scooters be required to wear helmets.