A tragic motorcycle accident on the MacArthur Causeway on Saturday, June 12, highlighted the ongoing safety debate concerning motorcycle helmet use, as two riders without helmets struck a car from behind. The bike’s driver ended up in a hospital and his female passenger was killed.
The driver of the struck car, Barbara Gonzalez, stated that she felt the impact of the motorcycle from behind and then saw the motorcyclist and his passenger as they became disengaged from the bike and flew in front of her.
The names and ages of the injured biker and passenger were not made immediately available in the source story. The biker’s boss at Dadeland Dodge, Raul Montero, stated that he and the biker have often ridden motorcycles together in the past, without ever using helmets. “We like to feel the wind on our head,” said Montero.
The occasionally high cost of that historical freedom of the road often associated with motorcycle travel concerns law enforcement officials. Notes Kenia Reyes of the City of Miami Police Department: “We continuously tell people that when you’re on a motorcycle, make sure you wear helmets.”
Despite that encouragement, Florida state law does not have a mandatory helmet law. At one time, the state did mandate that all motorcyclists wear helmets, but that requirement was repealed on July 1, 2000. Since that time, all riders under the age of 21 must wear helmets, but those over 21 may ride without helmets upon proof that they have a medical insurance policy of at least $10,000.
Related Resource: MiamiHerald.com “Motorcycle Accident Closes MacArthur For Hours” June 12, 2010