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The prevention of injury from motorcycle use epidemiologic success legislative failure






Accident Analysis & Prevention 19(1): 21-28

The prevention of injury from motorcycle use epidemiologic success legislative failure

Following the repeal of the North Dakota mandatory motorcycle helmet law in 1977, the State Highway and Health Departments initiated a study to examine the impact of the change on driver safety. Motorcycle crash data gathered by the State Highway Patrol and other law enforcement agencies was augmented by death and injury reports submitted to the State Health Department by medical care providers. The combined data set produced 2934 crashes, 2162 traumatized victims, 3718 injuries and 53 deaths between January 1977 and December 1980. Reporting from medical providers increased the volume of crash reports, improved the reliability of the highway data and added an unrecognized population of victims to the data base. In spite of the clear indication that injuries and deaths had increased among motorcycle users who rode without helmet protection, legislative passage of a mandatory helmet law in either in 1979 or the 1981 North Dakota legislative session failed. The reasons behind the legislative rejection of efforts to improve highway safety are examined. The forces that affect politics reviewed.

Accession: 006740615

PMID: 3566899

DOI: 10.1016/0001-4575(87)90014-5

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