Advertising Links (Click on these links to help financially support this web page)
* Indicates a link to an external web site.
Helmet Law Bill (HB 450) Hearing
Former Delegate George Owings who is now the Secretary of
the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs came into the committee room
prior to the hearing commenced and exchanged pleasantries with some of the
members in a show of support as well as to do some last minute lobbying.
While he was a Delegate, we was always our primary sponsor in the House of
Delegates and has a vested interest in the outcome of this bill because he
is an avid motorcyclist.
Former Delegate Don Murphy also briefly attended the hearing, sitting in the
front row with our ABATE members to show his support and make a silent
statement to the committee. A few years ago Mr. Murphy attended a
campaign event for Senator Brinkley in Frederick, MD. After discussing the
helmet law and motorcycles in general he and Senator Brinkley agreed to
motorcycle rides. Both the riders and the first time passengers had a
There were over 40 riders in attendance and occupied nearly every seat in
the committee room. Delegate Conway, the primary sponsor, began the
Bruce Bereano followed and gave a passionate presentation filled with
statistics and in-depth information about the current law, the proposed law,
difficulties with enforcement, and inadequacies in the helmet testing
standard. Others who testified included Gif Nichol, Kathleen Loerich,
Marty Schultz, Lee from the Christian Motorcycle Association, Pappy, Pat
Corcoran, Bill Bartos, and others.
There were three people testifying in opposition who chose to testify as a
panel. There was a Dr from the George Washington University Medical Center,
another doctor who used primarily information from National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration publications, and a third woman who testifies each
year whose testimony consisted mostly of references to the bill's fiscal
A few committee members questioned these folks on the content and validity
of their testimony with Delegate Hogan and Delegate Cluster asking the most
We feel positive about the outcome of the hearing, but only time will tell
when the committee votes on the bill. This should happen within one to two
An interesting aside is the fact that the Bill Room in the Legislative
Services Building ran out of copies of HB 450. There were so many requests
for the bill that their supply has been depleted.
So if you haven't already contacted the members of the committee and your
representatives in the House of Delegates, now is the time to do so. It is
crucial to obtain a positive committee vote so we can advance the bill for a
full floor vote in the House.