Pennsylvania Motorcycle Helmet Laws
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Hello, my name is Mia Senick. I live in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. I am a 9th grade student at Liberty High School, and am 14- years old. On February 22nd, 2017, my father, Paul Senick, was involved in a fatal motorcycle accident. As I sat in the waiting room of St. Lukes' Hospital, I watched a doctor, of which I do not know his name, come towards my family and I to inform us that my father had a brain injury that he could not recover from. At that moment, I realized what true pain felt like and never wanted anybody else to have to feel that. Soon after the accident, my mother and I began to do research on the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Helmet Laws and fatal motorcycle accidents. During our research, we found this statement from http://www.dmv.pa.gov the Pennsylvania government website, "Pennsylvania Law requires that any person who operates or rides a motorcycle (including an autocycle) must wear protective headgear unless he or she is over 21 years of age or older and has either two years of riding experience or has completed a motorcycle safety course approved by PennDOT or the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. In addition, the operator or an occupant of a three-wheeled motorcycle or autocycle equipped with an enclosed cab is exempt from wearing a helmet." We were astonished to have read that law. Further into our research we found that helmets used to be required for all ages, but was repealed in 2003. Not only did we read that the law was repealed, but also that the amount of motorcycle deaths increased by 205 deaths the year after the repeal. Many people may say, “at the age of 21 people are mature enough to stay safe.” The truth is, that anything can happen at any given moment. My father and many of his friends did not wear helmets, because the law states that they do not have to. Nobody in my community truly understood the importance of helmets until this tragedy occurred. For example, a close family friend was in a motorcycle accident shortly after my father. Thankfully, he was able to recover from his injuries. His doctor said to him, that if he was not wearing a helmet, he could have been dead. Although helmets can not always save lives, they can decrease the amount of lives lost. Since the day of my father’s death, I wanted to make a difference. I want to once again change the Pennsylvania Helmet Laws. Helmets for motorcyclists should be required at ALL ages. After 8 months of debating whether or not I want to attempt to make a change, I am finally ready to fight for what I believe in. I hope you will fight for not only me, but our fellow motorcycle lovers and my dad!
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