NTSB Updates Most Wanted List

The NTSB released its most wanted list as an initiative directed towards states.  The items on this list are the top priority for laws it wants to see all states enact.  I am willing to bet we see a couple of these show up as bills in the legislature.

Most likely candidates:

  • Upgrade Seat Belt Violations To Primary Offenses
    Currently, not wearing a seatbelt is a secondary offense in South Dakota.  The NTSB wants this to be a primary offense.  Last year SB 103 proposed this, but was killed in committee.
  • Require Booster Seats For Childen Up To Age 8
    South Dakota currently requires booster seats for children up to age 5 or under under 40 pounds  The NTSBs wants to raise those data points to age 8 or under 80 pounds.  In 2007, Rounds vetoed similar legislation.  The NTSB has since criticized SD for that veto.
  • Require Helmet Use For All Motorcycle Riders
    South Dakota currently requires helmet use by any riders under 18. Ok, this one gets to me personally – both as a small government kind of guy, as well as an avid motorcyclist. If you talk to bikers in SD about this type of law you will typically hear something like, “It will never happen. Not with Sturgis.” With the NTSB making this type of state legislation a priority, maybe we will see this come up as a bill this year.  I will certainly be watching for it.  However, with the Sturgis rally generating $13-15M in taxable sales for the state, I am not sure how much traction it would get.

26 Replies to “NTSB Updates Most Wanted List”

  1. William

    When will people realize that the greatest threat of government power is when it feels “duty bound” to protect us not from “enemies, foreign and domestic” but from our own choices?

    Just a comment on the “helmet use”, as one who is clinically “profoundly deaf” I felt more at risk wearing a helmet when I rode motorcycles, as helmets negated my ability to wear hearing aids. The physical fatigue caused by “wearing a few additional pounds” on your head is well documented. The fact that more head injuries occur when riding without a helmet is true, but accidents avoided when NOT wearing a helmet is something that’s really impossible to measure. I always thought the primary focus on motorcycle safety (since ALL accidents and collisions are more likely to have an injury result) was AVOIDING accidents. It’s simply true, under all circumstances that accidents involving motorcycles are more likely to result in injury or death. That’s physics, and Congress can’t real those laws…

    1. MikeH

      I am also an avid cycle rider. I hate wearing a helmet. I feel like I can’t see nor hear anything. I feel much more endangered with a helmet on than off.

      Check out the data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
      In 2007, 57% of the fatalities were wearing helmets.
      In 2008, 57% of the fatalities were wearing helmets.
      In 2009, 55% of the fatalities were wearing helmets.

      When you add enough force to the human body to be fatal, a helmet will more than likely not be enough to save the riders life. Things like internal bleeding and collapsed lungs are just as fatal as head injuries. The above data shows this. Over half the fatalities had helmets on.

  2. William

    BTW, To the “new mods”, can we set the site up to “preview” our posts, so we can check for typos like I just had in my previous post?

    William – I wish we could, but I don’t see an option for it. — MikeH

  3. Bubba Mann

    Laura Hubble will call Willadsen out if he is against freedom. I hope Schlekeway continues on the conservative path and doesn’t side with Willadsen.

    This is the kind of crap the legislature screws with when they should be figuring out how to cut the budget. This is nothing ever gets done in Pierre.

  4. MikeH

    Arrowhead, I will see if I can work it in next time.

    BTW – thanks for giving feedback on the posts. I know I appreciate it. This can be tougher than it looks. Hang with us, we’ll get this thing figured out.

  5. Troy Jones

    When the federal government does its job with regard to protecting us from the crime committed by illegal immigrants coming into our country, has secured our borders gets off the back of states trying to do their job and treats enemy combatants as military subjects and not US citizens, I’ll consider listening to their thoughts on how I should protect myself in my own car and my grandchildren.


  6. Rich Naser

    Right now I only ride dirt bike, but I too have been an avid motorcyclist for more than 26 years. Personally, I don’t really care if people wear helmets or not. Nor does it matter to me if it is required by law.

    That said, I’m surprised so many of you feel helmets cause fatigue or that they impair your ability to process information from the environment around you. I’ve found a good helmet, Arai or Shoei, will cut down the wind noise and make me less tired.

    Perhaps the difference is the type of riding we do. I lean more than a little towards the performance side of the sport.

  7. mhs

    It’s a trade-off on a long trip, Rich. Bundling up with helmet, ear-plugs, over-size goggles, etc., makes me less tired, but, on a 600 mile day, I have a real sore neck from the wind tossing the bucket around all day.

    I ride occasionally with a surgical nurse from a major city. she never wears a helmet, in her words, because she’s seen many paralytic spinal injuries from crashes and she’d rather be dead than paralyed.

    Harsh, but, a valid libertarian viewpoint.

  8. Jeff J.

    The NTSB can go jump off a cliff… maybe if they wear a helmet they’ll make it. States are in charge of these laws and the Federal government shouldn’t even be commenting on it.

  9. duggersd

    I don’t ride an Avid, I ride a Honda. And I doubt I will EVER take a 600 mile trip. And I have noticed without a good windshield, my head takes a pounding when riding at 75 mph with a helmet on. However, I never ride without a helmet. Since most of my riding is in town, most of my speeds are not high speeds. In spite of your statistics, I think especially at lower speeds like I ride, the helmet can be a life saver. But the bottom line is it is my choice. You do what you want and enjoy life the way you want. I will enjoy life the way I want and hopefully we can not get in each others’ way.

  10. MikeH

    As a former paramedic I can tell you that I only ever picked up one motorcycle fatality. It was a helmeted rider in a less than 5 mph tip over. No other impact except for the helmeted head hitting the pavement from the tip over. So it doesn’t have to be higher speeds — the key is impact. Ever watch those super bike riders fall off at 150+ mph and walk away? No impact typically means little to no injury regardless of speed. Impact means trauma.

  11. SDMike

    Thank You Troy – I think we have all had enough NANNY STATER crap and anyone that has an once of common sense will sense that after the last election.

    ?My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.? Thomas Jefferson


  12. Les

    Now everyone is heated up with the Fed’s for this.

    Remember when we go into session, and our legislature decides the easy money from the Federal Teet will only require primary offense on seat belts, helmets and booster seats through your first term in the legislature, don’t forget who left the door open for he big bad wolf.

    Walter Dale didn’t do this without help Arrowhead.

    1. MikeH

      Am I correct in seeing a conflict of interest here?

      The South Dakota Department of Public Safety’s Office of Highway Safety “administers the Federal Highway Safety Grant Program in South Dakota” and one of their mission statements is to “Gain public support for primary booster seat and seatbelt laws.”

      South Dakota is eligible for an additional $5M in federal highway grants if we were to enact primary seatbelt legislation.
      Should the office that controls the money from the grants be trying to convince our citizens that we need to enact new legislation that in turn gives their office more money?

  13. j rae

    Just a quick question, do the consequences of not following these guidelines ever cost the fed any money?

    I shared a hospital room with a young libertarian who exercised his right not to wear a helmet or buy health insurance. He had no money, no assets so the tax payers were going to pick up the huge tab.

    Should we mandate health insurance if you aren’t going to wear a helmet, safely secure your children in a car, or not wear a seat belt? Should we just let them die? Or should we pay for those who take stupid risks when the odds don’t go their way?


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