Illinois is closer to having a helmet law than it has been in 40 years.
Illinois enacted a motorcycle helmet law in 1967 but the law was ruled unconstitutional by the Illinois Supreme Court in 1969 and repealed. Illinois is one of only three states, along with Iowa and New Hampshire, that have absolutely no helmet law for anybody.
And, a man named Donne Trotter is determined to change that. Trotter is a 59-year-old State Senator from Chicago. He represents the South Side. He served in the Illinois House from 1988 through 1993 and he is famous in Illinois for trying to ram two things down people’s throats-Governor Rod R. Blagojevich and a helmet law.
Recently, Trotter called attempts to recall Blagojevich “stupid.” Now that the most corrupt Governor in America has been impeached, Trotter can concentrate on calling bikers stupid.
The press releases about the proposed helmet law, Senate Bill 1351, routinely refer to Trotter as a “longtime motorcycle rider.” But, no photographs of him actually sitting on a motorcycle seem to exist.
Trotter introduced the bill on February 10th. It was assigned to the State Senate’s Public Health Committee eight days later and it was passed out of that committee for a full senate vote earlier this week. The committee recommended the bill by a vote of six to four. All the Democrats on the committee voted for a helmet law and all the Republicans voted against it.
Protecting People From Freedom
Trotter had the gall to claim that he was interested in the bill because he knows what bikers should wear on their heads better than the bikers themselves. “If you do live, it is the quality of life that you are going to have because you haven’t busted your head on the concrete,” Trotter lectured. “Because when you’re on a motorcycle, basically, you’re just a rocket ready to be launched if you hit something.”
ABATE of Illinois opposes the law. ABATE used to be an acronym for “A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments.” It may now mean “American Brotherhood Aimed Towards Education” because that new name seems to scare people less. Whatever you call it, it has been the best known bikers advocacy group in the country for 40 years.
And, a man named Todd Vandermyde spoke for ABATE at the hearing. He told Trotter to take his bill and shove it. “I don’t need you, or the members of the General Assembly, being another parent to me,” Vandermyde told the politicians. “I’m 44-years-old. I made it this far. Leave me alone.”
If anybody out there in Illinois runs into a guy named Todd Vandermyde in a bar, please buy him a cool, refreshing glass of the adult beverage of his choice.