Helmets Remain Mandatory for Michigan Airmen

  • Published
  • By TSgt. Dan Heaton
  • Heaton
Airmen in the Michigan Air National Guard who ride motorcycles are required to wear helmets at all time, despite a change in Michigan law.

A change in Michigan law allows motorcyclists to choose whether to wear a helmet if they are at least 21 years old, carry additional insurance and have passed a motorcycle safety course or have had their motorcycle endorsement for at least two years.

Despite the change in state law, members of the military must still wear a helmet when riding, said Chief Master Sgt. Walt Escoe, superintendent of safety for the 127th Wing at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Mich.

"AFI 91-207 spells out the safety regulations for members of the military and they must wear helmets both on duty and off duty, both on the base and off the base," Escoe said.

That includes, Escoe said, drilling members of the Air National Guard, even when they are not in drill status.

According to the Air Force regulation, helmets must be worn by:
· All military personnel at any time, on or off a DoD installation
· All Air Force civilian on a DoD installation or in a duty status when off a DoD installation
· All personnel at any time while on an Air Force installation, including Selfridge.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported in a 2008 study that motorcyclists who do not use helmets are three times more likely to suffer a traumatic brain injury in a crash that those who are wearing helmets.