Check Your Head

Eli Ashby was killed when a car hit his motorcycle.

The sun is shining, the snow's melting, and motorcycle engines are roaring -- as are some pissed-off biker advocates.

A bill introduced into the state House in January that would require minors under 18 to wear helmets while riding on motorcycles has passed through the Transpiration and Energy Committee. If passed into law, legislators will be that much closer to a bill requiring helmets for all riders, according to Terry Howard, state coordinator for ABATE, a non-profit biker advocacy group.

"Right now there is nothing in Colorado statute that shows any type of protective head device on the books. If this bill gets passed, the wording would then be in the statute, and all it would take next session is to have some legislator come along and amend it and take the word "minor" out of it and then it becomes a full blown helmet law," Howard said.

Howard would much prefer the legislature spend its time working on increasing penalties for drivers who kill bikers by careless driving. Negligent drivers only face up to a year in prison, which not only is rarely served, but most drivers don't even lose their license. And the bikers they've killed oftentimes did wear a helmet.

One young rider killed while cruising with a helmet on was Eli Ashby. -- Luke Turf

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Amber Taufen has been writing about people, places and things in Denver since 2005. She works as an editor, writer, and production and process guru out of her home office in the foothills.
Contact: Amber Taufen