Motorcycle group holds power in Wis. helmet debate

Side profile of a man riding a motorcycle
By  | 

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A motorcycle rights group has a lot of power in the debate over whether motorcyclists should wear a helmet.

Wisconsin is coming off its deadliest year for motorcyclists in a generation. Three in four of those riders who were killed did not wear a helmet.

Wisconsin hasn't required adult motorcyclists to wear a helmet in decades, thanks in large part to the robust lobby of ABATE of Wisconsin. It describes itself a motorcycle rights and safety organization.

ABATE spokesman Dean Bartosh tells Gannett Wisconsin Media ( riders should be able to choose what they wear when the ride.

Jackie Gillan, president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, says taxpayers ultimately pay the costly and lifelong price of un-helmeted riders' brain injuries.