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UN General Assembly Calls For Global Mandatory Helmet Law

Published on 4/16/2014

MMA Update: MRF Release - United Nations General Assembly Calls For Global Mandatory Helmet Law

On 10 April 2014, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution titled, “Improving global road safety”. Sponsored by the Government of the Russian Federation and co-sponsored by dozens of other countries, the resolution includes language which seems rather innocuous, but has some rather disturbing implications which not only challenge the autocracy of individual countries, but questions the freedoms afforded US citizens.  Specifically, when addressing motorcycles and motorcyclists, language exists:

PP6 Expressing its concern that the number of road traffic deaths still remains unacceptably high with an estimated 1.24 million lives lost in 2010-2, and that only 7% of the world’s population is covered by adequate laws that address all behavioural risk factors, including the non-use of helmets, safety belts and child restraints, driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, inappropriate and excessive speed, and inappropriate use of cell phones, including texting, while driving,

PP7 Also expressing its concern that worldwide half of all road traffic deaths involve pedestrians, motorcyclists and cyclists,and that in some developing countries there are inadequate infrastructure and insufficientpolicies in place to protect these vulnerable road users,

These statistics seem to be rather inflated by any standard and are not called out, nor justified anywhere in the report.  The full report can be viewed here:

Following attacks by the NHTSA, GAO, and more recently the CDC, we are not only being attacked at the local, state, and national levels, but we are now being attacked globally. Where will it all stop? What freedoms will be repealed next?

While the MMA is not “anti-helmet”, we are “pro-choice” and believe that a decision to wear or not wear a helmet is a fundamental right. We encourage all riders to share this correspondence with their friends and their legislators, letting them know where you stand on this important issue.

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) issued the following release.  The Massachusetts Motorcycle Association supports the MRF and will participate in monitoring this disturbing UN activity.

For more information, please see http://www.MRF.org, or contact


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14NR12 - MRF News Release - United Nations General Assembly Calls For Global Mandatory Helmet Law
14 April 2014

United Nations General Assembly Calls For Global Mandatory Helmet Law

Recently the 68th session of the United Nations voted to approve a non-binding resolution entitled “Improving Global Road Safety,” which sounds innocent enough, but when closely examined, has some very disturbing ideas concerning motorcyclists, motorcycles, and helmet laws.

The most disturbing directive is “to encourage Member States (countries participating in the UN) to enact comprehensive legislation on key risk factors for road traffic injuries including the non-use of helmets.” Or in other words, universal mandatory global helmet law. Keep in mind this is a non-binding resolution, but many countries and legislative bodies take the UN’s suggestions very seriously. This is the warning shot across the bow. The United Nations is coming for motorcyclists.

That is why it is so unfortunate that Americas own Permanent Representative to the United Nations, and a member of President Obama’s Cabinet voted in support of the resolution. She even spoke to the General Assembly in strong support of the resolution.

The non-binding resolution has some other very troubling issues with regards to motorcyclists. For instance, one of the directives claims that there are insufficient policies in place to protect motorcyclists. The idea that one type of policy would work for every country in the United Nations is beyond fantasy. Our diverse global motorcycle community cannot exist under a one-size fit all approach.

Another section of the resolution recognizes and commends The UN Economic Commission for Europe and the World Forum for the Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations to modify vehicle regulations to increase safety. This is essential in the UN calling for global harmonization of policy that could include helmet laws and universal vehicle anti-tampering measures. Both of these would devastate the motorcycle community and aftermarket industry in America.

It is a clear picture of the mindset of the UN to support such an over-reaching resolution. By muddying the waters with controversial policies, the UN loses support for some very good ideas concerning distracted driving and Good Samaritan policies.

The MRF is engaged on this and will keep you informed about this issue.