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Helmet Foes Make Annual Trek To Capitol

Tue., Jan. 23, 1996

Blue jeans and leather jackets joined the suit and tie crowd Monday at the Capitol.

In an annual event, dozens of bikers from around the state rolled into town to ask lawmakers to change the state’s mandatory motorcycle helmet law.

Helmets would become optional for riders who are at least 21 years old under bills filed in the House and Senate.

“I rode without a helmet for 25 years, I don’t like being forced to wear one,” said Mike Nixon of Eatonville.

Nixon, a member of the Christian Bikers Association, said he’s a Vietnam veteran and doesn’t need to be told how to take care of himself.

“It boils down to freedom of choice,” said Bob Weekes of Spanaway, spokesman for American Bikers Aimed Toward Education. “People have God-given rights.”

The bills, SB6259 and HB1408, are sponsored by Sen. Jeanette Wood, R-Woodway, and Rep. Cathy McMorris, R-Colville.

Weekes said bikers also are worried about plans to install cable guard rails along some state highways.

He said the cables could injure or kill motorcyclists involved in accidents.

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