Tom Matanane, president of the Guam HAWGS Motorcycle
Club, reported to the MRF that on March 16,1997, Guam's Governor Carl T.C.
Gutierrez signed into law Bill #7, which gives motorcyclists 18 years of
age and older the right to decide for themselves whether or not to wear
a helmet. The law went into effect at midnight, so on March 17, 1997, motorcyclists
in Guam were able to legally ride without a helmet.
Guam is a U.S. territory, where as they say there, "Guam where America's day begins." The sponsor of Bill #7, Senator Elizabeth Barret-Anderson, was extremely successful in moving the legislation through the Guam Senate. Bill #7 passed the Guam Senate unanimously on a 21 to zero vote. Guam has a unicameral legislature, so once the legislation passed the Senate it was sent on to Governor Gutierrez for his signature.
"The Guam Hawgs should take great pride and be commended for bringing freedom of choice to American motorcyclists," stated Wayne Curtin, MRF vice president of government relations. Curtin continued by saying, "This is the second time in a week that legislation repealing helmet laws for adults has been enacted in a state or territory of the United States. This shows that with continued perseverance motorcyclists in every state and territory of the United States have the ability to convince legislators and governors that freedom of choice for motorcyclists is the best public policy."
Guam joins Arkansas, whose Governor Mike Huckabee signed into law a helmet repeal bill for motorcyclists 21 and older on March 13, 1997, as the U.S. territory and state that have given motorcyclists the right to decide for themselves on helmet use in 1997.
Arkansas repeals 21 and over helmet law
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