updated 6/23/2006 4:13:32 PM ET 2006-06-23T20:13:32

Michigan’s governor vetoed a bill Friday that would have allowed adult motorcyclists to ride without helmets, saying the social and economic costs would simply be too high.

A group calling itself American Bikers Aiming Toward Education of Michigan had persuaded the Legislature to change the state’s mandatory helmet law, which dates back to the 1960s, so riders 21 and older could choose whether to wear a helmet or not.

Insurance groups and health-related agencies had lobbied against the bill.

“On this issue, the evidence is clear — motorcycle helmets save lives and reduce serious injury,” Gov. Jennifer Granholm said in vetoing the measure. She said studies had found helmet use reduced fatalities by 37 percent.

ABATE legislative director Jim Rhoades said the group would continue its campaign. At least 30 other states give adults the option to not wear a helmet.

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