I'm sure Del. Maggie McIntosh has the best intentions but as one commenter noted, no mention of the health benefits of cycling. The CDC recommends combining exercise with your daily activities, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Just one problem with that, building codes, security issues and fire departments insist that most stairwells are inaccessible except in case of fire. Which basically leaves cycling as one of the last remnants of a healthy life style that incorporates exercise with daily activities that gives you an hour or more of exercise for less then a hour extra of your time. (i.e. Replacing a 10 mile car trip with a bike trip is ~ an hour exercise with only a half hour extra in time.)
We need to be encouraging more bicycling to reduce the growing obesity rates (among other things) and not putting up barriers to non-sport cycling. As lets face it, almost all that are into the "sport" of cycling are wearing a helmet. It's the demographic that is doing practical utility cycling for health or economics that is being targeted by this legislation. There is no "take up another sport" here.
The health benefits of cycling outweigh the safety risks by a factor of 20 to one. - Hillman, M., 1992
This bill is not strong encouragement to wear a helmet, it is designed to prohibit a non-helmet wearing cyclist from recovering any damages from a crash that otherwise is the total fault of the motorist, that's the problem with laws like this in a contributory negligence state. Bicycle laws need to be confined to purely operational issues that can cause a crash.
My tangent from: <a href="http://www.thewashcycle.com/2013/02/maryland-lawmaker-defends-mandatory-helmet-bill.html">http://www.thewashcycle.com/2013/02/maryland-lawmaker-defends-mandatory-helmet-bill.html</a>
Which I recommend reading as well and afterwords if you are inclined to write: email@example.com (Remember be nice, she does mean well.)