MILWAUKEE-CBS 58's Michele McCormack, a Harley rider and news anchor for the 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. news is asking viewers to give their input on whether when reporting on motorcycle crashes, the information about whether riders were wearing helmets is pertinent.
Her inquiry is in response to a viewer letter she received after reporting on a fatal bike crash in Sheboygan County on Wednesday.
McCormack notes that alcohol, speed, and seat belts are often mentioned in police reports on car crashes and that the information is then injected in newscast scripts. The issue of helmets is often, but not always, also mentioned in crash investigations involving bicycles and motorcycles.
Here's the viewer letter in full, be sure to leave your input, it could just shape the future of news coverage.
I rode a Harley (owned five over 20 years). I took the safety course several times, I was a rode captain with my local HOG Chapter. I totally understand the whole safety issue. In 19 years, I was in two accidents, both as a passenger. I have seen accidents. Minor or major, they are terrible.
What I really do not understand is why, after every motorcycle accident report you state whether the rider was wearing a helmet. It is not a law in this state, it is a choice, and evidently in your mind, a poor choice. Poor choice or not, whether or not a rider is wearing a helmet is not relevant to the story.
Whether or not the person was wearing a helmet should not be a part of the equation. If you want to add something add whether or not they took a safety course! That is relevant.
You do not follow up vehicular accidents as to whether or not the driver was wearing a seat belt. Why not, that is a law!
HOWEVER, and now to the point here. With that mind set of your station and reporting, when there is a shooting in Milwaukee, why do you not follow the story with the statement as to whether or not the shooter had a license to carry?
Really Michele, get off the helmet band wagon."