Local : Busey Still Won’t Wear a Helmet

From Times staff and wire service reports

Actor Gary Busey, an outspoken opponent of mandatory motorcycle helmet laws, said today that his near-fatal crash did not change his mind.

During a news conference, his first public appearance since the Dec. 4 motorcycle accident, Busey said, “I could be a vegetable” if he had worn a helmet. With a scar clearly visible from his right ear to the top of his head, the 44-year-old Busey did concede that helmets should be mandatory for riders ages 16 to 21. But asked if he will continue to oppose laws requiring all motorcyclists to don helmets, Busey said he will.

Claiming that his position is “pro-choice,” Busey argued that helmets impair motorcyclists’ peripheral vision, hearing and neck movement.

“I could have been more seriously injured” with a helmet, Busey said. “I could have broken my neck.”


The actor gained fame playing the title role in the 1978 movie, “The Buddy Holly Story.” His other credits include “Lethal Weapon,” “A Star is Born,” “Carny” and “The Bear.”