Skip to comments.Man dies after motorcycle crashes during helmet protest ride
Posted on 07/03/2011 8:33:56 AM PDT by Berlin_Freeper
LAFAYETTE, NY (WSYR-TV) New York State Troopers say one man is dead after a motorcycle crash near McClary Road and Route 11 in LaFayette on Saturday.
New York State Police say 55-year-old Philip Contos of Parish was part of a protest against motorcycle helmets.
Police say several motorists from the group ABATE (American Bikers Aimed for Education) of Onondaga County had come together to make a point that they didn't need their helmets.
The group was driving south on Route 11 in Lafayette around 1:30 p.m., headed toward Lake Como, just south of the Finger Lakes.
Police say Contos suddenly hit the brakes and lost control of the motorcycle.
According to troopers, Contos was thrown over his handlebars and hit the pavement as his 1993 Harley Davidson motorcycle skidded toward the guardrail.
Contos was still alive when crews arrived at the scene and was transported to Upstate University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
According to police, Contos was not wearing his helmet, as required by law. Witnesses say this decision was part of the protest.
Police say that based on evidence at the scene and from doctors, Contos would have survived if he had been wearing a DOT-Approved helmet.
(Excerpt) Read more at 9wsyr.com ...
I agree. I will support a law banning motorcycle helmets for motorbikes.
“I must respectfully disagree,if you can prove that you indemnify the public from your bad choices and risk taking, then by all means ride with no helmet.”
Again, I think this is the wrong argument. The problem is that we have a nanny state that protects people from their potential and actual poor decisions at great cost to taxpayers.
This nanny-state is failing, so we get a win-win - more personal responsibility and less government.
I think most folks who choose to ride helmet-less would be more influenced by the potential for directly burdening loved ones should they survive an accident with severe disability than by a government telling them what’s good for them.
When conditions deteriorate, I usually put on a helmet or buckle my safety belt.
It should be my decision, not the states decision.
It's a slippery slope to allow the government to mandate all the dos and don’ts in life. There are some exceptions that come to mind, these have to do with your personal actions infringing on other persons liberties.
One such case is driving while intoxicated.
Oh yes. And since cars account for 98% of all such need for those services it is imperative that automobile drivers buy the same insurance. Don't forget the skiiers, skateboarders, bicyclists... and the most dangerous of all devices... the bathtubbers. And since most deaths in auto accidents are the result of head injuries helmets should be mandatory in cars as well.
They weren't hurt. The deer died instantly. The cops took away the body (for who knows what purpose) but it could have been death all around in that weather.
Yeah, doors on cars give you that same “false” sense of security, but we do it anyway.
Because seat belts keep you in a position where the air bag won't kill you.
Because they are going to have to 'look for' the driver of a motorcycle, anyway, but it is a real pain in the butt to pick up the car and look under it.
Because there is far more revenue to be gained from citing auto drivers for not wearing a strap than there is for citing a motorcyclist for not wearing a lid.
Because car drivers submitted, and motorcyclists have remained a credible political force against such laws.
The bottom line, in either case, is that if the highways were populated with attentive, capable, and undistracted drivers, the need for safety devices would be far less, primarily confined to instances of mechanical failure.
What people don't realize, at least those who do not ride, is that driving with your 'car roof' on your head is tiring, reduces the ability to identify and respond to traffic situations which readily and rapidly develop into life-threatening ones.
If you can avoid a wreck, you need neither seat belts nor helmets.
Now, prayers up for the family and friends of the rider. I wonder if the brake malfunctioned?
Their next protest should focus on repealing the laws of physics.
The speed may be the problem. If you're traveling 50-80 mph and you lay that bike down, that helmet will do nothing more than keep your brain alive till they transport the body to the hospital and pronounce you dead of massive internal injuries.
By the way, folks shouldn't drink, or smoke, eat fatty foods, or charred meats such as bbq or carry firearms, eat eggs more than twice a week, ride in the back of a pickup truck on a country road, chew tobacco, drive over the speed limit, take a tablet from someone elses Rx, watch the butter/eat margarine...no no not margarine, can't take Midol or Tylenol to school....and on and on and on.
Personal liberty means get busy living your own life and stay the hell outta mine.
The government doesn't need to legislate every aspect of life as if they are babysitting the adult population.
We are already incredibly over-lawed, the government passed yet another 80,0000 laws, rules and regulations last year.
Smaller government = personal liberty.
fine with a helmet, crippled without one
fine with a helmet, dead without one
crippled with a helmet, dead without one
And all the cases where the helmet doesn't really matter.
The insurance companies would like helmet laws if the first two outnumber the third.
I've heard one reason for the seat belt law vs.lack of a helmet law is that once you need a helmet the wreck is over for the motorcyclist. In a car you still have a ton or two of rolling metal which is far better to have a driver able to steer and brake rather than be thrown out of driving position.
A Corpsman buddy of mine once told me that during his tour of duty in Okinawa, they'd always be bringing in Marines who were racing about the gravel roads on motor bikes, wearing only shorts.
There got to be so many, he got ticked off at their stupidity and started giving 'em less and less pain killer before digging out the imbedded stones.
In general, I agree with you. If I end up with something terminal, I don’t intend to use my public health insurance.
However, public roads are different, for none of us have the means to build our own roads therefore, by necessity, it is a public expense and nobody should have the right to cause the public to bear the costs of foreseeable possibilities like like motorcycle accidents. Nobody is requiring you to buy a motorcycle, and if you do buy one, you should be bearing the costs of the risk you are undertaking.
He is an idiot. Does he think he won't get caught with the bike and slide with it? I don't know where this "lay her down" crap started but it's a load of dung. Better to stay on the brakes. Even better get a bike with ABS and keep on the brakes.
And anyhow how does one "lay it down"? Do they practice? I'd love to see that. A buncha clowns in a parking lot practicing "laying down" their $20K Harleys.
Then the person needs to give up riding motorcycles all together. Helmet or no helmet, this is an inherently dangerous activity that could lead to severe injury or death regardless.
Personal liberty. If your actions do not infringe on another, you should not be subject to scrutiny of others, especially Uncle Sugar.
To be clear, my position is that helmets have saved countless lives. Safety equipment should be used at all times no matter the activity, but should not be mandated by the government as if to have big brother government babysitter.
I agree with you, but society shouldn’t have to bear the costs of your liberty.
>>Nobody is requiring you to buy a motorcycle, and if you do buy one, you should be bearing the costs of the risk you are undertaking.<<
There are private insurance policies to cover you. I agree, your activities should not infringe on another.
This includes “public” insurance, private is another story.
These policies are priced in such a way as to cover the level of risk.
Now, want to lower insurance rates dramatically? Get the 20 million illegal aliens out of this country and from behind the wheel on our highway and byways.
Just had to throw that in.
It’s an adult riders right...I support.
But you should wave liability rights unless blatant and insurance companies should have right to reject...mine does
if I’m killed on motorcycle or sky diving or private plane ownership and i did not notify Northwestern agent then they can refuse to pay the 2.5M I carry...it’s plainly written in
I have owned:
Kawasaki 750 H2 2 stroke triple tricked
Suzuki GS1100RS tricked
GPZ 1100 triple bored over and gassed and hand pipe
all extremely fast bikes ....even today
and I wore a helmet...if not I woulda died way back
I just got back from 6000 miles out west...saw plenty of folks without helmets...cool..fun...I might do it some on a thumper type road bike say in Chama or somewhere
but it’s foolish, no question
my 11 year old rides a KTM motocross 65...he wears a helmet
A fellow I know bragged about the pain he endured from a bike accident, which required more than 600 stitches. He then said he will continue to ride the same way. Although he seems reasonably intelligent otherwise (owns a successful business at 21), motorcycles do not contribute to his IQ.
Personal liberty should not vanish just because Uncle Sugar feels the need to babysit.
Don't you just feel....a tiny lil bit that the government makes rules, regulation and laws that cause one group or another to bear the cost of others folks liberties?
Off topic I know, but I could certainly lay out the case for duplicity in government. Lots of it.
You know...it’s nice to see one sad thread of death by less than cautious accident
and hardly any:
“they had it coming”
cackles about Darwin and cleaning the gene pool etc
guess a lot of freepers ride
“One thing I have observed about helmetless riders is that few of them have grey or thinning hair.”
How much hair do the helmeted riders have? Just wondering.
lay a bide down?
hit rear brake hard and will often cause a slide
shift weight for direction you want and push off
away from bike and whatever else is in way is a good idea
watch racers when they lose it in a turn how they do it in GP
not saying it’s easy....do it wrong and you’re Aunt Peg....I have pushed off twice after dropping bike...still hurts...sliding is better than tumbling too as a rule though abrasion rules...still beats slamming dead on into fixed object...that is what kills most riders
do not hit front brake like that..think medieval catapult
you own a bike...you will wreck
I said nothing of the sort. What I said is what I would do.
agreed on all points. But the laws aren’t really about motorcycle safety in my opinion.
It has been the purpose of government to recast free exercise of liberty as an infringement upon society that needs strict regulation. That is an affront to all who wish for liberty.
It is why our founding fathers envisioned limited government.
>>It has been the purpose of government to recast free exercise of liberty as an infringement upon society that needs strict regulation. That is an affront to all who wish for liberty.<<
BRAVO!! I could not have expressed it better.
away from bike and whatever else is in way is a good idea
I'll have to ask him again. I must have misinterpreted what he told me. It seems that way.
I used to be and avid cyclist Back when I was a young man. My junior and Senior year I rode My Suzuki 250 Enduro
Not my actual Bike but it looked just like that one! ( I still get a warm feeling of freedom and adventure when looking at such)
I rode it everywhere and I could fill the roughly two gallon gas tank for under two bucks.
I was a Rambling Vagabond who hit th road as often as I could.
Then in my 22nd year of life I was coming down a hill in a residential section of my home town. I was moving at about 35 MPH. Suddenly a pickup truck pulled out in front of me out of a blind alley. (he was moving far over the speed limit so there is no way he had stopped to see if anything was coming.) Without thinking I stood up on my pegs jinked the bike to try and go behind him as he crossed my path and hit both brakes. being young I had fast reflexes and almost made it. Only problem was he had an extra long reese style trailer hitch head that stuck out from his rear bumper about 18 inches.
My front tire hit it hard enough to bend the rim. The bike catapulted me over the handlebars and I flew about 12 feet into a ditch barely missing a metal "no parking" sign. I damaged my knee (again) broke two bones in my hand almost cut the index finger off of my other hand due to it hitting the no parking sign and got a mild concussion.
The Policeman who showed up to the accident (he beat the EMS there) told me I must have missed the sign with my head and shoulder by mere inches because he figured I instinctively had my hands outstretched in front of me in a defensive move when my one hand contacted the sign.
As he held a bandage to my finger and hand trying to staunch the bleeding he told me in jolly tone if I had hit the sign with my neck or shoulder area he would probably be contacting the coroner about now.
The bike had a few scratches where it skidded on the pavement, a bent rim and the forks were bent broke one of the mirrors and turnsignals and skinned up one of the hand grips. Insurance paid to fix it all. When it was fixed and painted and looking like new I sold it and have never ridden another.
It happened way to fast And I was obeying all traffic laws and constantly on the lookout for cars and trucks. I had many a close call before that including being thrown from a Honda Goldwing into a cornfield when riding double with a good friend. He hit something small on the road which blew his front tire I hit the same knee then as I damaged later as described above. I hit it on the ferring as I was launched over the handlebars. We were only goin about 40 MPH then and luckily the Cornfield was wet so both hit and slid for many many yards.
But the Suzuki Wreck was the last straw for me. Both me and the Goldwing Owner were good bike riders. We competed in Hare Scrambles, Enduros and Moto-x races never having a major mishap in any of those competitions and winning or placing in more than our share locally.
I would still consider riding bikes on trails and such (No competition for me now though way to old and slow for such.) But I will never again ride a motorcycle on any byway that includes automobiles and trucks. Way too dangerous and the odds are always stacked against the bike rider. Newton proved such many years ago!
Oh! I thought it was American Bikers Aimed for Total Eradication. Thanks for straightening me out.
Good Morning. Here are two such links. I am sure I can find more. Will try to look for them in the evening. The first link talks briefly about the US laws that had emerged in the 19th century (but were a natural continuation of 18th century colonial laws)
The second link is British but mentions US laws here are there. Long reading :) Sorry!
The third link talks about a New Hampshire law from 1792 that was challenged in court and was upheld. The New Hampshire traffic law stated, “no person shall ride through any street or lane, in the compact part of any town, on a gallop or at a swifter pace than at the rate of five miles an hour.”. Such laws were NOT uncommon in Colonial New England. Further perusal of Colonial Laws will find many such instances
The fourth and fifth links are Wikipedia articles on actual British laws on which US modeled its own laws in the 19th century.
A private road will solve your problems.
If I am on the road, and see a motorcycle, I’ll actually at times get behind it and maintain a safe distance. I have seen too many people tailgating riders...I’m thinking that the driver of the car is really ignorant.
It used to be A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments.
Privately, we said it was A Bunch Of A22holes Terrorizing Everybody.
Helmet laws suck.
Seems like FR has its share of nanny staters lately. Ride like you’re invisible and EVERYONE is out to KILL you.
Moped riders in MD are not required to wear helmets below a certain cc *or* be trained/tested/licensed to ride them.
I’ve passed Mopeds doing 50 mph.
Most fatal car injuries involve head trauma.
Car drivers should be required to wear helmets.
Race car drivers have the sense to wear them.
I don’t think the lesson was the one they wanted...
A properly fitting helmet will mitigate or prevent head and facial injury in a lot of motorcycle mishaps, even simple fall-downs. On bicycles, helmets may be overkill (or undersave) but when you have dozens of horses propelling you and the beast you’re on, that’s quite a different story.
Get out of my head...:)
I agree with you.......If I were to be found at fault for hitting a motorcyclist with my car who would normally have lived had he been wearing a helmet, I don't want "vehicular homicide" (or whatever the charge is if the guy dies) tacked on to my charge because he wasn't wearing one.....
If the legal system can figure out a way to absolve me or any other driver from any head injuries on non-helmet wearing motorcyclists involved in accidents then I say let them do what they want.......
And why? Well, they don't like toll roads.
Might sound farfetched but tollroads usually PROHIBIT motorcycles during specific hours of operation.
You can't do that on an interstate all that easily.
Noting that some tollroads are private property, I think that's behind the negatory response when it comes to the idea of building your own private road.
It's another instance of folks wanting a government subsidy yet not wishing to pay for it themselves. And you can't take that and spin it into a cry for liberty guys ~ does not compute. You want the free highways you gotta' pay the price through rules.
It happens, but’s the only real sort of accident that should happen. But that is not how many, especially those crotch rockets, tend to ride.
It’s amazing that more don’t die the way some ride.
The driver of the car checked both ways, started to proceed, after which immediately I could hear the sound of the cycle. He hit the front driver's side front panel and sailed over the hood and went under an incoming car moving in the opposite direction he was going.
Apparently he had an argument with his girlfriend and left in anger. I seem to remember that he was traveling at 70-80 MPH. The driver of the car was absolved of all blame. Terrible all the same.
Calm down, calm down.
You sound as if your the type that would be ok with Lic/Reg/Insur. checkpoints to made dawg-on sure those who operate motor vehicles are legal.
Idiots who pull out of blind alleys or even parking lots without looking are a menace to bikers. I’ve tried to make myself as visible as possible in potential trouble spots with fog lights and modulating headlamp, which usually warns off inattentive drivers. But I once almost T-boned a van who popped his nose out of a parking lot to get into the opposite lane, fortunately the driver heard my tires screeching and hit the accelerator just in time to give me room. They say if you lock your rear wheel in braking, don’t let it go until you’ve stopped because you might high side, but I let it go anyhow once the van had gotten out of the way. The bike fortunately just kept going straight as though nothing had happened, but brrr.
Given a choice, I’d much rather land on a pile of cement than concrete.
Most modern cars, if you’re wearing a seatbelt are designed to absorb impacts up to highway speed. A helmet will not protect your brain from bouncing around within your skull, but is not generally needed if you’re wearing your seatbelt.
I always wonder why Nanny Staters don't insist that everyone wear helmets while driving a car - Its safer dontchaknow.
And flame suits - look at all the folks who die in car fires.
I wear a helmet every time i get on my motorcycle - but its my choice and preference.