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Put brakes on efforts to repeal biker helmet laws
USA Today ^ | 7/1/2003

Posted on 07/02/2003 9:42:14 AM PDT by presidio9

Edited on 04/13/2004 1:40:51 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

Archie McGregor, 43, was killed Sunday near Custer, Mont., when his motorcycle veered off the road, vaulted a ditch and rolled. He wasn't wearing a safety helmet. Jennifer Smith, 22, died the previous week, when she was thrown from her motorcycle and slammed into a pole on a country road in North Jay, Maine. She wasn't wearing a helmet, either. Both deaths occurred in states that no longer require adults on motorcycles to wear helmets. Nearly universal in the 1970s, mandatory helmet laws are being repealed by states across the USA, in spite of numerous findings that wearing a helmet significantly reduces the risk of death and serious injury. Only 20 states still require helmets on adults, and Pennsylvania's legislature voted Tuesday to repeal its law.


(Excerpt) Read more at usatoday.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy; Politics/Elections; US: Maine; US: Maryland; US: Montana
KEYWORDS: motorcyclelist
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1 posted on 07/02/2003 9:42:15 AM PDT by presidio9
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To: presidio9
Letting bikers be free to choose how they ride carries a cost borne by everyone.

Thats one of the problems in a capitalist/socialist society like we have today. Peoples freedoms can end up costing everybody else.

I say we should do away with safety/nanny laws, but make the individuals fully aware that they alone are responsible for their well being. And then MAKE IT SO.

2 posted on 07/02/2003 9:45:09 AM PDT by Paradox
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To: Paradox; Bikers4Bush; GOPBiker
Wrong. It is not the government's job to make these kinds of decisions for adults.
3 posted on 07/02/2003 9:46:39 AM PDT by presidio9 (RUN AL, RUN!!!)
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To: Paradox
Letting bikers be free to choose how they ride ........


wrong wording, it should be FREE TO CHOOSE HOW THEY DIE!
and don't give me no flack about it, I am one of many whose life was saved by the helmet, more than once, and am happy to be alive to have this stiff neck.
4 posted on 07/02/2003 9:48:57 AM PDT by rontorr (It's only my opinion, but I am RIGHT)
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To: presidio9
Power follows money. When we provide public assistance or group insuruance to bike riders injured or killed for want of a helmet, this puts an obligation on them to watch out for our money.
5 posted on 07/02/2003 9:49:53 AM PDT by ThePythonicCow (Mooo !!!!)
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To: presidio9
100% of the people that ride motorcycles will die.

Get over the nanny state need to protect us all from ourselves!

6 posted on 07/02/2003 9:50:52 AM PDT by SC_Republican (mmmm....FOOTBALL)
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To: presidio9
That's one reason 49 states have mandatory seat-belt-use laws for adults.

Wow! What state still lets adults make choices for themselves? I might want to move there if they are as freedom-loving as this little tid-bid makes them appear!

7 posted on 07/02/2003 9:51:20 AM PDT by gtech (Don't sell me out and expect my vote.)
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To: rontorr
My view is that if a person wishes to ride without a helmet that is their decision and one may only hope they so their crashing before they have offspring thereby improving the gene pool.
8 posted on 07/02/2003 9:51:50 AM PDT by harpseal (Stay well - Stay safe - Stay armed - Yorktown)
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To: presidio9
As a Biker I totally support the use of Helments and the use of all Saftey gear.

Gary
9 posted on 07/02/2003 9:51:52 AM PDT by mgary10
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To: presidio9
If you would renounce the money as quickly as you renounce the helmet law, I'd be more likely to agree with you.
10 posted on 07/02/2003 9:52:09 AM PDT by ThePythonicCow (Mooo !!!!)
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To: presidio9
From the two examples at the top of the story, it doesn't appear that a helmet would have made much difference. When you surprise a utility pole (they aren't JUST carrying phone lines) the utility pole is quite often a stubborn winner.

I cannot fathom riding a vehicle such as a motorcycle without a helmet, but I don't see that it's the gubbmint's job to make me. I also cannot imagine driving a car (or my motorhome for that matter) without a seat belt. But I don't need the nanny state to convince me.

Michael

11 posted on 07/02/2003 9:52:40 AM PDT by Wright is right! (Have a profitable day!)
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To: martin_fierro
PING
12 posted on 07/02/2003 9:53:38 AM PDT by Tijeras_Slim (I am not a prime demographic, I am a MAN!)
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To: presidio9
I don't think it's anybody's business if they wear helmets or not. If they're dumb enough to drive a vehicle with NO safety features, let them. What really outrages me is that people who drive cars get ticketed for not wearing seatbelts. I wear a seatbelt and believe in them wholey. However, I don't think it's ANYBODY'S business if I'm wearing one or not.

Talk about equal protection under the law: How is it that motorcyclists can ride with NO protection, no seatbelt laws, no backup safety features WHATSOEVER and car drivers are themselves drowning in mandatory safety features. If I'm not mistaken, both the cycle rider and the car rider are going to the same place at the same speed, and the bike rider can go with impunity while the car driver has to wear a seatbelt. Heck, here in Ohio, he doesn't even have to abide by "noise" or polution mandates that ALL cars have to abide by.

I'm not advocating "not wearing seatbelts", but if I can get ticketed for not wearing one, then why are motorcyclists responsible for NO similar safety guidelines? Me thinks that the local communities enjoy the revenue from people in cars not wearing seatbelts, not having a quiet muffler, and not having polution controls that motorcylists don't have to worry about. Where's the legal outcry?
13 posted on 07/02/2003 9:54:51 AM PDT by laweeks
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To: presidio9
Letting bikers people be free to choose how/what they ride/ingest/read/dress/think/say carries a cost borne by everyone.

Marx Stalin Mao and Lenin would have been proud

14 posted on 07/02/2003 9:54:53 AM PDT by clamper1797 (Conservative by nature ... Republican in Spirit ... Patriot by Heart ... and Anti Liberal BY GOD)
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To: presidio9
I think I'll keep my helmet if it ever becomes an issue here. Even if you never have an unplanned dismount, getting hit in the face by a yellowjacket at 85 or so is no fun at all. I have ridden through farm country in spring on 160 in the Delta with first a shorty touring helmet, and again with a full-face. The second time, it only *sounded* like being repeatedly shot in the face with an air rifle, rather than feeling like it.
15 posted on 07/02/2003 9:55:52 AM PDT by Riley
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To: rontorr
wrong wording, it should be FREE TO CHOOSE HOW THEY DIE!

So be it. It (used to be) a free country.

and don't give me no flack about it, I am one of many whose life was saved by the helmet, more than once, and am happy to be alive to have this stiff neck.

Then you have every right to get on a soap-box and preach to riders to wear their helments. But once you attempt to use the power of government and law to create a nanny-state to conform to YOUR view of the world, you've crossed the line.

16 posted on 07/02/2003 9:56:48 AM PDT by gtech (Don't sell me out and expect my vote.)
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To: ThePythonicCow
BS. If anything helmets raise healthcare costs, because they leave us with more traumatic spinal injury survivors. When people die in motorcycle crashes it costs us nothing. I have ridden without a helmet exactly once in my life, and I did not enjoy the experience, but this is not the government's decision to make.
17 posted on 07/02/2003 9:57:16 AM PDT by presidio9 (RUN AL, RUN!!!)
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To: presidio9
I've been riding since 1980, well, actually I started riding a Yamaha 90 at an early age, I didn't get my own cycle until 1980. Anyway, 99% of the time I wear a helmet and it has saved by head on a couple of occasions. That being said, I don't support mandatory helmet laws. There's that 1% of the time that I like to take a slow cruise around the neighborhood or up to the store without a helmet on, to cool down after a sweaty afternoon working in the yard, or just to feel the wind on an unencumbered face. It's nobody's business but my own! I know the risks, and I roll the dice, just like everything else in life there's a certain amount of risk involved, and I'll choose to take the risk, and deal with the consequences (if any) or not.

The Government, and other like minded busybodies, can go to Hell!

18 posted on 07/02/2003 9:58:33 AM PDT by AFreeBird
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To: presidio9

19 posted on 07/02/2003 9:59:26 AM PDT by Lost Highway
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To: presidio9
Letting bikers be free to choose how they ride carries a cost borne by everyone.

The "two wrongs make a right" crowd continues its attack on liberty.

20 posted on 07/02/2003 9:59:50 AM PDT by laredo44
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To: rontorr
Good for you but that doesn't mean that you have a right to force me to wear a helmet.

For every instance of a helmet saving someone there's an instance of it costing someone else theirs, we just don't read about those stories.

"And don't give me no flack about it", I knew a guy whose helmet caught in an accident and broke his neck. Had he NOT been wearing it he probably would have lived.
21 posted on 07/02/2003 10:01:21 AM PDT by Bikers4Bush
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To: gtech
New Hampshire!
22 posted on 07/02/2003 10:02:41 AM PDT by Joe Driscoll
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To: *Motorcycle list; 68 grunt; A Navy Vet; angry elephant; archy; Askel5; baddog1; basil; beowolf; ...
FReeper Motorcycle Hooligan
Send FReepmail if you want on/off FMH list

23 posted on 07/02/2003 10:03:33 AM PDT by martin_fierro (A v v n c v l v s M a x i m v s)
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To: Paradox; rontorr
Pardox said: Peoples freedoms can end up costing everybody else.

Yes, they certainly can. However, there are ways, as you mentioned, to avoid that. And it's interesting that the examples given (as well as the bulk of the statistical data) deal with fatalities (no added medical costs), while the rationale used to require helmets laws is reflected in the posting by 'rontorr' which indicates his life was saved 'more than once' by a helmet though he still has a stiff neck (suggesting added medical costs).

The issue can be anchored to the best definition of 'freedom' I've ever found. Freedom means you have the right to be wrong.

It may indeed be stupid to ride a motorcycle without a helmet (I always wore one when I had a cycle). But a line must be drawn somewhere. If we are not allowed to be 'wrong' - as the government defines 'right' and 'wrong' - on this issue, then where is the line to be drawn that limits where we do 'allow' citizens to make their own mistakes?

The essence of helmet laws, and seatbelt laws, and gun control laws against law-abiding citizens, and on and on is the expectation that citizens are guilty until proven innocent (by the government) and must be restricted because they are 'too likely' to do something 'wrong' if given a free choice.

No thanks.
24 posted on 07/02/2003 10:07:39 AM PDT by Gorjus
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To: presidio9
When people die in motorcycle crashes it costs us nothing.

There is a cost (insurance, emergency room, etc.). However, the solution shouldn't be that the government mandates the behavior of free adults, the solution should be forcing those who engage in risky behavior to pay the cost of that risk.

One solution might be that insurance companies would refuse any payouts on claims if the individual was not wearing a helmet or seatbelt. That would wake a lot of people up, and it wouldn't cost the rest of us anything.
25 posted on 07/02/2003 10:07:55 AM PDT by babyface00
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To: rontorr
".....and don't give me no flack about it, I am one of many whose life was saved by the helmet,...."

Not the issue.

Helmets MAY be a good idea (I wear one) but it's a TERRIBLE law.

At North Slope, they require hardhats and safety glasses in addition to the usual belting for passengers in vehicles because, heavens to betsy, a rock just MIGHT come through a window and hit someone.

There is no end to this until every mode of life is regulated to a standstill.

26 posted on 07/02/2003 10:10:00 AM PDT by nightdriver
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To: laweeks
"and car drivers are themselves drowning in mandatory safety features"

Bikers complain about the ninny nannies. Cagers comply with a dumb smile.

27 posted on 07/02/2003 10:12:43 AM PDT by spunkets
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To: presidio9
If anything helmets raise healthcare costs, because they leave us with more traumatic spinal injury survivors.

BS! Are some people killed without helmets who would be cripples if they did wear a helmet? Yes. But far more would be cripples without a helmet who are just stumbling around like Troy Aikman for a couple of days after having a crash with a helmet.

On the other hand, I wouldn't have any problems with people having to sign something when they get their motorcycle license/endorsement that says if they don't have insurance to cover it and they are injured while not wearing a helmet, the state will have no financial responsibility for them.

28 posted on 07/02/2003 10:13:33 AM PDT by KarlInOhio (Paranoia is when you realize that tin foil hats just focus the mind control beams.)
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To: Joe Driscoll
New Hampshire!

I should have known, Live Free or Die. It's a drastic change from FL weather though. :o)

29 posted on 07/02/2003 10:13:49 AM PDT by gtech (Don't sell me out and expect my vote.)
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To: babyface00
There is a cost (insurance, emergency room, etc.). However, the solution shouldn't be that the government mandates the behavior of free adults, the solution should be forcing those who engage in risky behavior to pay the cost of that risk.

This is a nonsensical dispute. If helemts are suddenly mandated everywhere, do you think insurance premiums are suddenly going to come down?

30 posted on 07/02/2003 10:14:10 AM PDT by presidio9 (RUN AL, RUN!!!)
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To: presidio9
Folks might be interested to know that a study was done on motorcycle accidents, injuries and deaths. It was called, appropriately enough, the Hurt Report.

Here are some of the conclusions that they came to.
http://motorcyclecourse.cyberus.ca/new/hurtrep.shtml

31 posted on 07/02/2003 10:15:01 AM PDT by Riley
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To: KarlInOhio
Where are you getting your "facts" from.
32 posted on 07/02/2003 10:15:09 AM PDT by presidio9 (RUN AL, RUN!!!)
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To: spunkets
Just think of how many accidents would be prevented, and how many lives we'd save, if we forbade ALL bike riding! And why stop there?!? What we need is a nationawide 30 mph speed limit, strictly enforced. That'd save 10oo's of lives.
33 posted on 07/02/2003 10:15:27 AM PDT by docmcb
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To: ThePythonicCow
The insurance industry, and the govts intervention in the medical industry, is the reason it is so expensive to get medical care. Since it is the fault of the same institutions that health care is so high priced, why should I care to take care of my own needs? No one else is, that includes those paying outrageous insurance rates, and following helmet and seat belt laws.
34 posted on 07/02/2003 10:20:30 AM PDT by jeremiah (Sunshine scares all of them, for they all are cockaroaches)
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To: presidio9
Letting bikers be free to choose how they ride carries a cost borne by everyone.

A statement often parroted, but anathema to everything the USA stands for...

35 posted on 07/02/2003 10:21:47 AM PDT by JPJones
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To: presidio9
Statistics Blah, Blah, Blah, - Motorcycle sales are up by 54% since 1997, so gee; more motorcycle accidents.

How many people's lives would have been saved from fire if they had been wearing an asbestos suit? I don't advocate that we all be required to wear one.

36 posted on 07/02/2003 10:23:26 AM PDT by MP5SD
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To: presidio9
"Higher motorcycle fatality rates drive up insurance premiums, disability payments and unemployment compensation."

fatality noun, a DEATH resulting from an accident or a disaster.

Would someone like to explain to me how dead people "...drive up insurance premiums, disability payments and unemployment compensation?"

How can you be disabled or unemployed when you are dead?

37 posted on 07/02/2003 10:25:28 AM PDT by tahiti
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To: presidio9
Higher motorcycle fatality rates drive up insurance premiums, disability payments and unemployment compensation

A better solution to command and control action by government is to change those government regulation of insurance premiums, disability programs and unemployment compensation so that those programs don't subsidize riskier choices. Let individuals decide how much they really want a particular activity.

38 posted on 07/02/2003 10:26:11 AM PDT by FateAmenableToChange
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To: presidio9
By the way, I always wear my helmet and seatbelt no matter what state I'm riding or driving in. My choice - my family still likes having me around.
39 posted on 07/02/2003 10:26:39 AM PDT by beelzepug (incessantly yapping for change)
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To: MP5SD
Some lives will undoubtedly be saved if all airline passengers are required to wear parachutes at all times.
40 posted on 07/02/2003 10:27:09 AM PDT by presidio9 (RUN AL, RUN!!!)
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To: beelzepug
By the way, I always wear my helmet and seatbelt no matter what state I'm riding or driving in. My choice - my family still likes having me around.

Me too. But that's MY choice.

41 posted on 07/02/2003 10:27:55 AM PDT by presidio9 (RUN AL, RUN!!!)
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To: martin_fierro
Heh heh heh...thanks for the mammaries. Just watched "About Schmidt" last nite. Almost forgot about "Easy Rider". Old Jack is still one of my favorite actors.

FMCDH

42 posted on 07/02/2003 10:28:07 AM PDT by nothingnew (the pendulum swings and the libs are in the pit)
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To: presidio9
The article didn't address the effect of Helmet Laws on the supply of Organ Donors. I don't have the hard facts, but I suspect that far more riders survive with life-long medical needs when wearing the helmet.

Without the helmet? - Organ Donor.

How is Society served by the Helmet Laws?
43 posted on 07/02/2003 10:29:32 AM PDT by M_Man
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To: mgary10
I agree completely- and I have a shattered collar bone, a dental bridge, and back and neck pian, but I'm alive.

75 MotoGuzzi 850-T
44 posted on 07/02/2003 10:29:46 AM PDT by ffusco (Maecilius Fuscus,Governor of Longovicium , Manchester, England. 238-244 AD)
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To: KarlInOhio
That emancipation proclamation should be available for everyone to sign at the age of reason. It should be for universal legal emancipation from all nanny regs whatsoever.
45 posted on 07/02/2003 10:30:57 AM PDT by spunkets
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To: MP5SD
Statistics Blah, Blah, Blah, - Motorcycle sales are up by 54% since 1997, so gee; more motorcycle accidents.

Good point. That was my other problem with the article, the statistics which can be skewed to say anything. How many more rider were there? How much did the population increase, etc.

The primary issue I still have is freedom and nanny-government though.

46 posted on 07/02/2003 10:31:22 AM PDT by gtech (Don't sell me out and expect my vote.)
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Comment #47 Removed by Moderator

To: presidio9
The problem is socialism, not helmets.

People in cars would be safer wearing helmets as well. In fact, suits of armor would improve safety for all. Better yet, never let people out of their houses. Reduce all speed limits to 15 miles per hour.

If we eliminate the socialism idiots like the article's author would have no leg to stand on.
48 posted on 07/02/2003 10:32:22 AM PDT by jimt
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To: tahiti
How can you be disabled or unemployed when you are dead?

You may; as long as you register as a Democrat.

49 posted on 07/02/2003 10:32:33 AM PDT by TankerKC (Take the time it takes, so it takes less time.)
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To: M_Man
"How is Society served by the Helmet Laws?"

Some folks get paid good tax money to nickle and dime other folks to death.

50 posted on 07/02/2003 10:33:30 AM PDT by spunkets
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