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not first- I've said all I need on the other thread. Just wanted to stir the pudding...
 

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I can't really comment on tiered licensing as I haven't really studied it's success vs. failure rate in those places that require it. I have read that it doesn't really seem to work that well where it is in effect.



After the helmet law was repealed in Florida, deaths have gone up 81%. New registrations went up around 30%. The other side of the coin is that of those that live and had head injuries in a motorcycle crash, those that were not wearing helmets hospital costs were 100 times greater than those that lived and had a helmet on. While it is easy to understand the "it can't happen to me" attitude in a 16-20 year old, there are those in their 30-70s that do not wear helmets. Often, they are going to a bar to have a few with their riding buddies, then they ride home helmetless and under the influence. I doubt that any "rider" that doesn't wear a helmet goes on a ride hoping to die or become a lifetime veggie. You would think these older riders would know it CAN happen to them. An even bigger part of the crime is that they frequently let their passenger ride helmetless. My guess is that, in Florida, 75-80% of the motorcyclists ride helmetless. As far as I'm concerned, all this proves is that a great majority of the motorcycle riders are a damned bunch of fools. Fact is, with this ignorance displayed by so many, a mandatory helmet law is the only way to decrease motorcycle deaths or lifelong plants in the form of a human body. Invasion of our privacy? Definitely. Violation of our rights? Probably. However, the fact remains, the motorcycling public has proved most are stupid enough that they need a mandatory helmet law to be protected from themselves. In every state where the helmet law has been repealed, deaths have gone up dramatically. Facts: Helmets save lives, most riders are stupid. Do I believe in mandatory helmet laws? Hell yes.
 

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Ultimately I think it has to be based on what services the state/fed. governments provide.



If they have decent social services and health care, then tiered licensing and helmets are a good thing because they reduce the general taxpayer burden while maintaining services. Less tax for the same services is good.



On the other hand, if the support that you get from the government in the event of a crash is minimal or not very good, then let Darwin have his way. Less regulation that has no broad social gain is also good.



For example, California ($32billion) probably should have it, Florida ($0) probably shouldn't.



No point in having different states if the states can't be different.

 

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Good point. I live in Florida and I see very few riders wearing a helmet. They seem to fall into two basic categories: young newbie riders, sportbikers wearing shorts, flipflops and a tee shirt or the older cruiser guys. The first group think they're indistructable and the second group just plain don't give a sh*t.

The Tiered Licensing and helmet laws for under 21 riders make the most sense to me.
 

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I have no argument with your premise that helmets are a good thing, but why do we need the government to protect us from ourselves?



I think you will find that 99% of those that oppose helmet laws don't think helmets are useless. Much so the opposite, they agree that they are beneficial. They just don't want the government making their decisions for them.



Like most everyone else here, I never ride without a helmet, but I don't think the government needs to be making sure I take good care of my body.



I know that it sounds like a huge difference between riding helmetless vs riding at all, but it doesn't take a big jump of logic to say that the government needs to protect us from ourselves by outlawing motorcycles.
 

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As an insurance guy, can you explain why the insurance market doesn't really adjust for variances in rider training and equipment? For example, a policy for an untrained rider should cost substantially more than one who has undergone training. Or clauses in which riders who are injured without wearing a helmet pay a higher deductible etc.? Are there legal reasons for this or is it easier (cheaper) to administer policies that only adjust for age/displacement/type of bike.



One would think that market forces in the insurance industry would be enought to modify rider behavior, or recoup expenses for those ride less sensibly and crash. I understand there are small discounts for MSF training etc., but they are usually not much.



Thanks.
 

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As a longtime rider and a resident of Florida, let me say, way to go, pal! It has been said that, "You can't legislate stupidity", and yet we mandat infant car seats, seat belts, air bags, and coming next tear, traction control...Why is it no one screams about BIG BROTHER, or their rights being violated when we talk about these things, but so many freak out when we try to mandate helmets? I would never ride without one, and my brothers...Neither should you, but in Florida, the nightmare is amplified even more. We have so many tourists, and many of them are on bikes. I'm guessin' no one knows the percentage of riders who come to Bike Week or Biketoberfest in Daytona who are only casual, once-in-a-while kind of riders...And how many of them want to come to Florida, look like "a biker", and ride without a helmet? EIGHTEEN DEATHS this past Bike Week...more than ever in the 65 year history...Enough is enough...I spent 15 years as a Critical Care RN, and I've patched up enough fellow riders, and seen many of them die...ENOUGH!



SquireJim
 

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As a longtime rider and a resident of Florida, let me say, way to go, pal! It has been said that, "You can't legislate stupidity", and yet we mandate infant car seats, seat belts, air bags, and coming next year, traction control...Why is it no one screams about BIG BROTHER, or their rights being violated when we talk about these things, but so many freak out when we try to mandate helmets? I would never ride without one, and my brothers...Neither should you, but in Florida, the nightmare is amplified even more. We have so many tourists, and many of them are on bikes. I'm guessin' no one knows the percentage of riders who come to Bike Week or Biketoberfest in Daytona who are only casual, once-in-a-while kind of riders...And how many of them want to come to Florida, look like "a biker", and ride without a helmet? EIGHTEEN DEATHS this past Bike Week...more than ever in the 65 year history...Enough is enough...I spent 15 years as a Critical Care RN, and I've patched up enough fellow riders, and seen many of them die...ENOUGH!



SquireJim
 

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I like helmet laws. They help keep my insurance costs down. I also like red light cameras. They deter some red light and late yellow runners from hitting me when I'm out enjoying a ride. It's just like food safety laws. I'm glad that there are layers of government regulations in place that minimize my chances of getting dread diseases when I eat out.



Is it sad that such laws are required? Sure. Everyone should behave ethically and with regard for others. We all know what would happen if we depended on personal ethics, though, don't we?
 

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Well, it makes sense. If people eat the wrong things they might get sick and then I might have to pick up part of the tab if they go on govt medical care. So, yes, the govt has a vested interest in enforcing proper dietary requirements on all Americans. Exercise programs too!



A perfect argument... and identical to the helmet law argument too!
 

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There are variances. Most (but not all) companies check your mvr and with that they see how long you have had (if at all) your m class. Then they uprate you based on experience. The agents (me) really have NO way to verify this and just go by what information the customer gives to us.

In short, to make things easier for insurers, insureds and insurance commissioners they pair the questions down to the most basic info to get a quote. After it goes through "underwriting" the company decides if it's reasonable to adjust the premium based on the information that is verified.

As far as claims go- we as agents are told to stay out of the process because we are not trained in the claims field and the companies don't want the agent to give information that is in conflict with what the insurance company gives.

If you look at Florida's rates (using GA rates as a guide) you will pay much higher rates on un/under insured motorist coverage because of helmet laws and other variables.

In fact, in FL it's not uncommon for the UM coverage to double the annual premium.

Fact is, I'm suprised that the insurance industry hasn't started a lobby for mandatory training or tiered licensing. They can use EU insurance stats to make the case. I'm sure that if you subtract all comprehensive claims (theft and fire for those that don't know) the bodily injury claims that are made along with property damage claims account for only about half of all claims. In America, the comp claims only account for about 1/4 of all losses. Which leaves 3/4 of all claims in the bodily injury and property damage arena. Not to mention that we are a sue happy nation- making the claims that much more lopsided.

That good enough?
 

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"why do we need the government to protect us from ourselves?"



good question... the short answer is because a lot of people are goddamn idiots.



want proof? just look at the warning sticker on my new Toro electric lawn mower...



"Warning. This lawnmower is not to be used as a hedge trimmer"



I guarantee there's a reason Toro's lawyers have 'em put that sticker on there... and that reason probably started with some do-rag wearing cruiser rider* trimming a hedge with an electric lawnmower.





*flip-flop wearing sportbikers don't do yard maintenance
 

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Excellent post.. MO is really fortunate to have someone with your expertise and background posting.. You also really explain things well so I can understand.. Thanks..
 

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Re: Let's give that nag another whack, shall we......

Sorry, you're not allowed to say or acknowledge anything good about the government on this site. Anyform of law regulation, decree or edict, unless it was written by God, Elvis and Dale Earnhart along with a bunch of drunks in a tavern to address specific issues in place at the time 230 years ago is merely the thinnest of vails attempting to conceal the truth that any government mandate whatsoever is nothing more than the full on trampling of the inailienable rights of the people by the bloodstain boots of the jack-booted neofascist oppressors, and as such is totally inconcievable that it could serve any usefull purpose, other than to keep the citizens in chains like a bunch of Hebrew slaves....

You've been warned...
 
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