Paying Hospital bills is the lamest reason I have ever heard for mandating helmets.
Protecting one from flying objects on the highway makes much more sense. Since an 600-800 lb. unguided missile traveling at 65 MPH can do much more damage than a Vegetative Dork laying in a hospital bed.
Wearing a helmet is a safety issue, and should not be confused with a civil rights issue. It is just plain stupid not to wear a helmet and full proctive gear. There was a study done in Germany that showed that 45% of the impacts happen on the left and right cheek area. So wear a full face helmet thats is not only DOT approved but also has a Snell approval. Any of this helmets will have a shield that meets VESC 8 standards for eye protection.
My wife and I check out every motorcycle rider we see to see if they are properly dress for the "FALL", in general the sport bike riders dress better while most of the cruiser types do not dress properly. I have a Harley and a F4i and my wife has just ordered her Harley. We ALWAYS ride with Full face helmets and proper gear. We feel that we are ambassadors for the sport and are trying to change the image of the Harley rider (stock pipes only, no loud pipes saves lifes, because we want our neighbors to like us).
"Born to be Wild" has always beem my theme song, but when I see a Pepsi commercial showing a yuppie riding a motorcycle with out a "HELMET" along side Peter Fonda it just makes me mad as hell. Lets let Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper have there place in history, but move on this is 2002, have a full face helmet on everytime you put a leg over your bike.
Actually, one of the best parts about the tough guys/gals riding without helmets is when they do it and its less than 50 degF or raining or when they get the ol' wasp up the nose... never fails to make me laugh. Unhelmeted riders laying in their own pool of blood make me incredibly angry and sad.
Representatives, Senators and the president take an oath to uphold the constitution upon entering office. To propose a law that is unconstitutional is to ignore their sworn oath. Take the campaign finance bill: many in both the house and the senate admitted that this bill was unconstitutional, yet they were going to vote for it anyway. Though nobody cares anymore, this is an impeachable offense to the constituiton.
The idea is that the house and senate have competent individuals who have both their constituents' will and the constitution clearly in mind. When push comes to shove, however, the constitution should trump everything else----save for the case of a constitutional amendment. They are not supposed to pass every bill under the sun and let the supreme court sort everything out.
It is my experience that the only people who claim that it is so vaugely written say so because they don't like what it says. If you want to know exactly what it means, and also what it doesn't mean, read the federalist papers. One has to deny the plainly obivious to declare that the constitution is "open to wildly varying interpretation". I suppose it is open to interpretation, but whether those interpretations are valid is another story entirely.
It can be interpreted by any marginally competent literate individual. It is only the supreme court of the last 50 years, and countless other lawyers and politicians, that make it sound complicated. Go read it----it's not that tough. The framers said themselves that a document so complicated that the meaning is out of reach of the normal citizen would be useless.
No, we understand that you don't want to pay for us to vegetate, when there's a chance that wearing a helmet will protect us. Just like it certainly would have protected this guy : http://www.dianna.com/motorcycles/fatal.htm
Oh, and I don't want to pay for your oxygen bottles, so let's outlaw cigarettes. Or for years of nitroglycerin for heart patients, so red meat is next to go. Sorry, let's stick to motorcycles. EPA is preparing to require more stringent emissions on motorcycles, but leaves SUVs alone. Here in Ohio, you can ride about 6 months a year, but SUVs run year 'round. See a problem with this? Which pollutes more, and runs for more time each year? Motorcyclists are a minority, and easy to push around, right? So, let's require helmets. Then crash bars. Then power restrictions--let's face it, 30 hp will get you up to highway speed, right? Oh, hell, let's just outlaw them all together.
My friend just bought a Harley even after all my attempts to talk him into something a little more up to date. He just had to have the Harley. He was all about that tradition. That American V-twin experience. He is a baby boomer after all and I am only 27 and I ride a 'crotch-rocket', what do I know. I thought for sure I would be dealing with the same 'tradition' as far as riding gear on our first ride together. Instead he shows up in full leather (not chaps- armored jacket and pants that zip together in the back) and gloves and a FULL FACE helmet. I about fell off my bike. I asked him about it and he said that when he first started riding, full face wasn't an option and there wasnt a whole lot in the way of riding gear either. Now that there have been all these improvements in the technology of the gear and all these studies on what the real risks of riding are, he said he would feel like an idiot riding around in a t-shrit and beanie helmet. Besides, he really likes the black Shoei he bought with the Ace of Spades on the side. He thinks it is ' way more badass than some moped-looking half helmet anyway' His words not mine. So, there you have it. Helmets for everyone, Full Face even, and we all get to look cool.
P.S. To properly illustrate the level of 'traditional' we are talking about, my friend hates the new V-rod and doesn't consider it a Harley.
"Well, I don't really don't care about this particular aspect of liberty, because I wear a helmet all the time, so it doesn't affect me at all. "
This does affect you. The fact of the matter is that you are giving up freedoms. The more freedoms you give up the worse it will get. They will slowly take things here and there and it won't affect you at all because you won't use what they are taking, right? Sooner or later they will get to something you do like or that affects you and won't be able to do anything because everything else that has been taken will make it seem like nothing is being taken from you or anybody else. Don't give up any freedoms, don't let someone take that away from you. I don't own a gun but I am not about to give up the right to own one.
"- try living in the Middle East! In some cultures it is a criminal offense to cut your hair!"
Brilliant argument! So I suppose we should all just count our lucky stars and let everyone remove our personal freedoms one by one until we reach this point. Then we can point to someone even less fortunate and say "stop whining, in some cultures you're not allowed to have a penis."
I've been trying to figure out where to join this discussion, and following old 'Tricky ****' seems like a good spot. Despite what you, or I, or anyone else may think about the Nixster, he was generally a pragmatist. In fact, in a total digression, it's good to keep in mind that in terms of policies enacted (creation of the EPA, Affirmative Action, and even the rightfully reviled wage and price controls), ****y was substantially to the left of that bogey-man of Dittoheads everywhere, Bill Clinton.
Okay, now that I've thrown that meat to the wolves, one of our Supremes (can't remember if it was Brandeis or Frankfurter) once said that, "Taxes are the price we pay for living in civilization." Hear, hear! The really tricky part is in using the argument that externalized costs resulting in the expenditure of tax dollars are the best justification of regulatory policy. For instance, we spend HUGE amounts of money to subsidize the costs of our auto-centric transport system (look at the defense budget if you don't believe me). What about the subsidization of meat production (no, I'm not a vegetarian - and I do eat hamburgers too - but benefitting from the subsidy does not make it less of a subsidy in my eyes)? What about subsidizing fast food, or the production of alfalfa and cotton in arid climates, or insuring reckless corporate behavior, etc., etc., ad nauseum?
What's the point, you ask. The point is that when righteous folks want to use the 'social cost' argument to regulate behavior, it is reasonable to ask that many behaviors be examined in the same way. If they object that the privatized benefit of riding helmetless results in the socialized cost of caring for the resulting vegetables, let us also examine the trade-off between the privatized benefits of driving an SUV versus the socialized costs of acquiring, refining, and burning its fuel (not to mention the huge impacts of manufacturing and disposing of the SUV itself). Let us examine the privatized benefit of creating rules and (non)regulatory environments that result in Enron versus the socialized costs of cleaning up the mess. When the social cost argument is opened up to many issues, the appeal of using it as justification diminishes somewhat. Of course, the reality is that folks are using that argument after they've already decided that they want to regulate something, and 'social cost' is just an afterthought justification.
One more rant: the folks who believe that the early days of the republic were a halcyon time where all were free to live as they chose so long as they did not interfere with the rights of others - those folks need to take their blinders off when reading history. Rules that favor some over others have always been with us. Social engineering, as it has been described, has a long history in the old US of A.
Oh yeah, generally agree with both Johnny B and Tricky ****.
What are you talking about? Any idiot knows there is risk involved in riding a motorcycle. I didn't say it was dangerous, I said that the beanie helmets don't work! Let's see, I've been driving a car for 33 years and motorcycles for 35 years. It's not too dangerous for me and hasn't caught up with me. You go a problem with that?
Don't read that the wrong way, I wear a full face helmet and the rest of the equipment when I ride but I just don't think that someone else (the goverment) should be telling me what I can and can't do. Once again, it is stupid not to wear a full face helmet.
In what way do you think " jokes" about camps with showers are appropriate ? do you think it pertains to the issue of helmets or cell phones or suv's ? Does your helmet have a distinctly "historical" shape to it, in a stylish shade of feldgrau ? mayb you should keep a little perspective in your posts, Heinrich. Helmets save lives, it that simple. whether the state has the right to mandate them can be argued till the cows come home, If they say to wear one, either wear one or pay tickets everytime a cop sees you.
Interestingly, even though they would play a hand in writing the Bill of Rights, the Federalist were very much opposed to inclusion of an enumeration of rights for fear that people would allow for encroachment on rights not listed, with the understanding being that no list could be complete. It is also interesting that the federalist would later be at each other's throats. Hamilton and Madison became bitter political enemies, as did Jefferson, Madison and Hamilton. Not to mention the fact that the anti-federalist had just as many intellectual heavy-weights as the federalist.
Though I reference them often and greatly admire the founding fathers, it is important to remember that they were not perfect, and neither was the government they left us with -- Jefferson actually advocated writing a new Constitution periodically to reflect changes. What's more the Constitution they gave us allowed states to continue having property requirements, literacy requirements, race, age, gender, etc. requirements. In short, it was imperfect. The Constitution is not exact -- the very men you say prove it was exact often quarelled over the interpretation. That is why it was a Hamilton appointee (Marbury) that sued Jefferson's Secretary of State (Madison) over the ability of the goverment to pass a bill of attainder.
It is always dangerous when we reify the thought of any man, including the wise men who founded our country, but also owned slaves, passed laws limiting political speech with which they disagreed (Alien and Sedition laws anyone?), and became the forefathers of partisan politics, something they had all advocated against.
All that being said, the most important right to me is the ability to say what I want about our government and our representatives, followed closely by the right to vote. Any law that is passed that is bad is as much a fault of the voters that put the men and women in power who passed it.