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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Why is it so Worrysome that opposition to helmets is high? As the previous post says the right to choose may include the wrong decision. Busting your head open does not effect me so go ahead. However, such things as loud pipes do and I would argue that they do more to piss off other users (i.e. potential maimers of me - car drivers) and so pose a bigger safety problem than no helmet. If we can't ban Harleys (shame) lets at least do the next best thing and shutdown LOUD pipes.
 

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Hey everyone, get off the these particular riders of a certain v-twin american made machine don't wear helmets because line and realize that there are plenty of people that ride all makes and models exercising their god given right to ride without a helmet, especially here in Florida now that we don't have the requirement anymore. I see guys on sportbikes riding without headgear, as much as the cruiser types. Forget brands and lump them into another category, like people who think it won't happen to them. BTW, I wear a helmet, leather jacket, gloves, etc, even in FL. Thanks MO for starting another fight.
 

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When lots of people bust their heads open my insurance rate goes up so it is, in a small way, my problem too because I have to pay more to subsidize stupidity. Maybe if the insurance payoff for accidents without a helemt were limited to 5 or 10 grand for medical bills we could get by without the insurance price hikes but we will still pay- taxes- so the government can house the vegetable victim of the crash without a helmet.

I agree on the loud pipes all the way- those who have them anger the general public which leads to road rage accidents- run off the road etc.
 

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I totally support anyone''s choice to wear a helmet or not. But if you don''t your a fool. Just got through watching my uncle lose control of the bike he was riding and get very well aquainted with a local tree. He was not speeding, but he let his attention slip momentarily, that was all it took. Hit the tree at 35-40mph. You can say anything you want about the safety of helmets, but I watched would would have been a fatal accident merely turn out bad. No helemt, and he would have died, case closed.
 

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My Last Word On Helmets.

After I post this, I will save it and repost it for the next time this comes up.

Also, I will respond to flames beforehand. Please pick the appropriate response:

1. No, YOU'RE a ******!

2. No, I do not approve of government control over our lives and personal decisions.

3. No, I am not voting for Al Gore.

WHY WE NEED HELMET LAWS

The most contentious and emotional debate among American motorcyclists is the one over helmet laws. Should society, working through a democratically elected state legislature, require motorcyclists to wear an approved safety helmet?

The US Supreme Court has made many decisions about which rights US citizens have which government may not abridge. Such rights include reproduction, interstate travel, right to contract, right to work, etc. Although these rights are not mentioned in the US Constitution, they are nevertheless protected, since the Ninth Amendment of the Bill Of Rights says that rights not enumerated in other parts of the constitution are still rights.

But, just because a person does a thing does not make it a right. Homosexual sodomy, for instance, although it affects nobody except the er, pitcher and catcher, is illegal in many states, since the Supreme Court did not hold such a practice as a right like other rights.

So what makes a right a right? The concurring opinion in Griswold v. Connecticut tries to determine which rights are fundamental... To do this, Justices Warren, Goldberg and Brennan say courts must look to the traditions and collective conscience of our people to determine whether a principle is so rooted there as to be ranked as fundamental. Once the right is recognized, the court should then decide if that right is of such a character that it cannot be denied without violating those fundamental principles of liberty and justice which lie at the base of all our civil and political institutions...

So we are faced with a two-tiered determination. First, the action in question must be rooted in the collective mind of our society as being fundamental. That is, a reasonable, average American (whoever THAT is) must agree, totally, that it is a fundamental right to do this thing. Next, this right cannot be denied without being an egregious attack on personal liberty.

That's why states cannot force welfare mothers to be sterilized. No reasonable person would feel that the right to reproduce is not a basic human right, and limiting that right would be outrageous. Can you imagine having to get a sex license from your city hall? Or requiring obese people to present ration card to their grocery clerks? Such notions are repugnant to anybody with even a small amount of respect for other's rights.

Let's apply this motorcycling without a helmet. Is feeling the wind in your thinning scalp at 70 MPH a right rooted in our collective mind? Would a reasonable person, without a moment's hesitation, agree that you have a right to endanger your thin skull like that?

But lets say this mythical reasonable man did such a thing. Does limiting this right outrage our sensibilities, or notions of freedom? It sure does for some people. But not enough to universally overturn helmet laws, or even the majority of the people it affects, i.e. motorcyclists. Even in states without helmet laws, over half the riders wear helmets. Presumably, if helmet laws outrageously infringed on personal liberty, there would be a massive outcry from motorcyclists of every ilk, as well as the public at large.

Continuing to play devil's advocate, let's say going helmet less IS a fundamental right. Can a state infringe on a fundamental right? The answer is yes, if the state has a compelling interest.

Here is the heart of the debate. One side says helmet laws don't do a thing for the state, and the other side says they save the state money and save human lives. Who has the heavier burden of proof?

I would say the anti-helmet law people do. If the state can save even $10,000 (to pick a random number) by requiring helmets, I would say that that is compelling enough to override the right of motorcyclists to go helmet less. Can ABATE honestly say helmet laws don't even save state a minimal amount of money? Even anti-helmet law websites acknowledge fewer head injuries in helmet law states. I would say even a tiny amount of savings negates a person's small right to feel that breeze on the pate.

But pro-helmet advocates have an easier job. The right we are sacrificing is not one exercised by reasonable people. Would you really rather smack your head hard on something without a helmet? If you posed that question to 100 people, how many would prefer no helmet? It's just not a reasonable thing to want.

There's a second argument the anti-helmet folks use. If we let them take away this right, they will keep restricting other rights until we can't ride motorcycles at all. Like appeasing Hitler, the safety nazis will just have their appetites for biker rights stoked, and hunger for even more. Funny how much this sounds like NRA rhetoric, no?

This argument operates on an assumption that I think is hard to prove. The assumption is that the safety nazis have an agenda to totally eliminate motorcycling. I have not seen any convincing proof of that. Has any state ever banned motorcycles? Have there been bills in Congress to eliminate motorcycles? Is there any official DOT, EPA or CalTrans document advocating elimination of the motorcycle? Wouldn't motorcycles have been banned a long time ago if that was the case?

The only agenda safety nazis have is to reduce injury and death. (Those self-serving bastards!) That's their job. And they are pretty good at it- whether it's helmets or education, motorcycle fatalities per mile traveled has declined since the 1970's. And they understand the law enough to realize that eliminating motorcycles completely would probably come closer to infringing on the kind of rights implicated under the Ninth Amendment.

Rather than open the door for more regulation, I feel helmet laws comfort the public at large who, lets face it, have to pay the costs of our enjoyment, whether through loud pipes, sport bikes crossing the double yellow lines at them, or paying for increased fire and police protection. With helmet laws in place, people can look at motorcyclists and say, well, it's crazy to ride a bike, but at least they have helmets on.

If the question comes down to either helmets or motorcycle, I'll pick the motorcycle. I know it's rough to have your life-style choice on display without letting people see your face, but if that's the cost of being left pretty much alone by society, then I'll happily wear my helmet.

Helmet laws are good because they do not abridge any substantial right, save at least money if not lives, and keep society off the backs of motorcyclists. How can any rational person be against it? I don't know, but I'm sure I'll hear all kinds of reasons.
 

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Part II of Gabe's final word...

I would say the anti-helmet law people do. If the state can save even $10,000 (to pick a random number) by requiring helmets, I would say that that is compelling enough to override the right of motorcyclists to go helmet less. Can ABATE honestly say helmet laws don't even save state a minimal amount of money? Even anti-helmet law websites acknowledge fewer head injuries in helmet law states. I would say even a tiny amount of savings negates a person's small right to feel that breeze on the pate.

But pro-helmet advocates have an easier job. The right we are sacrificing is not one exercised by reasonable people. Would you really rather smack your head hard on something without a helmet? If you posed that question to 100 people, how many would prefer no helmet? It's just not a reasonable thing to want.

There's a second argument the anti-helmet folks use. If we let them take away this right, they will keep restricting other rights until we can't ride motorcycles at all. Like appeasing Hitler, the safety nazis will just have their appetites for biker rights stoked, and hunger for even more. Funny how much this sounds like NRA rhetoric, no?

This argument operates on an assumption that I think is hard to prove. The assumption is that the safety nazis have an agenda to totally eliminate motorcycling. I have not seen any convincing proof of that. Has any state ever banned motorcycles? Have there been bills in Congress to eliminate motorcycles? Is there any official DOT, EPA or CalTrans document advocating elimination of the motorcycle? Wouldn't motorcycles have been banned a long time ago if that was the case?

The only agenda safety nazis have is to reduce injury and death. (Those self-serving bastards!) That's their job. And they are pretty good at it- whether it's helmets or education, motorcycle fatalities per mile traveled has declined since the 1970's. And they understand the law enough to realize that eliminating motorcycles completely would probably come closer to infringing on the kind of rights implicated under the Ninth Amendment.

Rather than open the door for more regulation, I feel helmet laws comfort the public at large who, lets face it, have to pay the costs of our enjoyment, whether through loud pipes, sport bikes crossing the double yellow lines at them, or paying for increased fire and police protection. With helmet laws in place, people can look at motorcyclists and say, well, it's crazy to ride a bike, but at least they have helmets on.

If the question comes down to either helmets or motorcycle, I'll pick the motorcycle. I know it's rough to have your life-style choice on display without letting people see your face, but if that's the cost of being left pretty much alone by society, then I'll happily wear my helmet.

Helmet laws are good because they do not abridge any substantial right, save at least money if not lives, and keep society off the backs of motorcyclists. How can any rational person be against it? I don't know, but I'm sure I'll hear all kinds of reasons.
 

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and horseback riders, and skateboarders, and bicyclist, and skiers, and ... If everyone wore full coverage helmets while in an automobile, thousands of lives and millions of dollars could be saved every year!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Nicely argued Gabe but what is really at stake here is a philosophical underpinning. The problem with your argument is that it is for the most part nothing but received wisdom. The summary of which is: It costs more to give medical attention without a helmet than with - therefore, bad.



The question is, is society organized on the basis of how much any particular activity costs? Well, yes and no and for most Americans who are constantly told that money is the only good, they can see no value other than this. Are we willing as a society to allow freedom to others and accept that there are costs associated with that? After all, by your argument if they banned motorcycles completely on the same grounds as helmet laws, you would in the name of consistency have to defend this ban, no? Lets face it, motorcycles are statistically more dangerous than cars and a minor spill on a bike is going to increase the cost to society (measured by medical dollars) than a similar accident in a car (all things being equal).



I wear a helmet and would not do otherwise, but I see no reason to force that on others. Everytime a particular group does not understand the practices of another group in society, The option seems to be to ban that practice. And in the case of motorcycles they generate a lot of fear in people because of precisely what they are not - several tons of steel cage that makes the driver feel omnipotent. Anyone who rides motorcycles must have a death wish right?



Probably minime posted this to be controversial, but I find it far more worrysome that a web site devoted to motorcycling would find it objectionable that some people would choose not to wear a helmet.



I still think we should ban Harleys though on grounds of aesthetics and bad engineering. NO MORE LOUD PIPES Please!
 

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Here's how it infringes on YOU and ME.....

Your wife/mother/brother/son/daughter/grandfather/grandmother/baby sister whoever gets violently ill, just ingested liquid drano accidently like kids do,hurts themselves falling down the stairs or onto a knife or was just raped or shot and they need medical attention NOW!!! You just can't believe what is going on. Your head is spinning so fast because you don't know whether to scream for help or dial but can't remember the number to 911 because of the craziness of the momment and fear of losing a loved one. NOW.... At that exact point in time, 18 year old Johhny just got into an accident at the lake where, being as cool as Johnny is, was trolling for tail without a helmet on. It is VERY possible that another ambulance from another hospital WAY across town is now on it's way because it's Saturday night and they are busy. Accidents happen and are unavoidable. No one likes it, no one can prevent it, and no one ever wants them to happen. Point is though, save that ambulance ride for someone who just might need it. Not that Johhny didn't need it, but maybe he didn't deserve it over your dieing relative? Johhny, put the helmet on. You just might save someone elses life tonight besides your own.

Devil Clown
 

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Loud Pipes

I'm kinda stunned by the apposal of loud pipes. Now Harley, that's a different story all together. Yes, they should be banned. (Simply because I don't have nor would I ever spend that kinda money on such an over rated, underpreforming casket on wheels.) But as far as the pipes are concerned, I feel pipes save lives. Period. Face it, motorcycling is dangerous. Most people don't see us, they sure as hell don't look for us and most don't give a rats ass if they drag us for 10 miles after hitting us if it means being late for brunch. Does the sound irritate a few? Good. See me, know that I'm there and get the **** away from me if you don't like the noise. That's the whole purpose. What is the advantage of being stealthy on a motorcycle? To get a good laugh out of Cletus's awe stricken face as you become his next hood ornament as he's shifting lanes and doesn't know you're there because, like I said, he's not looking for us. On top of that, they just put out a greatest hits volume of my wife left me and my dog is dead and he can't stop the urge welling within him to blast his sterio that costs more than his double wide before he sold it for the Harley and yodaling his ass off? Not me. I'ld be happy if I could crack his windshield with the sound of my exhuast alone. The point is to be seen. And sometimes to be seen, you need to be heard.

Devil Clown
 

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Loud Stereos Save Lives

Hey, Cletus is only pumping up his *****in stereo cuz he's got a little Geo Metro that isn't very visible to other cars and he just wants to be heard cuz mebbe it'll save his life. Mebbe if you would have heard his loud stereo you wouldn't have gotten in his way. And why should he care if the stereo is annoying if you don't care about the pipes?

:)
 

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The Big Question: How Lame is Maxim?

So first when I tried to access the big question it didn't even have a question. Just TODAY'S QUESTION and then a submit button.

Okaaayyy.... so I go back a few minute later and even though the main page still asks about helmets being for cowards, it seems that actually today's big question is Would you ever do it with a porn star?

I think we need to start a thread on this. Personally, I'm all for making it illegal to do it with a porn star, cuz you might get AIDS and maybe you don't have insurance and then I'd have to pay your medical bills!

Heh.
 

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You missed my point...

Which was merely a legal one. To save you the trouble of re-reading my somewhat long-winded post, I will sum it up for you:

For a right to be totally unabridged by the gubernment, it must be a right fundamentally recognized as important and unabridgeable without a compelling state interest.

I agree with you- we are more than just dollar signs, and some things have no monetary value. One of the great flaws of our legal system is that money is used as the medium for righting all wrongs- there are expert witnesses whose only function is to calculate the monetary value of human life! It''s sick.

However, I just don''t understand how riding helmetless is such a compelling right that it overcomes society''s right to keep costs from preventable injury to a minumum. Nobody has made a case for it yet, although you came close.

Now let them try to ban motorcycles, which, as I''ve metioned, nobody ever has. I feel that, as an American citizen, I have a right to responsibly pursue the types of activities that make me happy, as long as I do them responsibly and don''t burden society too much.

If motorcyclists were dying like smokers, then I might support a ban on them, as well, but with only 5,000 deaths a year compared to smoking cashing in 300,000 Marlboro Men per annum, I think motorcycles will be here to stay. Conversely, if only 5,000 smokers a year died from their stinky habit, I wouldn't cheer the zillion-dollar verdicts against the tobacco companies.

Just everybody wear your ****ing helmet, and we can all shut up about this!
 

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Re: Allow me to point out a bit of hypocrisy in your essay

Well, I don''t know if a small omission of the obvious constitutes hypocricy, but I agree. The safetycrats are tasked with decreasing society''s cost in injuries and death caused by helmetless motorcyclists. Thoses costs are measured in greenbacks because it''s easier than calculating, say, the gallons of tears from bereaved love ones, or hours of nursing time, or whatever.

Funny how you mention the Gulf War. I was arguing with a guy about the causes of the Civil War Friday night. I said slavery, and he said Northern Banks squeezing the South. That takes a lot away from the many thousands of Americans who died there. When the Civil War started, thousands and thousands of volunteers mobbed the recruiting stations of both sides. Did these men join up to save the banks, or so rich guys could make more money? No! They signed up because they believed in something.

I fought in the Gulf War, and was almost killed. For you to suggest I risked myself so my Mom could enjoy filling her Volvo with $.99 gasoline is kinda insulting, as well as absurd.

The same goes for the safety nazis. I'm sure there's a lot of self-seeking people who don't care about people. But there's also a lot of beauracrats and safety advocates who work long hours, for not a lot of personal gain, because they believe they are doing a good thing. Please name one safetycrat who got rich advocating traffic safety. Ralph Nader? He has like one suit and sleeps in his office!

Your idea for subsidizing helmets is a great idea, and I wonder if there are government funds availiable for helmet R&D. In California, there is a program like that for child safety seats for low-income motorists.

The flaw in your plan is that you assume that 50% of riders in no-helmet-law states go helmetless because they can''t afford a helmet. That''s just ridiculous. If you can buy a motorcycle, you can afford the $200 to buy a good helmet. But, I support such a scheme for low-income motorcylists. In fact, I think motorcyclists should get tax breaks because they impact roads, parking and traffic less and use less fuel.

Thanks for not insulting me!

Gabe
 

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VFR vs. Biker Smackdown!

I would put my money on the sportbike guys, since they are more likely to be physically fit, as well as younger. Many of the Harley guys I see are overweight and kinda old.

Now, if this was 1966, that would be a different story.
 

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It's sad assholes like you are taught how to type...

The guy you insulted had a perfectly good point, and you attack him personally. Why? It sad, because it's people like you that chill intelligent discourse.

And yes, everytime you get on your bike you should assume you're gonna crash. (or assume to hit our dead as you so eloquently put it.) As you say, with surprising clarity in your last line, Life is about taking risks, managing risks and hopefully living through risks. Right. So wear your ****ing helmet!
 

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Re: You have been duped by the insurance companies

Good point. But still, if I think helmet laws are a good idea, just because Aetna agrees with me doesn't make it a bad one. Does a bad motive rule out a good one?

Also, your floodgate argument doesn't pan out. Laws are passed, in general, when there's a compelling need for them, not just at the whim of a few people. No, really.
 

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Jack was known as the Wizard He was sharp, intelligent, fun to be around. I haven''t seen him in years since the accident. He got to drinking too much at the bar (another of my major peeves nowdays), was evidently paranoid that somebody was chasing him on his XL350 when he didn''t make the turn on White Oak in Raleigh and cracked open his brand new Bell helmet on the church steps. The blood stains are still in the brick. The EMT''s estimated he had been dead 5 minutes when they got him going again and his short term memory isn''t what it needs to be to do computer programming after that, but he''s still alive and got married. The Bell rep that analyzed the damaged helmet said he''d never seen one with so much damage where the rider came out alive. Cracked from the hair line on the front to a similar point on the back. Sorry to bother you with this story, and it still affects me emotionally after 15 years, but if you don''t like it, take that peanut shell helmet and use it for a suppository. (i.e. Shove it, for those of you less literary).



Point is: You don''t have to force me to wear a helmet. I''ve seen enough people live because of them and even if I do die, maybe they can still have an open casket funeral.



Just my opinion
 

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Well, if I show up with my helmet ... don''t hit me in my head ... it might hurt your hand. Therefore, I have to go with the Honda hoot.



If there was a fight between Jet Li and any one from Sturgis who would win? ... the guy from Sturgis right? ... Assuming he could catch him right? ... Assuming that guy from Sturgis was quick enough right? ... Assuming he'd be able to keep his eyes open right?



You make alot of assumptions everytime you get on that bike ... that guy in the school bus see's me right? ... that 70 year old coming down the wrong way is gonna turn ... right? ... OH **** a Dragonfly just hit me in the cheek ... go ahead and make not wearing a helmet seem aluring ... here this Crack is the best I ever tried ... have some ...



 
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