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PA Helmet Law Changing

25002 Views 166 Replies 54 Participants Last post by  ErricZ
hey look, longride! a dead horse!!

*wham* *wham* *wham*
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all this talk of freedom to do this and freedom to do that is fine, but it all assumes that the safety of your head is completely your own what does the no lid brigade have to say when some dumb cager runs them down, and it aint their fault????? still want to stick to the hair in the wind argument??
a rider with 20 years experience and no accidents in the last 10 years should have the option to chose.
Re: Tumbler

Flame on! I'm getting fired up to see my main man "The Hulk" tomorrow.
Re: Use your head

You've missed the point entirely, I see, so don't take my word for it, longride:

Anybody with a job that provides health or life insurance should check on this. In small words for longride, under the current insurance regulations, a company can deny paying medical benefits if you are injured while riding (or crashing, to get more to the point). I didn't say you can't find coverage, but your job's health coverage may not be so nice to riders.

Here's the article in full, in case you don't want to click:

Washington, DC; (MCNW) The Motorcycle Riders Foundation joins with the American Motorcyclist Association in applauding Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin) for crafting and introducing S.423 - "The Health Care Parity for Legal Transportation and Recreational Activities Act." The bill prohibits the denial of benefits to injured street motorcyclists, as well as those involved in off-road riding and other activities (activities like snowmobiling, horseback riding, running or walking). This legislation addresses a loophole caused by a Department of Health and Human Services' rule making it possible for health care coverage to be denied to those who are injured while participating in these activities. S.423 is available on-line at Enter "S.423" in the search engine for bills.

"From riding Harley Davidson motorcycles to visiting the Snowmobile Hall of Fame in St. Germain, these activities are part of Wisconsin's heritage and economy," Feingold said. "It simply doesn't make sense to exclude those participating in these activities from health care benefits."

"The MRF and State Motorcyclists' Rights Organizations (SMROs) have worked on the issue of nondiscrimination in rider health care for nearly a decade," said Buck Kittredge of Wisconsin, MRF President. "We were instrumental in getting nondiscrimination language for motorcyclists into the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. We also worked with SMROs nationwide to lobby their Congressmen and Senators to make nondiscrimination against motorcyclists regarding health care coverage a matter of law. And ever since the last Administration denied benefit protection to injured riders in the final wording of HIPAA in 2001, the MRF and SMROs have lobbied Congress and the Administration to right this wrong."

As background, self-insured employers and unions have been known to deny health benefits to their motorcyclist employees and union members. These unfair measures had been adopted on the questionable advice of third party administrators in an effort to keep the cost of insurance premiums low.

On August 21, 1996 an important opportunity arose when President Clinton signed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), prohibiting employers from denying health care coverage based on a worker’s pre-existing medical conditions or participation in legal activities.

In 2001, the Health Care Finance Administration released the final rules that would govern the law. The rules recognize that employers cannot refuse health care coverage to an employee on the basis of their participation in a recognized recreational activity. However, the benefits can be denied for injuries sustained in connection with those recreational activities. Essentially, the regulation grants protective status to motorcyclists without any substantive benefits.

"Because of this loophole, someone who participates in motorcycling, snowmobiling, running or walking could be denied health care coverage, while someone who is injured while drinking and driving a car would be protected," Feingold said. "It is time that Congress corrected this so that those who are abiding by the law are not denied coverage."

The MRF is working with the AMA to identify and encourage US Representatives to step forward as lead sponsors of companion legislation on the House side. When a House bill is introduced, the MRF will work with SMROs to generate House, as well as Senate, co-sponsors in the days and weeks ahead.

The AMA is urging all motorcyclists - and those involved in any other type of recreational activity - to notify their Members of Congress and tell them to support S.423, The Health Care Parity for Legal Transportation and Recreational Activities Act.

In the meantime, urge your US Senators to sign on to S.423 as co-sponsors. Call them at 202.224.3121 or find their email addresses at, and write them. Their names belong on this important bill.


And I don't care about your arguments against helmets. Don't wear it. Thin the herd. Doesn't matter to me if your brain is smeared across the street.

Just don't get uppity if I complain when I have to pay for your poor choice. Saying "Them's the breaks" and telling me that's what I have to do to ride is a socialistic argument, and I know plenty of die-hards who wouldn't care to be called socialists.
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Actually, I have decided that helmets are appropriate for all occasions and now wear mine 24 hours a day. As for the "authorities" I dare them to chase me. They can't possibly catch me twice! Oh, I didn't throw that b#@*h off of the balcony either...
I am a Republican and NRA member

Hey I just think you are an idiot for not wearing a full face helmet.
Re: No taxes.

Captian, that so called random Bush attack sounded more paleo conservative than liberal. VWW
Excellent Point thanks for clearing that up to ShortStuff (longride)

It's amazing to see how the helmetless crowd will come up with to not wear a helmet. Your last paragraph was especially good.
Re: What about cops?

Ha ha! He got you again!

You are hereby deleted for submitting a post that mentions helmet laws.

Have a nice day.
Re: I am a Republican and NRA member

Well, Chaffee is a republican too. No one can tell any difference between him and Teddy Kennedy.

And Teddy's car has killed more people than my gun.
Lets try and calculate the cost of no helmets

This is an email I sent to and the AMA:

Motorcycle helmet laws are basically about the choice between freedom and risk of injury. I think that even if you are an advocate of safety, you cannot deny that this is the heart of the issue. So as advocates of safety the argument that you use to fight for helmet laws is one of finance. In your article you state:

"An estimated $13.2 billion was saved from 1984 through 1999 because of motorcycle helmet use. An additional $11.1 billion could have been saved if all motorcyclists had worn helmets. (NHTSA, 2000)"

This is to appeal to people who are for freedom but are concerned about where their tax dollars go. However I think that these numbers are completely false... but I am offering you the opportunity to convince me otherwise by answering a few questions:

The core of the question is how is the difference in cost determined between someone who is wearing a helmet in a motorcycle accident an someone who isn't? There are a number of factors I am wondering about.

When a person dies, costs are incurred, ambulance, morgue, burial... all of these costs will happen regardless of whether a person is in an accident or not. If a person dies of old age because they didn't get in an accident... all these costs still occur. My question is are these accounted for?

Sometimes a survivor of a serious accident requires physical thereapy and hospitalization, these costs can be quite serious. Had the person not worn a helmet in these cases they most likely would have died... which all in all is cheaper to the tax payer because of my previous point. Has this been accounted for?

People living to the age of retirement draw much in the way of medical resources from the community. A person who survives an accident might live to have heart failures, kidney transplants, cancer treatment... has this been accounted for?

Finally a person living to the age of retirement draws social security... social security that they would not otherwise draw if they had died. Was this factored into the numbers?

I am sorry if this seems morbid, however you should understand that all people make choices in life. Following your logic, if your statistics proved that motorcyclists die in accidents more often than people in cars: why not make motorcycles illegal? If the federal speed limit is 75 miles per hour, why not make cars that go 150 illegal? In fact skiing, rock climbing and snowboarding are all very dangerous sports with thousands of accidents that hurt people every year, why not make those illegal?

I implore you.... let people decide how to live their lives for themselves, or someday you might find the next freedom that is taken away is your own.

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Re: Tumbler

Oh hell yea! The nice thing about being a teacher with my summer off (besides having endless time for flame wars!) I get to go to the matinee and not have to wait for it to not be sold out! I'll be sure to wear my helmet, even if I do drive my truck. Sorry couldn't help it!
Re: Tumbler

Don't forget your protective bubblewrap.
Hey, Nobody Noticed...

The provision for rider education, which is the FIRST time I've ever seen such a provision. I've been a helmet law fan for a while, as I think helmetless riders tend to be unskilled and clueless posers, but I would gladly trade helmet laws for mandatory rider education courses, as I think a trained, helmetless rider is marginally safer than an untrained, helmeted one.

Just remember that Mr. Allcaps was saved by his helmet.
Interesting News

In far more interesting news, Dirck Edge at has ridden the Honda Rune. I guess MO wasn't invited to ride it?

Dirck just did a slam dunk on MO ! He has the Rune and MO has SSDD helmet law rants?
First off you have to be dumb as a post not to wear a real helmet. And obviously I'm not talking about those faux mixing bowl lids the harley riding wannabes all wear. Those are zero protection. Might as well go lidless, if you're ignorant enough to wear those. and anyone who starts that "I'm not a burden to society if I get hurt" nonsense is more unrealistic that any. If your family, friends and neighbors has to look at you being a vegatable for the rest of your life, you are a burden to them and society, and the rest of motorcycling in general as you drag the rest of us down with your stupidity. You become a prime example for the finger pointers who will now have more cannon fodder for the argument "Motorcycles are dangerous, look at him" Those who proclaim to be looking to protect theirs and my rights by fighting helmet laws are simply being selfish, that's all there is to it. And don't talk for me. My rights are protected, and they don't include the right to idiotically kill myself by not wearing a helmet. You DO NOT speak for me with that argument.

That being said, I don't want the Gov't telling me what to do one way or another. But I also don't see the problem with helmet laws. Other side of the coin is repeal them all, and let natural selection take place, which it invariably will. The ones who are fighting the hardest to undo all the helmet laws are also the ones who will immediately go out to a bar on the bike and get completely boozed up. We should really do away with the helmet laws for a week and see how much the herd thins.
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OK, I like freedom and liberty as well as the next guy, and I believe the U.S. is still the leader in these areas and I believe we should all work to maintain our unique freedoms. However, the freedoms we enjoy and the technologies that bring us all together in this forum (motor vehicles, computers, Internet) are a direct result of large-scale cooperation among human beings, made possible in large part by the existence of governments financed through taxes. Throughout history advances in technology that not only make our lives more comfortable, convenient and fullfilling, but make it possible for the planet to support even a small fraction of the current human population, have arisen through the direct support of governments providing order through military force, and strategic investments in research, education and infrastructure. Governmenbt intervention is even necessary to make the basic institutions of capitalism, i.e. the stock market and other capital markets, function without devolving into complete scams. Without the influence of governments, the few of us who could eke out an existence using our limited individual resources would be hunter-gatherers or dirt farmers engaged in constant wars with other local tribes with a life expectancy of maybe 45 years. What I'm suggesting is that government is a fundamental necessity for human society as we know it. Presuming that we would all be somehow better off if only the government would stop taxing us strikes me as naive and foolish. I don't mean to be offensive or personally disrespectful in saying this, I only point it out as a fact of our existence. That said, the power of government clearly needs to be checked by a system of balances such as we enjoy in the United States so as to preserve our freedom. But I truly don't see how we could protect ourselves sufficiently to have a civilized society without a pretty big and expensive government. I think the focus is more appropriately on how far the government should be allowed to go in regulating behavior. I personally don't think it's unreasonable for the government to require the use of helmets or seat belts or other safety measures as a condition of using public roads, though I'd say these requirements are about as intrusive as I'd like to see the government get and they do make me a little nervous. But I don't view them as threats to my basic freedom or civil liberty. On that score, I'd have to say that I'm much more concerned about the potential misuse of expanded police and surveillance powers granted since 9/11, but on that, too, I'm not sure that it isn't justified. As citizens it is our duty to continue to question all of these actions. That's the true freedom we enjoy and the one effective check on government power.
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Haird, if you truly do believe that a big government is neccessary for society to function, and you really do value your personal liberty, do your self a favor and log on to and read the daily editorials therein. VWW
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