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First off, please understand that I am of the opinion that you have to be a fool to ride without a good helmet. Second, this country was founded on principles of freedom. Look at the cost of our freedom over the years. What does one smart bomb cost? Does the medical cost associated with helmetless riding freedom seem in any way out of line? It should be very hard to remove a freedom in this country and I'm glad that the folks in Arkansas are having such a hard time.
 

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Much heat; No light

...the hospital lost about $1 million over six years on motorcyclists who are injured while not wearing helmets and can't pay their medical bills.

So?? Compared to what? How many are wearing helmets now compared to six years ago?

...statistics show that fatal accidents involving motorcycles haven't changed since the repeal of the state's mandatory helmet law in 1997.

Translation: Accidents that were fatal in 1997 were still fatal in 2003. Big news.

Again, how has helmet useage changed in 6 years? If it's increasing without the law you don't need the law; if it's decreasing then maybe you do.

What crummy reporting and legislation!
 

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I only have thing to say! If I didn't wear a helmet, a full face helmet, I would not have a face. Simple as that! Riding a motorcycle and not wearing protective gear (not only helmet but jacket, jeans, gloves and boots) may be cool for some, even exciting ... But what price do you put on your body? How much is you face or yor leg or your back worth? After seeing the gravel go past, mere inches from my face, at 20mph I have made up my mind. Have you?
 

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When will legislators just stop legislating?

"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it."----------------Thomas Jefferson
 

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"It is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of citizens and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The freemen of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle. We revere this lesson too much ... to forget it."-----------James Madison
 

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1) I disagree with helmet and seat belt laws

2) I disagree with Substance abuse laws (except for regulating and taxing the crap)

3) I Wear Seat Belts and Helmets, because they work

4) Have had friends killed by (or trapped and then died as a result) due to both

5) Have had friends killed by substance abuse, quit playing with it a long time ago.

6) Have had friends saved by both seat belts and helmets

7) Don't know a soul killed/hurt by smoking weed (other crap is a different story).

They just get really lazy while doing it, but ok after it wears off.



You can't legislate stupidty or morality. Every time it is tried it back fires! Eventually someone is going to go to court and sue the government because a state mandated helmet caused a severe neck injury or a state mandated seat belt trapped someone in a burning car. It will (may have alredy for all I know) happen and will end up costing a lot more than the alleged 'social burden' costs that exist now.



We all know that this group cannot discuss this subject without it turning into a freaking screaming match, so lets just all say out peice, logically and unemotionally and move on.



One more thing, regardless of what you worship, say a prayer for the folks going to Daytona. They are entering something more dangerous than the helmet law fight, the GREY ZONE. You want to start talking about 'social burden'. there is a good starting point.



And I am not even going to have top be censored....
 

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Very well stated, bigjames. Pretty well mirrors my views.



I personally have not had any friends who died BECAUSE of wearing seatbelts or helmets, but I have had some who likely would have survived had they been doing so.



Cheers

Bob
 

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Ms. Bledsoe,

I for one applaud the for-sight the committee showed in not allowing your proposal out of committee. The money problems at UAMS are not the result of helmet-less motorcycle riders. What about the indigent population that UAMS serves and the Medicare/Medicaid issues? How much does that cost UAMS? Should we also raise the insurance rates of all of the tobacco users with diagnosed complications from their "habit" in the state? What about the illicit drug users? Or the non-compliant diabetics? Motorcyclists are a small percentage of the problem, how can you possibly single out this group as responsible for this? Did the insurance industry provide you with supporting data? What are the actual facts?

What is the root cause of most motorcycle accidents? It has nothing to do with helmet usage! Maybe the SUV/car driver talking on the cell phone or trying to eat that fast food and failing to yield the right of way, or just not paying any attention to their surroundings has something to do with it! I am a motorcycle rider (I CHOOSE to wear a helmet any time I ride and have taken the motorcycle safety foundation course) and a Registered Nurse that graduated from UAMS. I currently work in critical care in TN and have not had the opportunity to care for any motorcyclists injured as a result of an "accident." I have cared for obese/ non-compliant diabetics with renal failure and heart related problems, as well as smokers with associated heart/lung problems, is their insurance higher because of their personal freedom of choice?

I spent 20 years in the military protecting the right to freedom of choice for all Americans. I respect your right to be who you are and make your own decisions as an adult in this country. I do not recognize your right to make decisions for me about my personal freedom of choice!

 

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I always wonder how they can link not wearing a helmet to not paying hospital bills. the two have NOTHING to do with each other. How many injuries in autos have occurred where the occupants can't pay the bills? Why do they never compare those two, the motorcycle losses and autos? Because the car owners lose big time. Then it's time to start mandatory health insurance minimums for car drivers, and that would include the idiots that make the laws. Lawmakers only make laws that affect other people, not themselves, so a manadatory insurance bill would include them, and we couldn't have that. They only study and release statistics that are favorable to their opinion. 90% of the truth is not the truth.
 

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"...the hospital lost about $1 million over six years on motorcyclists who are injured while not wearing helmets and can't pay their medical bills."



How is this different than a belt-less driver not paying their post-crash medical bills? I've not heard of any laws pertaining to that! And what difference does it make what they were wearing? If they don't have health insurance they still cost everyone money. Seems like they can't see the forest through the trees.



"...require that all motorcyclists, helmeted or not, carry at least $10,000 in health insurance."



I was feeling good about this news until the last sentence. Health insurance is a good thing to have, but the Govt. stipulating who must have it and how much is they need is ridiculous (and un-constitutional). Unfortunately, today's health insurance rates are beyond the reach of many americans.



I hope Bledsoe's new version of this bill is defeated as soundly as the last.
 

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When you posted this I was composing my own; they are very similar. I don't want to be accused of copying! (like some Japanese bike makers, huh KPC)



Even when lawmakers DO pass bills that effect them, they have the money to easily pay the increased costs, while their constituents may not. (Oh yeah, and sometimes they get out of paying them anyway)
 

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Re: When will legislators just stop legislating?

Abe. Thank you for reminding every one of the guiding principles so eloquently stated by our founding fathers. My personal favorite on the subject of governmental interference is " That which governs least, governs best." VWW
 

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Mandatory Health Insurance for Helmetless Riders

I think this is an excellent idea (requiring at least $10,000 healt insurance for riders who chose to ride without helmets).

Then, by logical extention, we should do the same for others who chose "risky" lifestyles. We can start with smokers -- can't buy a pack of cigs without showing your insurance card along with your ID. Same for buying alcohol.

Fast food has recently been cited as a serious health risk for Americans, so McDonalds and Burger King et al will also have to check your insurance card before selling you that cheeseburger. No insurance, better settle for the vegeburger!

Unprotected sex for sure is one of the largest social costs -- between the cost of treating STDs and unplanned pregnancies, and the costs for supporting the resulting offspring. Unproducted sex should be strictly prohibited unless the practicioners can show proof of insurance, as well as the ability to financially support any resulting offspring.

I am sure that uninsured hospital charges resulting from smoking and poor eating habits, and unprotected sex are much more significant than from helmetless cylists, so I suggest we start there, and roll it out to other risky behaviours or lifestyles in order of $s. If we go after these practices in order of their cost to society, we should get around to helmetless riders sometime late in the century.

Cheers

Bob
 

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Re: Mandatory Health Insurance for Helmetless Riders

I posted on another thread the estimated health care costs of obese people at 177 billion ,I believe. How about full face helmets for people diagnosed as obese, and the shield only opens 3 times a day for 3 minutes. This would prevent 24 hour feeding frenzies, which result in higher health costs for all of us, that I am sick of paying for. Maybe I'm onto something here.........
 

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Gravity is not on your side. When I hear "Protective gear is way to expensive", price a skin graft...



One night in the hospital and my aerostich, helmet, boots, gloves and spine protector are paid for with money left over. Granted even the best gear cannot save your life in certain situations but at least my hide is covered and my odds are a little better.



While I havent road tested my 'stich I did have a little run in while wearing my First Gear Kilimanjaro (which feels like a windbreaker compaired to my stich). Beauty of it was I had just parked my bike and was walking across the street when a minivan decided to make me a hood ornimant. After the brakes were applied I went for a nice little slide across several lanes of the intersection. I got up Pi$$ed off but pretty much unharmed with only my helmet taking few scratches (being that it was in my hand at the time). As luck would have it my head wasnt involved. The half inch of space foam armor and synthetic skin impressed the hell out of me though.



To each their own, but how smart are you to choose NOT to wear gear? If anyone has a VALID reason not to wear it, I'd love to hear it. You would think this would be a non issue. Then again Freedom includes the freedom to be an Idiot...



Ride Safe
 

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Re: Mandatory Health Insurance for Helmetless Riders

Great idea but somehow the cronic bingers would figure out how to beer b0ng twinkies in those few minutes a day.

For what its worth Ive been on the Atkins program for 2.5 weeks and have lost 17lbs and feel like a million bucks. Best $7.99 I have ever spent. If anyone is interested I'll post updates as the weeks go by. Couple more weeks and I'll be adding to the 40% of nonoverweight Americans. 3.5 more weeks and I go in for my second Cholesterol screening, then I'll know if Atkins is full of it or a Genius. Either way I just lightened my bike by 17lbs...
 
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