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-   -   Maxim Magazine Helmet Question (http://www.motorcycle.com/forum/mo-vs-world/86-maxim-magazine-helmet-question.html)

cannonball 10-30-2000 09:13 AM

Re: Maxim Magazine Helmet Question
 
No flaming required. As correctly stated choice means choosing wrongly. I will not ride without a helmet but, I see no reason to stop those that do not. LOUD pipes on the other hand!

cannonball 10-30-2000 09:19 AM

Re: Maxim Magazine Helmet Question
 
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.

BritRider 10-30-2000 10:33 AM

Re: Maxim Magazine Helmet Question
 
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.

nebo 10-30-2000 10:39 AM

Re: Maxim Magazine Helmet Question
 
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.

Rasher 10-30-2000 01:20 PM

Re: Maxim Magazine Helmet Question
 
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.

Gabe 10-30-2000 03:47 PM

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 faggot!

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.


Gabe 10-30-2000 03:50 PM

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.


Steve 10-30-2000 03:50 PM

Re: Maxim Magazine Helmet Question
 
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!

cannonball 10-30-2000 06:01 PM

Re: Maxim Magazine Helmet Question
 
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!

devil_clown 10-30-2000 06:16 PM

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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